Son testifies on father's killing | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 23, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:16 AM, April 23, 2013

Son testifies on father's killing

Says SQ Chy instructed Pak army to kill

Son testifies on father's killing

A martyr's son yesterday testified that Pakistani army had killed his father at the instruction of war crimes accused Salauddin Quader Chowdhury at their homestead in Rauzan upazila of Chittagong on April 14, 1971.
Paritosh Kumar Palit, son of Satish Chandra Palit, also told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that they had left the country fearing for their lives after the killing.
Giving a heart-touching description of the fateful day, retired schoolteacher Paritosh, who witnessed the killing hiding in a bush, said the Pakistani army had even burned his father's body in presence of Salauddin.
Sixty-nine-year-old Paritosh is the 28th prosecution witness in the case against the BNP lawmaker, who is facing 23 charges of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War, 1971.
In the last part of his testimony, Paritosh identified Salauddin in the dock.
BNP standing committee member Salauddin is the son of Fazlul Quader Chowdhury, chief of convention Muslim League, which actively opposed the Liberation War.
The three-member tribunal led by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir recorded Paritosh's testimony and part of his cross-examination before adjourning the proceeding until today, when the witness is set to face further cross-examination.
During his testimony, Paritosh, who was a teacher of RABM High School of Rangunia, Chittagong in 1971, said after March 25, 1971, political violence erupted in the country.
“Leaders and activists of Muslim League started looting, arson and torture on women of the Hindu community in our area," said Paritosh, adding that his father used to write general dairy for others.
On April 10 on 11, Paritosh and their family members, except his father, took shelter in one of their relatives' house, which was three to four miles away from their home.
"After the killing of Nutan Chandra Sinha, owner of Kundeshwari, on April 13, I went to my house on April 14 to see my father," said Paritosh, adding, "I requested my father to leave, but he refused and told us to remain calm.
"After that I saw that Salauddin Quader Chowdhury along with the Pakistani army was approaching towards our home. Then I hid myself in a bush in fear," said the witness.
Salauddin was standing under a tree and the Pakistani army got engaged in an altercation with his father at their yard, said Paritosh.
"At one stage of the altercation, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury shouted in anger and told the Panjabi soldiers [Pakistani army] 'this man is dangerous, kill him'," said Paritosh, adding, the army shot his father when he turned to go to the house.
His father fell on the ground and the army set fire to his body with some chemicals, said Paritosh, adding that as the Pakistani army had left, he went to his relative's house and informed them about the incident.
The next day Paritosh's brother collected his father's remains and left the country as they felt insecure, said Paritosh. After the Liberation War, Paritosh returned to Chittagong.
After his testimony, Salauddin's counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena cross-examined Paritosh before the court adjourned the proceeding.
Replying to a question, Paritosh said he had not collected any certificate from Union Parishad in connection with his father's death.
"Your father was not killed on April 14, 1971. Your father died at Barasat of 24 Pargana [West Bengal] after the liberation," suggested Hena.
Paritosh rejected the defence's claims by just saying, "It is not true."

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