REPORT ON THE FINDINGS OF
THE PEOPLE'S INQUIRY COMMISSION ON
THE ACTIVITIES OF THE WAR CRIMNALS AND
Presented by Forum for Secular Bangladesh
Summary of two investigations into activities of sixteen war criminals and
collaborators of Pakistan military junta during the
Bangladesh liberation war of 1971 published on 26 March 1994
What happened in Bangladesh between March 25 and December 16, 1971 epitomized the spirit of the human will as well as man's unlimited capacity to be brutal towards fellow men. Rarely in the history of mankind have a people displayed so much heroism and suffered so much pain within the space of so short a time as the people of Bangladesh did.
The magnitude of the genocide committed by the Pakistan army and its local collaborators, particularly para-military forces set up by fundamentalist political parties, is incomparable in modern-day history. Not since the extermination of six million Jews by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 has the world witnessed a genocide as horrifying in its intent and as wide in its scope.
Indeed, the intensity of the genocide by Pakistanis and their collaborators in Bangladesh surpassed even that of Adolph Hitler in central and eastern Europe. The UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), in its 1981 report on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stated that the genocide committed in Bangladesh in 1971 was the worst in history. It is widely accepted, both in and outside Bangladesh, that a total of three million Bangalees were killed by Pakistani troops and their local allies. The UNHRC report said, even if a lower range of 1.5 million deaths was taken, killings took place at a rate of between 6 to 12 thousand per day, through the 267 days of carnage. This made it the most intense genocide in history.
The struggle of the people of Bangladesh for their legitimate socio-political and economic rights, for their right to self-determination, took on the shape of an armed war of liberation only because the military rulers of Pakistan chose to make it so. Since 1947, when the territory that today constitutes Bangladesh became the eastern wing of Pakistan following the partition of India, the Bangalee people have struggled to retain their distinct cultural identity and political freedom.
The people's struggle that followed the non-violent political path, in the best Gandhian tradition of the subcontinent, culminated in the 1970 election victory for the nationalist party, the Awami League. The League's sweeping victory, winning over 75 per cent of the votes and 98 per cent of the parliamentary seats in East Pakistan, was an expression of undiluted popular backing for the party's programme of autonomy. But, unwilling to grant East Pakistan autonomy or allow the League to form the government at the centre on the basis of its absolute majority in the national parliament, the military junta ruling from across 1,000 miles of Indian landmass in West Pakistan, unleashed a genocide horrifying in its eventual aim. As has been documented by countless authors and journalists reporting on the event in 1971, the aim of the military campaign was to terrorise and expel a large number of Bangalees particularly followers of the Hindu religion, depopulate vast areas, colonise the land by bringing in non-Bangalee settlers and put in motion a process to thoroughly deform the culture of the people, which was a blend of ancient Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
The resistance of the people, aided by India, prevented Gen. Yahya Khan from carrying out his Final Solution to the Bangalee problem, in the same way as the Allied resurgence on the battlefield from the summer of 1942 onwards thwarted Adolph Hitler's designs to exterminate the Jewish race and enslave the Slavic peoples of the east.
However, unlike the Jewish people or the nations of Europe, justice has eluded the people of Bangladesh for 23 long years. The Pakistani war criminals, who had surrendered to a joint Indo-Bangladesh force on December 16, 1971 on the basis of the Geneva Convention governing treatment of prisoners of war, were able to get away with their crimes. The international community, which had a duty to see that war crimes and crimes against humanity were investigated and the culprits brought to justice, showed little interest in the Bangladesh case, despite obligations under UN covenants. A tripartite agreement in 1973 between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh paved the way for the release of all 93,000 POWs, including the 195 officers suspected of having committed war crimes. Bangladesh, which had already put legislations in its statute books to facilitate trial of international crimes such as acts of genocide by its own nationals as well as foreign forces, was left with little choice.
This was followed by a limited amnesty declared in the same year for local collaborators, but this did not cover anyone against whom charges of war crimes or murder, rape, arson and looting could be brought. The pardon, urged upon the government by Amnesty International, applied to those against whom serious charges could not be brought. The 1972 Collaborators Act, designed to facilitate arrest and trial of accomplices as well as of local perpetrators of the genocide remained in place.
However, following the overthrow of the post-independence government in 1975, a dramatic change appeared to take place in official policy towards the issue of the 1971 genocide. The Collaborators Act 1972 was repealed, all those leading war criminal-suspects who had fled the country and lost citizenship rights, were invited to return, which they did. Even Golam Azam, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami and widely regarded to be the principal war criminal among all local collaborators of the Pakistan army, was allowed to return to Bangladesh. Instead of facing arrest and charges, Azam was allowed to quietly begin reorganising his party. Overtly communal political parties, which opposed the independence of Bangladesh and backed the Pakistani military in its genocidal campaign in 1971, were all made legal again, with opportunities to "win" seats in the national parliament. Some war criminal-suspects such as Abdul Alim, Maulana Mannan etc., were even inducted into the cabinet. One senior collaborator, Shah Azizur Rahman, even became prime minister in the cabinet of president Lt. Gen. Ziaur Rahman (1977-1981).
The downfall of Lt. Gen. H M Ershad (1982-1990) and emergence of a democratic dispensation in 1991 gave rise to hopes that the question of the genocide would be finally settled through the dispensation of justice. But those hopes were dashed again when Jamaat-e-Islami openly declared Golam Azam to be its Ameer or Leader on Dec 29, 1991. Since his return in 1978, Azam has worked mainly behind the scenes, while he remained, officially, a Pakistani citizen. The announcement of Azam's assumption of the office of Jamaat's Ameer caused the people's anger, pent-up under oppressive political climate for two decades, to burst. Demands for Azam's trial for war crimes became a national cry. But the government first prevaricated, then refused to heed the demands.
The formation, on Feb 11, 1992 of the National Coordinating Committee for the Realisation of the Bangladesh Liberation War Ideals and Trial of Bangladesh War Criminals of 1971, intensified the popular campaign. The Committee was formed with the participation of 72 political, socio-cultural and trade union organisations, women's, freedom fighters' and student groups. The Committee acted as a platform from which people from across the socio- political spectrum could voice their demand for justice.
