Khokon tortured 17 villagers in Faridpur
A victim yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-1 that fugitive war crimes accused and BNP leader Zahid Hossain Khokon with the help of his associates abducted 17 villagers of Bangram of Nagarkanda Thana, Faridpur on April 27, 1971.
The victim Yunus Mollah said Razakar commander Zafar, who was Khokon's elder brother, caught him while he (Yunus) was attempting to flee home.
“Khokon hit me with the rifle butt and I fell to the ground. Then they forced me to do squats and again struck me on the right side,” said Yunus, now 69.
The fifth prosecution witness against Khokon said the war crimes accused and his associates caught 19 villagers and released two of them after beating. The remaining 17, including the witness, were brutally tortured at the Nagarkanda police station.
A local chairman and Peace Committee leader Abdus Salam told the detained villagers that they would be freed if they paid Razakars Tk 10,000. Two days later, all of them got released after the ransom was paid.
The fourth prosecution witness Abdul Hye Mullah who also testified at the tribunal-1 yesterday corroborated the incident narrated by Yunus. A resident of Bangram, Hye managed to flee home shortly before the raid.
In his deposition, Hye said Khokon's elder brother was killed in a fight between the freedom fighters and Pakistani army and their collaborators.
After Zafar's death, Khokon became commander of Nagarkanda Thana unit of Razakar, an auxiliary force to Pakistani occupational army during the 1971 Liberation War.
On May 30, 1971, Khokon and his associates killed 16 persons of Kodalia village, said Hye.
Following their testimony, state-appointed defence counsel Abus Shukur Khan cross-examined the witnesses.
The proceeding was adjourned until today.
The tribunal yesterday fixed three defence witnesses to testify for the war crimes accused Mobarak Hossain, a former local Awami League leader of Brahmanbaria. The defence had prayed to produce 14 defence witnesses.
The tribunal is scheduled to start recording their testimonies on December 1.
Meanwhile, the tribunal fixed December 12 for hearing the reply on a show-cause notice issued to war crimes convict Salauddin Quader Chowdhury's lawyer Fakhrul Islam.
Detectives arrested Fakhrul at his office in the capital's Kakrail on November 20 for his alleged involvement in leaking the draft verdict on Salauddin.