Burden of proof | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 14, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 14, 2007

Burden of proof

The nation is already struggling hard to find its political destiny. Now the very foundation of our state and nation has been shaken by reckless and unpatriotic comments of some Jamaat leaders and their sympathisers and patrons. The government response to this is not fully positive. This might encourage the Jamaat leaders and their patrons to continue to defy the truths. We think that all shades of opinion, except the Jamaat and its patrons, will agree in one voice that it is the prime obligation and responsibility of the government to initiate the legal process of identifying the war criminals or " Rastrodrohi", whatever we call them, and to bring them to justice for their heinous crimes like murder, rape, arson looting etc, committed during the war of liberation in 1971. We fail to understand how the Jamaat can deny and defy their own acts already well documented in our history and in our memory. This act of denial itself is a crime.
We understand the limitations of this government to act fully on this issue. But the question is, this government is doing a lot of commendable work, why not initiate the basic work of institutional investigation by forming a "Commission of Inquiry". Therefore, one would expect that the government, instead of showing the door of justice to individual victims, would come forward to at least initiate the process of trial of the war criminals.
Please do not put the burden of proof on the innocent families of millions of victims. They have suffered a lot already. Now the nation is suffering due to inaction of successive governments to initiate the due process of trial. We hope that the present government would not join the same bandwagon . The burden of proof is now on the nation and the government represents the nation.
Nowadays we often hear and read in media that nothing was done in the past and why now? This is not a tenable argument. This is not a time-barred case and will remain alive as long as Bangladesh exists.
The Election Commission has the notion that the trial of war criminals is a political issue. Since the EC is composed of three non-political members, they have noting to do except pointing fingers at the government. The government will say that they are also non-political. Then, where does the solution lie?

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