To establish, symbolically, the people's verdict against Golam Azam, a People's Court trial was held at the Suhrawardy Uddyan (field), the largest park in Dhaka, which is also historical as this was the ground where Pakistani commander Lt. Gen. A A K Niazi signed the surrender instruments on Dec 16, 1971. The popular verdict was guilty, on 12 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
But the government remains unmoved, despite obligations under UN declarations. The UN General Assembly in its resolution no 3074, passed on Dec. 3, 1973, stated, "War crimes and crimes against humanity, wherever they are committed, shall be subject to investigation and the persons against whom there is evidence that they have committed such crimes shall be subject to tracing, arrest, trial and, if found guilty, to punishment".
There is no attempt to investigate the war crimes of 1971 by the government of Bangladesh. The duty therefore has fallen on the shoulders of the people themselves, who have already made their judgement on Golam Azam known through the People's Court. The next step was investigation into the 1971 activities of other suspect collaborators, to establish whether war crimes trial proceedings ought to be initiated against them.
With this aim in mind, the National Coordinating Committee announced on Mar 26, 1993 the formation of a National People's Enquiry Commission, to investigate the 1971 roles of eight collaborators. This would be the first phase of a series of such investigations, eventually leading to probes into 1971 crimes of all suspect collaborators. The formation of the Commission has the 1973 resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva clearly in mind. The UN Human Rights Commission said then, "These thousands of Bangalees who lost their lives in the torture chamber, their millions of widowed wives and orphaned children, and those who survived, have the right to expect that those responsible for these despicable crimes would not escape justice".
But they continue to escape justice, despite UN assertion that "Every state has the right to try its own nationals for war crimes against humanity", made in the 1973 Principles of International Cooperation in the Detention, Arrest, Extradition and Punishment of Persons Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, adopted by the UNGA in December. If it is the right of every state, then it is the people of those states who have the right to demand and receive justice, through trial of persons suspected of having committed war crimes against humanity. International covenants, laws as well as the Bangladesh Constitution itself speak of the people's right to such trials, indeed the necessity for punishment of crimes of genocide to make sure that such crimes never occur again.
National Coordinating Committee for Realisation of Bangladesh Liberation War Ideals and Trial of Bangladesh War Criminals of 1971.
26 March 1994
ON MARCH 26, 1993 a long-term programme was announced at a rally in Dhaka to investigate into the activities of front-ranking collaborators of the Pakistan army during Bangladesh's War of Liberation in 1971. The programme, announced by the National Coordinating Committee for the Realisation of the Bangladesh Liberation War Ideals and Trials of Bangladesh War Criminals of 1971, envisaged a step-by-step approach to unearthing evidence of complicity of all collaborators in war crimes, crimes against humanity, killings and other criminal activities.
The programme was announced to mark the first anniversary of the trial of Jamaat-e-Islami supreme Golam Azam by a People's Court. The programme announced on Mar 26, 1993 selected eight leading collaborator-suspects for investigation by an independent body named the National People's Enquiry Commission. The eight selected for investigation in the first phase of the Commission's probe were: 1) Abbas Ali Khan, 2) Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami, 3) Mohammad Kamruzzaman, 4) Abdul Alim, 5) Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, 6) Maulana Abdul Mannan, 7) Anwar Zahid, and 8) Abdul Kader Molla.
The People's Enquiry Commission was formed to investigate into the activities of the eight during 1971, and establish the ground for initiating war crimes trials. The 11-member Commission comprised of: Begum Sufia Kamal (poet and chairperson), Shawkat Osman (writer), Dr Khan Sarwar Murshid (former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Rajshahi), Debesh Chandra Bhattacharya (former justice of the Supreme Court), K M Sobhan (former justice of the Supreme Court), Shamsur Rahman (poet), Dr Anupam Sen (professor at the University of Chittagong), Dr M A Khalek (professor at the University of Rajshahi), Salahuddin Yusuf (member of parliament), Air Vice Marshal Sadruddin (former chief of the Air Force), and Shafiq Ahmed, Bar-at-Law (member of the Supreme Court Bar, and coordinator of the Commission).
The formation of the People's Commission maintained the momentum as well as the continuity of the movement against all fascist, communal and anti-freedom forces in Bangladesh. The movement, which had began with the symbolic trial of Golam Azam by the People's Court on Mar 26, 1992, has spread quickly to all parts of the country. The people of Bangladesh have become vocal in their demand for the trial of Azam and other war criminals, collaborators and killers of 1971.
The People's Inquiry Commission went to work with this popular feeling as its source of inspiration and strength. The Commission gathered and analysed information on the activities of those who collaborated with the Pakistan military in 1971, and opposed Bangladesh's War of Liberation.
In recent months, cadres of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its camp-followers have been waging a violent, brutal campaign against those agitating for trials of war criminals; leaders of the movement have been issued death threats, grassroots campaigners have been killed, meetings and processions held to demand trials of war criminals have been attacked. In the final analysis, it appears the Jamaat and its allies are engaged in a long-term conspiracy to obliterate all the gains, in terms of socio-cultural freedoms, national identity etc., of the Liberation War.
Against such a backdrop, the Commission felt it imperative that leading collaborators, killers and war criminals of 1971 were brought to trial. This, the Commission felt, was necessary to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh, to uphold the spirit of freedom, and to ensure the safety and liberty of the people of Bangladesh. In addition, the Commission has attempted to provide a moral and legal pointer for the government to follow.
With this objective in mind, the Commission carried out widespread investigation into the past activities of the eight persons named on Mar 26, 1993, in the first phase of the enquiry. A 40-member Secretariat, comprising mainly of lawyers, journalists and writers, was formed to assist the Commission in its task (see Appendix B). The probe was conducted on the basis of information gathered from documents of the war period, authoritative books written on the war and genocide, newspaper reports of the period, and written statements sent by witnesses from various parts of the country. In addition, fresh, previously unpublished information was also gathered through field investigation in the home districts of the eight accused or where they operated during 1971.
The Commission had to cope with some serious obstacles during its probe. The Commission discovered that a great deal of document dating to the genocide period had been destroyed. Government officials showed a total unwillingness to make available whatever information there is in the archives (in the absence of any Freedom of Information law, government functionaries did not feel obliged to give the investigators access to official files).
Furthermore, the Commission found the current situation in the home districts of the accused to be particularly worrisome. In these areas, ordinary people are not only haunted by the memory of 1971, they remain frightened and suffer from an acute sense of insecurity.
During the war, .the religious minority Hindu community were the principal targets of the brutalities of the Pakistan army and their local allies such as the Razakar and Al-Badr paramilitary forces and other collaborators. Even after independence, the Hindu community had to face unfavourable socio-political climate and were victimised by communal elements. As a result, many Hindu families who suffered immense physical
and material losses in 1971 have left the country in recent years.
