11 freedom fighters lined up, then killed | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 27, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 27, 2012

11 freedom fighters lined up, then killed

Prosecution tells ICT of Alim's wartime role


On the instruction of Abdul Alim, the Pakistani army killed 11 freedom fighters near Government Degree College of Joypurhat during the Liberation War, the prosecution told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday.
“Geyara admi Bharat ka char hay, Pakistan ka dushman, Muktifouj hay, usko vej do [These 11 people are spies of India, enemies of Pakistan, freedom fighters, send them],” was what the former BNP lawmaker had said in Urdu, said Prosecutor Rana Dasgupta.
“Afterwards, they [11 freedom fighters] were lined up before the Pakistani army and shot dead in Barghati pond area, at the northeast side of Government Degree College,” said the prosecutor.
During the hearing on charge framing at the Tribunal-2 yesterday, the prosecutor, for the third consecutive day, was reading out the charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Alim.
The freedom fighters were rounded up in the first week of September by the Pakistani army and their collaborators. They were later taken in front of the house of Azim Uddin Sardar on Sadar Road of Joypurhat on two trucks.
“When one of the freedom fighters sought water and Azim Uddin's son came forward to give water, Alim's bodyguard kicked the water pot,” Rana went on reading.
Later, they were taken to the Government Degree College where Alim on a jeep asked them to “vej do [send them]”, said the prosecutor.
The prosecution yesterday finished reading out all 28 incidents of atrocity allegedly committed by Alim and completed their deposition on charge framing against the former minister. He read out nine incidents yesterday.
The prosecution pleaded the tribunal to frame charge against the accused on the basis of documents submitted to the tribunal.
“We have read out 28 incidents of atrocity with the places, time, victim's address, statement of the witnesses and other relevant documents before the tribunal and we hope that one or more elements to frame charges are available in it,” said the prosecution.
“We have tried our best so that charges are framed against the accused, now it is up to the tribunal to consider,” the prosecutor added.
The tribunal, the second of two set up to deal with war crimes committed during the Liberation War, fixed May 3 for recording the arguments of the defence on charge framing.
When yesterday's proceeding began at 10:30am, Prosecutor Rana Dasgupta drew the court's attention on a report of Bangla daily Prothom Alo headlined “Alimer biruddhe 17 ghatanar barnana [Description of 17 incidents against Alim]” published on April 26 and said a part of the news was not authentic.
He said if the tribunal thought that the part of the report did not justify the facts, then it should direct the newspaper authority to publish a correction and warn the reporter to be more cautious while writing about court proceedings.
The court, however, did not deliver any order immediately.
Rana Dasgupta then started reading out the incidents of atrocity allegedly committed by Alim.
In another incident, Pakistani army and their collaborators picked up freedom fighters Fazlul Karim and two others from Akkelpur and took them to the CO (dev) Office on October 7, 1971, said Rana.
Driven by “political malevolence” and in Alim's presence and on his orders, faces of the three were painted in black and white. They were then walked all around the entire town, Rana went on reading.
Major Afzal, a Pakistan army officer, and Abdul Alim also went along with them and delivered speeches against the Liberation War, said Rana.
“Freedom fighters are fighting against Pakistan. Father of Fazlul Karim is my friend and I told him to bring his son back from the wrong path but he did not pay heed to my words. So his son has to die,” the prosecutor quoted Alim's alleged speech delivered on that day.
Later, the three were killed but their bodies were not found.
Yesterday, Rana mentioned nine bullet points during the reading of charges, each on one incident of crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Alim, the chairman of the Peace Committee (a collaborator force) of Joypurhat.
The bullet points were: Abduction, confinement and torture of Fazlur Rahman; abduction, confinement, torture and killing of Doctor Abul Kashem; confinement and torture of Khalilur Rahman; Barghati genocide after confinement of 11 youths; provocative speech of the accused; killing of three people including Fazlul Karim; confinement, torture and killing at Joypurhat Sugar Mill; abduction, confinement and killing of Jabbal Hossain and abduction, confinement and torture of Azizar Rahman.
The tribunal asked the prosecution to submit proper addresses of some of the places it mentioned in the charges and mention the corresponding date following the English calendar in cases where dates were mentioned following the Bangla calendar.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 had taken the charges brought against Alim into cognisance on March 27 after the prosecution submitted formal charges against him on March 15. On April 16, Tribunal-1 transferred three cases, including Alim's, to Tribunal-2 for quick disposal.
Alim who is facing 74 counts of crimes against humanity in the 28 incidents, was present at the tribunal yesterday. Alim is among the nine accused facing crimes against humanity charges at the two tribunals.

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