The prosecution yesterday said the testimonies of seven of its witnesses had proved that war crimes accused ATM Azharul Islam abetted and facilitated the killing of more than 14 people in Moksedpur village of Rangpur on April 16, 1971.
Placing the closing arguments for the second day at the International Crimes Tribunal-1, prosecutor Tapas Kanti Baul cited the relevant portions of the testimonies to support the claim.
According to the charge, on that day in 1971, Azharul, then president of Islami Chhatra Sangha of Rangpur unit, arrived around 1:00pm at Taxerhat Railgumti under Badarganj Police Station by a train and proceeded towards Dhap Para of Moksedpur. It was pre-planned, and he was accompanied by armed Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Chhatra Sangha members and the Pakistani army, it says.
On the way, the Pakistani army with the help of Azharul and his accomplices plundered many roadside houses before setting those on fire.
After that, they raided Mokesdpur and opened fire indiscriminately, killing unarmed civilians including Jangoli Bhorosha, Kerad Hossain alias Bishu, Chini Mai, Anjiron Nesa alias Aam Mai, Momtaz Uddin, Moulovi Abdul Quddus Ali, Tamir Uddin alias Tamiz Uddin, Moriom Nessa Kalti Mai, Sarijonnessa alias Sukhi Mai, Shadhina, Azizar Rahman alias Khoka, Zahir Uddin, and Osman Ali.
One Yusuf Ali sustained a bullet injury in that incident but died after the Liberation War.
Among the seven prosecution witnesses, three directly witnessed the incident.
One of them, Mokbul Hossain, saw Azharul and two Pakistani army men shoot dead his mother Anjiron Nesa while she was fleeing for life. Mokbul, who was also running for life, saw this from a field.
Another witness, Abdur Rahman, said that on April 16, 1971, the Pakistani army, Azharul and Jamaat supporters came to rail gate no 6 in Rangpur and went to Taxerhat, opening fire on people. Rahman said he later heard from locals that about 14 people were killed.
Prosecutor Tapas said that if the depositions of the witnesses were put together, it proved that Azharul abetted and facilitated the killings.
Jamaat leader Azhar, facing six charges of murder, genocide and crimes against humanity in 1971, was present at the dock yesterday. The tribunal adjourned the proceedings until today.
Meanwhile, the tribunal fixed September 24 for submission of the progress report on the ongoing war crimes probe against three suspects--Sirajul Islam alias Siraj Master, Khan Akram Hossain and Abdul Latif Talukder of Bagerhat. The three were brought to the tribunal yesterday.