Under such circumstances, the Commission had to gather information from their neighbours. Many families who lost near and dear ones or suffered torture at the hands of the Pakistan army and its allies wanted to provide information on the condition of anonymity only, while others did not dare to do even that. All were worried about the safety of their lives and livelihood.
As a result, the Commission's probe has revealed only a portion of the entire scope and range of the crimes committed by the eight under investigation. The Commission believes that the true extent of their crimes is far wider than that revealed through this report.
The Commission analysed all the information gathered by members of the secretariat. Although the information thus gathered represents only a fraction of the total range of activities of the eight men in 1971, the Commission nevertheless believes it to be sufficient to justify initiation of war crimes trial proceedings.
The Commission took the decision to compile the investigation report after scrutinising and fully analysing all the information made available. The report was prepared by a competent team, supervised by Shahriar Kabir, which included university teachers, writers and journalists such as Asif Nazrul, Mizanur Rahman Khan, Julfikar Ali Manik, Fazlur Rahman, Probhas Amin, Shahiduzzaman and Eemon Sikdar. The People's Inquiry Commission approved the report before being published.
The Commission has presented the report, in a summarised form, to the Steering Committee of the National Coordinating Committee and requested the latter to publish the full report in a book form. Below is the summarised version of the report, with details of information against the eight accused:
The Accused and the Evidence
Abbas Ali Khan
ABBAS ALl KHAN currently holds the second-highest position in the Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest and most powerful fundamentalist political party in Bangladesh. Until Golam Azam was officially declared to be the Ameer (or Leader) of the party, Khan acted as the chief.
Khan's role in 1971 was against the independence of Bangladesh, and against the spirit of Bangalee nationalism. At the time he was the deputy chief of Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami. Khan gave leadership to para-military forces such as the Razakars, Al-Badrs and Al-Shams, all formed by the Jamaat and like-minded parties in cooperation with the Pakistan army.
The principal aim behind formation of these three forces was to provide battle-field support to the military, gather intelligence about local resistance groups, identify and eliminate Bangalee nationalist elements, and carry out raids on villages involving mass killings, rape, arson and lootings. The Pakistan army enjoyed direct assistance from these para-military forces in its campaign of genocide, which resulted in the death of three million unarmed people of Bangladesh.
Abbas Ali Khan abetted and encouraged the Pakistan army's genocide through speeches at countless rallies, statements to and articles in newspapers etc. Khan also played a leading role in the central "Peace Committee", which was set up to directly and indirectly assist the Pakistan army's campaign in Bangladesh. The "Peace Committee" formed branches all over the country, manned by local leaders of Jamaat and camp-followers. These committees acted as the political wing of the three para-military forces and played an active role in assisting Pakistan army's attempt to brutally suppress the Bangalee people's struggle for freedom in 1971.
Members of the Razakar force under Khan's leadership were given powers equal to those of the regular armed forces. The Razakars, after a short course of training, carried out widespread killings, rapes and looting in villages.
According to reports in the press during 1971, Khan became a minister in the cabinet of Quisling governor M A Malek, after taking part in a series of stage-managed parliamentary by-elections. The seats put up for by-elections were all held by members of the Awami League, the nationalist party which won a landslide victory in the 1970 general elections. The seats were declared vacant by the Pakistan military junta after the Awami League was banned on Mar 26, 1971.
Khan assumed the office of the minister for education in Malek's puppet government on Sept 17, 1971. Golam Azam, one of the principal war criminals of 1971, congratulated this cabinet and said, "I hope this cabinet will be able to do more than what the 'Peace Committees' have been able to do so far" (source: Speeches and Statements of Killers and Collaborators of 1971, by Saiduzzaman Raushan, page 45).
On page 47 of the same book of compilations, Raushan quotes Azam as saying at a reception given by Dhaka city branch of the Jamaat in Hotel Empire that, "Jamaat-e-Islami considers Pakistan and Islam one and the same. So, Jamaat members would not consider life worth living if there was no Pakistan. That's why Jamaat is working to bring back confidence and sense of security among the people by working through "Peace Committees", by sending leaders to join Razakar and Al-Badr forces, and through other means. With this aim in mind, Jamaat workers have compelled two senior leaders to become ministers".
On Nov 25, Abbas Ali Khan said in a statement, "I have no doubt that the Indian army has began a shameless aggression in several fronts under the guise of the Mukti Bahini with the despicable aim of swallowing East Pakistan (The Mukti Bahini or liberation army, formed by Bangalee nationalist civilians and Bangalee members of the Pakistan army who rebelled after the military crackdown began on the night of Mar 25, 1971). Our armed forces alone cannot carry on this war. It is the duty of every citizen to strengthen the hands of our soldiers and help save the dignity of our dear Pakistan" (source: ibid, Raushan).
In the same statement, with an oblique reference to Bangalee intellectuals and freedom fighters, he called on people to "stay alert against people engaged in anti-state and destructive activities. Help the armed forces and the 'Peace Committees' to eliminate these elements".
On Dec 10, just four days before the killings of intellectuals reached its peak, he said in another speech, "In the Battle of Badr, only 313 Muslim troops faced over 1,000 Kuraish, and were victorious. Today, 130 million people (the then population of West Pakistan and Bangladesh combined) are fully prepared to defend this sacred land. Our enemies are the rumour-mongers, the agent-provocateurs and those who propagate in favour of India or that imaginary country Bangladesh. You have to beware of these enemies. Smash their poisonous fangs at the first opportunity. Join hands with our Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams forces and dedicate yourself to the task of saving the country" (ibid, Raushan).
Governor Malek formed several sub-committees in December to strengthen the war effort. Khan was put in charge of the information sub-committee, along with A S M. Solaiman.
Khan continued to propagate against Bangladesh even after 1971. In 1980, while addressing his first post- 1971 press conference, Khan showed no remorse for what he or his party had done. Instead, he said, "We did the right thing in 1971" (source: The Killers and Collaborators of 1971 : An Account of Their Where about, compiled and published by the Centre for the Development of the Spirit of the Liberation War, page 63). Even today, Khan continues to conspire against the independence of Bangladesh and against the Bangalee national identity of the people. He continues his efforts to turn Bangladesh into a second Pakistan.
Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizam
MAULANA MATIUR RAHMAN NIZAMI of Pabna district in the north-west of Bangladesh, is currently the secretary general and leader of the parliamentary party of the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Nizami carried out a wide range of activities against the war of independence in 1971. At the time he was president of Jamaat's youth front, the Islami Chattra Sangha (ICS, or Islamic Student's Organisation). Under his direct supervision, and leadership, the Al-Badr force was set-up to eliminate freedom fighters. Nizami was the commander-in-chief of the Al-Badrs.
The principal aim of the Al-Badr, as a para-military force auxiliary to the Pakistan army, was to turn the Bangalee people into a populace, which would believe in Pakistan and the Islamic philosophy of life from a cultural and political viewpoint.
Leaders of the Al-Badr drew-up the blue-print for the murder of hundreds of Bangalee intellectuals across the country. On their orders, hundreds of such prominent men and women of letter and crafts were murdered throughout Bangladesh including Dhaka. Horrifying tales of these killings by the Al-Badr under Nizami' s command have been published in many newspapers and journals at home and abroad.
Nizami exhorted his followers through speeches as well as articles in newspapers. In one such article in the party mouth-piece daily Sangram, he wrote, "The day is not far away when the young men of Al-Badr, side by side with the armed forces, will defeat the Hindu force (enemies) and raise the victorious banner of Islam all over the world, after the destroying the existence of India" (source: Daily Sangram,Nov. 14, 1971).
On April 12, 1971, Nizami joined Azam and other leading collaborators such as Khan A Sabur etc., to lead a procession in Dhaka to declare support for Pakistan. The procession, under the banner of the "Peace Committee", ended with a special prayer for the survival of Pakistan (Daily Sangram, April 13, 1971).
In Jessore south-west of Dhaka, Nizami addressed para-military troops at the district headquarters of the Razakar force, and said, "In this hour of national crisis, it is the duty of every Razakar to carry out his national duty to eliminate those who are engaged in war against Pakistan and Islam" (Daily Sangram, Sept 15, 1971).
People in Nizami's home district of Pabna have brought allegations of direct and indirect involvement in killings, rape, arson, looting etc.
One such person is Aminul Islam Dablu of Brishlika village under the Bera police station (in Bangladesh, all administrative units below the level of districts are organised under a police station, hence all sub-districts are called Thana, or PS). Dablu told the Commission that his father M Sohrab Ali was killed on the orders of Nizami. Dablu further said other people of the area, including Profulla Pramanik, Bhadu Pramanik, Manu Pramanik and Shashthi Pramanik were killed on Nizami' s orders. He said there were several eyewitnesses to those killings.
Abdul Quddus, a freedom fighter from Madhabpur village in Pabna, once spent two weeks in an Al-Badr camp after being arrested. He witnessed plans being discussed and drawn-up by the Al-Badr men under supervision of Nizami, to carry out killings, arson, rape etc.
On Nov 26, a Razakar commander named Sattar guided Pakistani troops to the Dhulaupara village where 30 freedom fighters were subsequently killed. According to Quddus, Sattar carried out his activities under Nizami's orders.
Quddus told the Commission he was able to attend a secret gathering of Al-Badr, which was also attended by Nizami who gave instructions about elimination of freedom fighters. In that meeting, houses of Awami League supporters and possible bases and safe-houses being used by freedom fighters were identified. Quddus said, Nizami gave orders to finish off Awami League supporters and destroy bases of the freedom fighters.
The day after the meeting, Al-Badr forces in cooperation with Razakars, surrounded the village of Brishlika and burnt it to the ground. Quddus said Nizami himself bayoneted to death one Bateswar Shaha in Madhabpur village, situated under Sathia PS, which is now part of the parliamentary constituency where Nizami won a seat in 1991 with a slender majority.
Similar allegations against Nizami was brought by M Shahjahan Ali of Madhabpur village. Ali was captured by Razakars along with several other freedom fighters. The Razakars then proceeded to torture the prisoners with bayonets, finally using long knives to slit their throats. Twelve freedom fighters were slaughtered in that manner, but Ali miraculously survived, although he has a deep scar along his throat and is permanently paralysed.
Ali said one prisoner was burnt alive after being doused with petrol. He said all these killings of prisoners were carried out on Nizami's order.
MUHAMMAD KAMRUZZAMAN is currently the Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh. He is the former executive editor of the party mouthpiece Daily Sangram, and presently editor of the weekly Sonar Bangla.
Information about his anti-liberation activities and complicity in war crimes in 1971 have been gathered from newspapers of the time, authoritative books on the history of the war and from testimony of eyewitnesses and victims. In 1971, Kamruzzaman was the leader of the Islami Chattra Sangha in the district of Mymensingh, and he was the principal organiser of the Al-Badr force, which was first formed in the nearby area of Jamalpur.
An article in the Daily Sangram on August 16, 1971, said, "A rally and symposium were organised in Mymensingh by the Al-Badr to celebrate the 25th independence day of Pakistan. The chief organiser of the Al-Badr, Muhammad Kamruzzaman presided over the symposium held at the local Muslim Institute. According to a wire service report, speakers at the symposium issued strong warnings about those involved in the conspiracy to destroy the country"
In the research-based historical book, Killers and Collaborators of 1971: An Account of Their Whereabouts, compiled by the Centre for the Development of the Spirit of the Liberation War, more light is thrown on the role of Kamruzzaman in 1971: "As soon as Al-Badr was formed in Jamalpur as a volunteers' organisation, the Jamaat leadership realised that their student wing could be turned into an armed force, and used as a special squad to carry out killings of intellectuals, in addition to carrying out general war duties. First, activists of the Islami Chattra Sangha in the entire district of Mymensingh were organised as the Al-Badr and given weapons training. Kamruzzaman was in charge of this organisational work. Within a month, Kamruzzaman incorporated all the cadres of the ICS into the Al-Badr" (page 111- 112).
One Fazlul Huq of Sherpur area, father of a martyr, told the Commission that sometime in June or July in 1971, his son Badiuzzaman was taken away by an 11-member Al-Badr squad led by Kamruzzaman. Huq said his son was taken to the Pakistan army camp in nearby Ahmednagar and murdered. After independence, the late Badiuzzaman's brother Hasanuzzaman filed a case at the Nalitabari police station, with Kamruzzaman as the principal among the 18 accused in the murder of Badiuzzaman.
