The prosecution yesterday pressed five specific charges against two Mymensingh men for their alleged involvement in genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the district during the Liberation War in 1971.
Moreover, the International Crimes Tribunal's investigation agency said to have found evidence against four Moulvibazar men over their alleged involvement in crimes committed in 1971.
The tribunal also accepted 12 specific charges pressed against 19 Cox's Bazar men, including a former BNP lawmaker, who allegedly committed similar crimes.
The tribunal also directed the prosecution to submit the investigation report, if there were any, on May 24 against eight Mymensingh men, including Jatiya Party lawmaker MA Hannan, over their alleged involvement in crimes committed in 1971.
2 MYMENSINGH SUSPECTS
Hrishikesh Saha, the case's conducting prosecutor, submitted the formal charges, witnesses' statements and related documents concerning the five charges to International Crimes Tribunal-1 through its registrar office.
The three-member tribunal led by Justice Anwarul Haque fixed March 29 to decide whether it would accept the charges.
Accused Riaz Uddin Fakir, 65, son of Nayeb Ali Fakir of Bhalukjan village, is now in jail while Wajuddin, 70, son of Joynal Abedin of Bidyananda village under Phulbaria upazila, on the run.
On February 18, the investigation agency said to have found evidence of the crimes committed by the two and another man, Amjad Ali, of Palashihata (or Kishoreganj) village in Fhulbaria upazila. But only two were charged as Amjad died during investigations, said Hrishikesh.
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The four of Rajnagar upazila were “involved” in two incidents centring the killing of 61 people, rape of six women and looting and torching of 136 houses in two villages, Abdul Hannan Khan, the agency's coordinator, told journalists at its Dhanmondi office.
Accused Akmal Ali Talukdar, 76, has been in jail since November 26 last year when the tribunal issued an arrest warrant for the four.
Abdun Nur Talukdar alias Lal Miah, 62, Anis Miah, 76, and Abdul Mosabbir Miah, 64, are on the run, said Hannan.
Hari Devnath, the case's investigation officer, handed over the probe report, witnesses' statements and other documents to the prosecution, who would press formal charges to initiate the trial if the documents are found satisfactory during scrutiny. At the press conference, Sanaul Huq, the agency's co-coordinator, said the four were involved with the politics of Muslim league, an anti-liberation political party, in 1971.
During the Liberation War, Akmal was a member of a local Peace Committee, an anti-liberation organisation, while the three others were involved with the Razakar Bahini, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani occupation army.
After the Liberation War, Akmal did not get involved with any political parties while the three are now involved with Jamaat-e-Islami's politics.
One of the incidents involved looting and arson in 132 houses, killing of 59 people and rape of six women of Panchgaon village in Rajnagar upazila between May 7 and 8.
The other was over looting and arson in four houses and abduction and killing of two people of Pashimbhag village between November 24 and 25.
The agency citied 32 people as possible prosecution witnesses.
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The tribunal fixed May 25 to pass the next order on accepting the 12 charges of crimes against humanity and genocide pressed against the 19 accused by the prosecution on March 15.
Of the 19, Salamat Ullah Khan, Moulavi Nurul Islam, Badsha Mia and Osman Gani are in jail while Md Rashid Miah, a former BNP lawmaker from Cox's Bazar, is on bail for being ill.
The rest, Moulavi Zakaria Sikdar, Oli Ahmad, Jalal Uddin alias Jalal Ahmed, Md Saiful alias Sabul, Momtaz Ahmed, Habibur Rahman alias Habib Munshi, Moulavi Amjad Ali, Abdul Majid, Abdus Shukkur, Md Zakaria, Moulavi Jalal, Abdul Aziz, Ramiz Hasan and Samsul Haque, are on the run. Meanwhile, the tribunal rejected Osman's bail petition.
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The court fixed May 24 for submission of an investigation report against the eight suspects, including Hannan, after prosecutor Rezia Sultana Chaman submitted a progress report regarding the investigations and sought four months to complete it. Hannan, the alleged general secretary of Mymensingh district Peace Committee; his son Rafique Sajjad, Khandakar Golam Sabbir Ahmed, Mizanur Rahman Mintu and Hormuj Ali are now in jail. Mohammad Abdus Sattar, Mohammad Fakruzzaman and Khandakar Golam Rabbani are on the run.