Sister accuses Mueen, Ashraf
Martyred intellectual Prof Giasuddin Ahmed's sister Farida Banu yesterday testified that Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan were involved in her brother's abduction on December 14, 1971.
Quoting Mafizul, driver of a microbus used by Al-Badr men to pick up professionals of Dhaka University that day, Farida said Ashrafuzzaman himself had shot the intellectuals dead at Mirpur.
On July 15, Masuda Banu Ratna, niece of Prof Giasuddin, also testified that she had identified Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman when the duo had gone to her uncle's house.
Farida, a retired teacher of Dhaka University and 16th prosecution witness in the case against alleged Al-Badr leaders Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman, gave a detailed description of Giasuddin's abduction.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Shahinur Islam completed recording her testimony and cross-examination before adjourning the proceeding until Sunday.
Before the adjournment, tribunal-appointed defence counsels Abdus Shukur Khan and Salma Hai Tuny completed her cross-examination. The defence claimed their clients were involved neither with Al-Badr nor in the killings.
During her 71-minute testimony, Farida said Prof Giasuddin had protested against a discriminatory policy of the then Pakistani government before 1971 and used to secretly supply money and medicine to freedom fighters during the war.
The Pakistani army in September detained Giasuddin along with his two colleagues and released them after two-day interrogation, added Hamida.
A number of students of Mohsin Hall who were involved with Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, were behind their detention. That fact was described in a piece of writing by one of Giasuddin's colleagues, she said.
On December 13, 1971, Hamida, who was a teacher of Eden College then, and her husband Nurul Haque took shelter at Giasuddin's campus residence as police had asked them to leave their government house at Azimpur.
On the next day around 8:00am, an EPRTC microbus, which was smeared with mud, had appeared and some youths, two of them were armed, had gone up to the first floor. They had enquired about Giasuddin and left the house as he was not home, said Hamida.
After a few minutes, they had returned and started searching the house. At one stage, they engaged in an altercation with Ratna, Hamida said. She added as they had got information about Giasuddin's whereabouts, they took Golam Kibria, a cousin of Giasuddin, with them towards Mohsin Hall water pump.
Hamida said after returning from the pump house, Kibria told them the armed men had taken away Giasuddin.
On December 14 or 15, Syed Anwar Husain, who was present at the pump house when Giasuddin was abducted, had come to them and informed them about the incident.
Syed Anwar, as the fifth prosecution witness in the case, also testified the same.
On January 4, 1972, Mafizul, driver of a microbus used by Al-Badr to pick up professors from DU, said the intellectuals were shot dead by Ashrafuzzaman at Mirpur. Their bodies were exhumed that day, she added.
Giasuddin's body was exhumed and identified on January 5 and was buried beside the DU mosque.
Different newspapers including the Purbadesh had published reports with photos of Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman on their involvement in the killings of the intellectuals, she said.
The newspapers had even published two pages of Ashrafuzzaman's diary where names and addresses of 20 intellectuals were written with tick marks by the names who were abducted, she added.
“I have read all these [newspaper] reports. Ashrafuzzaman, in his diary, identified himself as a student to Dhaka University and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin as an Al-Badr commander,” she further said.
Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman, who are now abroad, were facing 11 charges for their alleged involvement in the killings of 18 intellectuals in December 1971.
Proceedings in the case against BNP leader Abdul Alim are set to enter a new stage as the tribunal yesterday fixed August 27 to start recording testimony of the defence witnesses.
The court fixed the date after it had completed recording cross-examination of ZM Altafur Rahman, 35th and last prosecution witness in the case yesterday.
In the last part of the cross-examination, Alim's lawyer Ahsanul Huq Hena claimed Altafur, also investigation officer in the case, did not investigate the case properly.
Altafur rejected the claim saying, “It's not true.”
On Wednesday, the tribunal allowed three out of a list of 3,328 defence witnesses to defend former BNP lawmaker Abdul Alim, who is facing 17 charges including murders and genocide committed during the war.