In the same Sherpur area, one Shahjahan Talukdar told the Commission that cadres of the Al-Badr kidnapped his cousin Golam Mostafa on August 24, 1971, in broad daylight. Mostafa was then taken to the local Al-Badr camp, which was set up in a house on Surendra Mohan Road of Sherpur town. After brutally torturing Mostafa at the camp, Al-Badr forcibly took him to the nearby Sherry Bridge and shot him dead. Kamruzzaman was known to have ordered the killing. Many others in Sherpur confirmed that the killing of Golam Mostafa was carried out on Kamruzzaman's direct order.
Allegations of torture at the Al-Badr camp in Sherpur were also made by Tapas Shaha, a former student leader of the area. He said men, women and youth of the area used to be taken forcibly to the camp where Al-Badr cadres under direct supervision of Kamruzzaman used to carry out gruesome acts of torture.
For instance, one Majid, at the time an elected office-bearer of the town council, was taken to the camp and kept inside a darkened hole for a whole day.
In the middle of May, the then head of the Department of Islamic History and Culture at Sherpur College, Syed Abdul Hannan was paraded through the streets of the town, totally naked, with his head shaven and a "garland" of shoes around his neck. Kamruzzaman and his cohorts dragged the professor around the town in mid-day, beating him with leather whips as he was dragged, Tapas Shaha told the Commission.
Ziaul Huq, a former town leader of the Awami League said, he was taken by three Al-Badr men on August 22 at around 5pm. He was then kept at the camp for two days, in the darkened hole. He said, the camp or torture centre was being run by Kamruzzaman. He was released after being told to leave the area, otherwise he was told he would be killed, Huq told the Commission.
Emdadul Huq Hira, a former freedom fighter and currently a leader of the Jatiya Party, said his home was burnt down by Pakistani troops who were being guided by Kamruzzaman. He told the Commission that the troops set up five bunkers in the premises of his home, and used a litchi tree in the courtyard to tie up prisoners before shooting them dead.
Another eyewitness Musfiquzzaman, currently a teacher at the Haji Jal Mamud College in Sherpur, said that homes and business establishments at Tin Ani Bazar were looted in the middle of August in the presence of and under the leadership of Kamruzzaman.
One eyewitness, who worked as a driver of trucks, which were used to carry troops as well as prisoners and dead bodies said, that Kamruzzaman guided Pakistani troops to the house of a freedom fighter identified only as Honta. The troops burned the house down, the driver said.
There were also allegations that Kamruzzaman organised and led robbery gangs in the area.
A former minister in the cabinet of late president Lt. Gen. Ziaur Rahman (1977-81), ABDUL ALIM served as the chairman of the "Peace Committee" in the district of Joypurhat in the north-west of the country during 1971. Information about his war crimes and anti-liberation activities have been gathered from newspapers of the period, historical books and from testimony given by those who suffered.
Immediately after independence, mass-circulation daily Dainik Bangla published a report on Jan. 12, 1971, under the headline "Brutality of the aggressors have put to shade even the killers of .the Middle Ages". The report said that leader of the Joypurhat "Peace Committee" Abdul Alim of the Muslim League party was once asked, soon after Pakistan president Gen. Yahya Khan had declared an "amnesty" for those refugees who had crossed into India, if members of the Hindu community would face any problem returning to their homes. "In reply he (Alim) said, 'There is no amnesty for them, the moment they return they'll be handed over to the armed forces'. That was an unbelievable comment. If an educated person could harbour such thoughts, then it is fairly easy to gauge what sort of attitude the lesser-educated or illiterate collaborators had towards members of the religious minority community. In effect, those handful of Hindus who came back after Yahya's cosmetic amnesty, never the saw the light of day again".
Another piece of evidence against Alim is given on page 38- 39 of the compilation by the Centre for the Development of the Spirit of the Liberation War. It says, "Abdul Alim himself carried out execution of Bangalees by lining them up in rows and then shooting them. Besides, there are many allegations of Alim killing Bangalees by bayonet charges".
The same compilation titled Killers and Collaborators of 1971: An Account of Their Whereabouts, carried a photograph from a newspaper of the period, which showed a beaming Alim standing beside one Major Afzal of the Pakistan army. Sitting on the ground were a number of freedom fighters, blindfolded and with their hands tied behind their backs. "These freedom fighters were paraded through the town and later shot dead. After liberation, the people of Joypurhat caught Alim and put him in a cage an as exhibit", the caption in the book explained.
Dr Kazi Nazrul Islam of Joypurhat, son of late Dr Abul Kashem, told the Commission that on July 24, 1971, Razakar forces and Pakistani troops raided his father's home and took the latter away. This was done on the orders of Abdul Alim, he said.After torturing Kashem throughout the night, the Razakars took him to Alim at the "Peace Committee" office. Kashem was then sent to Joypurhat police station, and finally to Pakistan army camp at nearby Khanjanpur. On July 26, Kashem was murdered on the order of Alim. Kashem's decomposed body was discovered in a sugarcane field a month later.
The killing of Abul Kashem on the orders of Abdul Alim was confirmed by many others in the area, including elected village council chairman of Bomboo Union Molla Shamsul Alam.
Molla Shamsul Alam, an eyewitness to the activities of Alim, narrated the tale of one freedom fighter, Fazlu who was captured by Pakistani troops after a fire-fight. He said the Pakistanis took Fazlu and two other prisoners to Abdul Alim at the C O Colony hall room. Outside, Alim stood on truck and said to supporters gathered there, "Fazlu's father is a friend of mine. I had repeatedly asked him to dissuade his son from this path, but he didn't. Today he has to be to given his punishment, and that is death. I ask you all to find out those who still talk of Joy Bangla (Victory to Bengal, war-cry of the freedom fighters), in your neighbourhoods and beat them to death".
Fazlu and others were then taken to Alim' s house where they were put through inhuman torture. Later they were taken to the killing grounds in Khanjanpur and murdered.
Molla Shamsul Alam also alleged in his testimony that Alim carried out killings of poor members of the Garoal community. In April 1971, Pakistani troops arrested 26 Garoals and took them to Alim's house. They were kept there for three days, taken to Khanjanpur and killed.
Alam further said that Alim used his house as a recruitment camp for Razakars during 1971. Recruitment of Razakars was one of Alim's duties.
Alam said that in April, Pakistani troops surrounded the Hindu area of Koroikadipur village in Joypurhat and massacred 165 men and women. This raid was carried out on the orders of Alim and Jamaat leader Abbas Ali Khan, he said.
In addition to allegations of murder and torture, there are accusations of rape against Alim. Shamsul Huq, an elected village council chairman, said that Alim always justified acts of murder, rape etc., by Pakistani troops and Razakars. According to Huq, Alim used to say "troops do these sort of things at war time. This is not a fault. We have to accept it in the interest of the country".
Shamsul Alam, an associate professor at Joypurhat College, said that Alim and his cohorts once paraded 26 captured freedom fighters around town on trucks before the prisoners were put to death. Before killing them, Alim put the prisoners on display at Joypurhat College playing field, where he told the students, "You can all understand the fate of these prisoners. They are all going to die. If you students join the Mukti Bahini, then your fate will be the same".
Idris Ali said he entered his home-town Joypurhat on Dec. 5 along with other freedom fighters. They captured the "Peace Committee" headquarters the same day, and discovered various documents, including lists of intellectuals earmarked for elimination. Among the documents was minutes of a meeting held on Dec. 4 and presided over by Abbas Ali Khan, then a minister in the East Pakistan cabinet of Quisling
Governor Malek. The minutes bore Alim's signature.
There were many other eyewitness reports by local inhabitants of the killings, torture and repression carried out in the area by Alim.
Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi
MAULANA DELWAR HOSSAIN SAYEEDI is currently a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami's Majlish-e-Shura or central committee, During 1971, Sayeedi took active part in the organisation of Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams forces in his own area of Pirojpur in the south of the country, in order to assist the Pakistan army.
Sayeedi was not associated with any political party in 1971, but conducted his activities in his individual capacity as a 'maulana' or Islamic scholar. There are allegations that he actively helped the Pakistani forces in their campaign of killings, lootings, rape, arson etc., by forming local para-military forces. During the war, he along with four associates formed an organisation called "Fund of the Five". The principal aim of the organisation was to loot and take over property of freedom fighters and Bangalee Hindus. He used to sell these looted property and conduct a profitable business from the sales proceedings.
Allegations against Sayeedi were made by Mizan, a former Freedom fighter. "Sayeedi gave direct assistance and encouragement to Pakistani forces during the Liberation War. He personally looted houses of Hindu families at Parer Hat area in Pirojpur, citing religious strictures as justification of the repression on the Hindus. He broke into the shop of a Hindu trader named Madan and carried all the goods off home. Sayeedi set up shops by the ferry port near Parer Hat with goods looted from shops at Shaheb Bazar market. People of this area still have not forgotten Sayeedi's treachery". (Quoted in the monthly magazine Nipoon, August, 1987).
Abdur Razzak Khan, an advocate in Pirojpur, told the Commission that Sayeedi forcibly took over the home of a local Hindu, Bipod Shaha, and continued to live there during the whole period, He said Sayeedi used to draw-up lists of suspected freedom fighters in the area and supply the names to the Pakistan army camped nearby. Khan also claimed that Sayeedi supplied young girls, abducted from nearby village homes, to the Pakistani camps. Sayeedi acted as guide to the Pakistani forces in their destructive and murderous raid on Parer Hat ferry port. According to Khan, Sayeedi also forced young men of the area to join the AI-Badr force, and any refusal usually led to the killing of the objector.
Similar allegations were brought against Sayeedi by Ali Haider, a member of the Supreme Court Bar and currently a leader of the central committee of the left-leaning Ganotontri (Democratic) Party. He told the Commission that the brother and other relatives of one Himangshu Babu were killed with the direct assistance of Sayeedi. He also said that Ganopati Halder, an accomplished student known in the area for his academic acumen, was also killed by Sayeedi.
Haider said Sayeedi was involved in the killings of many social workers, intellectuals and student leaders of the area. Mid-ranking civil servants posted in the area, who were suspected of sympathising with the cause of Bangladesh, were also picked out to be murdered. One Bhaguathi, accused of supplying information to the freedom fighters by Sayeedi, was tied to the back of a motorcycle and dragged for five miles before being killed, he said.
A former elected village council chairman of the area, M Alauddin Khan, told the Commission that mass killings of intellectuals and students took place in the area at the instigation, encouragement and direction of Sayeedi. He brought further accusations of lootings, particularly of property of local Hindus, against Sayeedi.
According to Beni Madhab Shaha, Sayeedi and his associates kidnapped and killed Abdul Aziz, a non-commissioned officer in the para-military East Pakistan Rifles (the force had joined the freedom war enmasse as soon as Pakistan army operations began on Mar 25). Sayeedi and his men also kidnapped and killed others, including Krishna Kanta Shaha, Bani Kanta Sikdar, Tarani Kanta Sikdar, Beni Madhab Shaha said.
Sayeedi and his cohorts carried out repression on the daughters of Hari Sadhu and Bipod Shaha, she said. Sayeedi, after looting the home of the Talukdars, a locally-influential Hindu land-owning family, kidnapped 25 women from the premises and sent them to the Pakistan army camp.
There are allegations that Sayeedi was involved in the killing of sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Faizur Rahman, father of Humayun Ahmed, a renowned writer and professor of chemistry at the University of Dhaka. The allegations were brought by Sufia Haider and Ali Haider Khan, daughter and son-in-law respectively of Ahmed. They said Pakistani troops killed Faizur Rahman with the assistance of Sayeedi and his associates, who then proceeded to loot the property of the author's father.
Maulana Abdul Mannan
MAULANA ABDUL MANNAN, the president of the Jamiat-e- Mudarressin, an organisation of teachers of madrasas (special schools for Islamic learning from primary level to Grade 12) and owner of the daily Inquilab, the country's second-highest circulated newspaper, was one of the key collaborators of the Pakistani army during the 1971 War of Liberation.
A minister under General Ziaur Rahman after 1976 and then in the cabinet of president H M Ershad, Mannan was also associated with the killings of the intellectuals. He hails from the Devipur village of Faridganj thana under Chandpur district. Mannan's area of anti-liberation activity ranged from Faridganj area in the eastern district of Comilla to Dhaka. In 1971, he was one of the top leaders of the so-called Peace and Welfare Council that was set up to aid and abet the Pakistani occupation forces.
During the war, Maulana Mannan issued several statements in favour of the mass murders being committed by the Pakistani forces. In a statement published in newspapers on 27 April 1971, he said: "Patriotic people of East Pakistan have now come forward with crusading zeal to uproot the armed intruders and the secessionists. With the active support of the people, our brave armed forces have taken control of all the
places." (Source: Killers and Collaborators of 1971: An Account of Their Whereabouts, page 77).
On September 27, 1971 Maulana Mannan, then president of the Madrasah Teachers' Association, led a delegation of the association to a meeting with Lt Gen A A K Niazi, the Zonal Martial Law Administrator for Zone B (East Pakistan) and Commander of the Eastern Command. The maulana gave a copy of the Quran to the general and told him: "We are ready to cooperate with the army for Pakistan's security and to enhance the glory of Islam". The General responded: "Ulamas (Islamic scholars), madrasah teachers and other patriotic citizens can protect the communications network and uproot the anti-state elements'. General Niazi assured full cooperation to them in organising voluntary groups like the village defence forces to face the Indian spies. After the meeting, madrasah teachers and students were inducted into the Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams forces and given military training. (Source: ibid page 77-78).
Maulana Mannan had direct involvement in the killing of eminent physician Alim Chowdhury. The wife of the late physician, Mrs Shyamoli Chowdhury, and his younger brother Abdul Hafiz Chowdhury informed the Commission that some members of the Al-Badr had gone to their house on December 14, 1971. Prior to that, the Al-Badr men had spent about 45 minutes at the residence of Maulana Mannan, the then a tenant downstairs. They took away Alim Chowdhury who never returned.
In the third week of December, Abdul Hafiz Chowdhury filed an FIR (first information report) with the Ramna police station in Dhaka. Police nabbed the absconding maulana from the Azimpur area of the city. Mannan gave a confessional statement that three members of the Al-Badr who were his students picked up Dr Alim Chowdhury.
Mannan had a very close relationship with Brig. Kashem and Capt. Kayum, two key men in the Pakistani army who coordinated the slaughter of the intellectuals. The two officers had come to Mannan' s ground floor apartment only a month ago on the occasion of an Islamic festival at 2:30 am. (Source: ibid page 78)
The story was published in the daily Dainik Bangla in December 1971 under the headline "Where are those three devils?" The History of Liberation War, a government publication, recounts the story in its eighth volume. (Source: ibid page 79).
The Razakar forces organised by Mannan unleashed a reign of terror in Faridganj under the leadership of Khalilur Rahman, an elected chairman of the local village council. They killed innocent Faridganj people, raped their women, burnt their houses and looted their property.
Worst of all, according to popular accounts, Mannan's men took advantage of the situation to wipe out his political opponents, killing them after torture. The Commission got the details of the torture and murders from Aminul Huq Master, president of Thana Action Council in 1971 and the then general secretary of the Awami League's Faridganj chapter, M Abdul Jabbar Patwary and Abdul Awal, both members of the action council.
In their written deposition, they said: "Maulana Mannan's Razakar forces, acting under his instructions, killed innumerable Bengalis in Faridganj including Awami League leaders Abdul Majid Patwary, Haider Box Patwary, Ahmad Ullah Khan, Ishaq Khan, Sultan Khan, Aminullah Khan, local primary school headmaster Nibaran Chandra Das, Haren Chandra Das, Ansar Abdur Rab, Abdul Matin Saut, Sekandar Bhuiya, Abdus Sattar Bhuiya, Upendra Chandra Kannaker, Jageshwar Bhoumik, Mainuddin Khan, Abdul Odud Khan, Habibullah, Eshaq Mir, Akkas Miah, Abu Taher, Ayatullah, Hashim Khan, Hare Krishna Das, Jagabandhu Das, Madan Krishna Das, Nagendra Chandra Kabiraj and Govindra Chandra Das. Hasmati Begum and Arafati Begum, both from the village of Prattashi, were killed after rape."
Abdul Kader Patwary, son of martyr Haider Box Patwary, of Keroa village near the Faridganj market, said that political enmity between his late father and Maulana Mannan dated back to the time of local elections organised by military dictator General Ayub Khan in the mid-1960s. In 1971, Mannan's men came searching for Kader. As the son was not available, the Razakarmen picked up the father, the mother, the brothers and sisters. All but father Haider Box returned home. After three days of torture, Haider waskolled. Said Abdul Kader: "My father was killed on instructions of Maulana Mannan."
M Abdul Jabbar Patwary, son of martyr Abdul Majid Patwary, told the Commission: "Razakars swooped on our house on the night of July 3, 1971. They took away my father Abdul Majid Patwary to Faridganj (thana headquarters) with his legs fastened by ropes. From 10 at night on July 4, they began torturing my father. The Razakars uprooted his beard strand by strand; Later the Faridganj police station officer in charge Oziullah told me that the Pakistani major contacted Maulana Mannan in Dhaka several times after my father was taken there. The major told Maulana Mannan at the time of first contact, 'The man you wanted is with us'. The last time Maulana Mannan ordered 'kill him'. Around at 1 am. on that night he was killed."
M Wajiullah, a businessman from Chandpur, also recounted the story of Abdul Majid Patwary's killing. He was also taken there by the Razakar.
On December 27, 1971 Maulana Mannan was handed over to Ramna police. He was released after influential quarters had intervened. He went into hiding.
A report published on May, 1972 by the daily Dainik Azad and headlined 'Help nab this cannibal" said: Abdul Mannan, the so-called maulana (Muslim cleric), a former general secretary of the Muslim League, a crony of the Peer of Sharshina (a religious leader known as a hated collaborator of the Pakistani army), an organiser of the Razakar-Badr forces, the mastermind of innumerable murders especially in the Faridganj area, is still at large. He is the one who organised the Razakar forces in Faridganj three months after the Liberation War had begun. He had a hand in killing Abdul Majid, the prominent Awami League leader from Faridganj, and Dr Alim Chowdhury of 29/1 Purana Paltan, Dhaka.
ANWAR ZAHID, a leading member of the pro-China East Pakistan Communist Party, (Marxist-Leninist) in the 1960s and a member in the cabinet of president Ershad in the mid-80s, was a collaborator of the Pakistan army in 1971, and acted as an intelligence gatherer for the military during the war.
The probe conducted by the Commission secretariat revealed that Zahid had been working as an informer of the military since the 1960s. Zahid visited West Pakistan in early 1960s, and held series of meetings with military intelligence officials, and received a sum of 500,000 rupees as payment. This information was given to the Commission by Nurunnabi, a former party colleague of Zahid, and Lutfe Alam, a close friend. His association with military intelligence became known within his party circles and he was later expelled from the EPCP (M-L). But he maintained contact with leaders of the party and the EPCP (M-L) later collaborated with the Pakistan army during the war of 1971.
Lutfe Alam, an advocate at the High Court, told the Commission that when the National Awami Party (NAP) led by veteran left-wing campaigner Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, decided to boycott the 1970 parliamentary polls, Zahid and some of his friends resigned from the party. Zahid' s complaint was that if NAP boycotted the polls, then the nationalist Awami League would win, which would lead to the break-up of Pakistan, turning East Pakistan into a province of India. Pakistan military intelligence had similar analysis about the elections and prospect of a League victory.
Zahid became an active informer of the military once Bangladesh's war of liberation got going. Aktar Jahan Begum, the landlady of the house were Zahid lived as a tenant in 1971, said, "Zahid was fanatically against the liberation war. Officers of the military used to regularly visit his house, and stay till late at night. Our neighbours, frightened by Zahid' s close association with the military, asked my husband to tell him to go and rent another house. When my husband asked Zahid to leave, he got very angry and threatened to tell the army. After that, Zahid did not even pay his rent regularly. We could not say anything out of fear. Since they rented a part of our house, and we lived in the adjoining part, his wife and children used to visit us regularly. His wife Laili told us that there were regular secret meetings with army officers and leaders of political parties opposed to the liberation war in her house. Laili said Zahid was particularly friendly with one Major Siddique Salik. There were other officers, like Major Malik, Captain Chowdhury etc., who visited their house regularly".
Jamal Nasser, son of the landlady, said, "I used to be friends with Zahid's daughters Shoma and Antu. They used to always brag about their dad's friendship with army officers. Shoma also said that Zahid used to have regular rows with his wife over his hobnobbing with army officers. Shoma said her mother often called Zahid a 'killer' and a 'crony' and other names".
One Atiqur Rahman Khan was a neighbour of Zahid at the time. His son Syed Ahammad Khan told the Commission, "Zahid used to always propagate against the liberation war and tell us to join the Razakar force. I used to visit his house regularly and often saw leaders of political parties and army officers having meetings there. I got meet Major Salik personally".
It is apparent from the above testimony that Zahid used to conduct his intelligence work through Major Salik. Siddique Salik was top intelligence officer, who worked under the guise of the military's public relations officer.
Haider, a journalist working for the daily Jahane Nao, a newspaper published during the war period, said Zahid once organised a reception party at the National Press Club in honour of this Major Salik. "Zahid was the first to invite Salik to the press club, to facilitate gathering of intelligence about the freedom fighters from working journalists", he said.
Prior to the liberation war, Zahid was the chief reporter of English-language daily The People. The editor of the paper, Abidur Rahman also told the Commission about Zahid' s closeness to intelligence officers, particularly Salik.
During the war, Zahid also worked as a supplier of provisions to the Pakistan army. This was confirmed by Haji Selim, son of Sobhan Sardar, a prominent wholesale businessman at Shyam Bazar, a major wholesale outlet of perishable items. Selim said, "Zahid used to buy large amounts of goods from our shop. My father told me that Zahid was a journalist, who was now engaged in supply work for the army, after the army burnt the paper down. He collected all his supplies from our shop".
One indication of Zahid' s anti-liberation activities came from a small item of news published in the daily Purbadesh, on Oct 12, 1971, which informed its readers that "the general secretary of NAP Mashiur Rahman and former joint secretary Anwar Zahid met with leaders of the Pakistan People's Party in Dhaka on Oct 11 Monday. Maulana Kawser Niazi, publicity secretary of the PPP said that the talks had been fruitful".
It may be mentioned here that the PPP, like the Jamaat-e-Islami, also backed the Pakistan army's campaign against the people of Bangladesh.
Abdul Kader Molla
ABDUL KADER MOLLA, currently the publicity secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami, was known as a "butcher" to the Bangalee people in the Dhaka suburb of Mirpur during 1971. Mirpur at the time was mainly populated by non-Bengali Muslim migrants from India, many of whom were among the most ardent champions of the Pakistan army's actions in Bangladesh.
One of the largest mass graves of people butchered by Pakistani troops and their allies was discovered in the Shialbari area of Mirpur after independence. Local people told the Commission that Molla was behind the killing of thousands of Bangalees in Shialbari and Rupnagar areas of Mirpur during the war. According to local inhabitants, Molla began his killing spree even before the army had begun its operation.
On Mar 6, a public meeting was arranged in front the Ceramic Industries plant gate at Mirpur Section 6, to press for demands of the Bangalee people. As the people raised the nationalist slogan Joy BangIa (Victory to Bengal), narrated M Shahidur Rahman who was present at the meeting, Kader Molla and his gang attacked the meeting with swords, machetes and other sharp weapons, injuring many.
M Feroze Ali, a resident of Block B of Mirpur Section 11, told the Commission that his brother Pallab Tuntuni, an 18-year old student, was killed on the orders of Kader Molla. The young man had been active supporter of the nationalist leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's call for non-cooperation movement against the Pakistan government from the 7th of March, and that was why his name was pencilled into Molla's hit-list.
On Mar 29, Molla's hitmen kidnapped Tuntuni from another part of the city and took him to Mirpur. The boy was then dragged from one part of Mirpur to another, and back again, with his hands tied behind his back. At a big playing field used usually for major religious congregations, Tuntuni was tied to a tree and left for two days. Later, Molla' s men returned and chopped off the boy's fingers. On April 5, a week after being kidnapped, Molla ordered his men to shoot Tuntuni dead. The boy's dead body was left dangling from the tree for another two days as a warning to others in the area, before being taken thrown in a mass grave with seven other bodies, Feroze Ali said.
Another eyewitness to Molla' s criminal activities in 1971 was M Shahidur Rahman Chowdhury. He told the Commission that Razakarmen under the command of Kader Molla brutally murdered woman poet Meherunnessa in October in Section 6 of Mirpur. He said one Shiraj, who lived in the poet's home, lost mental balance at the sight of the murder. Shiraj still suffers from psychological disorder, Chowdhury said.
Witnesses further told the Commission that Molla organised local non-Bengali people of Manipur, Sheorapara, Kazipara areas of Mirpur into armed groups under his own command. With these forces, Molla organised killings of thousands of Bangalees at various killing fields of Mirpur.
THE INVESTIGATION conducted by the National People's Enquiry Commission has proved the legitimacy of the demand for the trial of the eight accused. It has been established that they can be tried under domestic as well as international laws, on charges of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, conspiracy, abetment and complicity in criminal activities.
The historic war crime trials of Nuremberg and Tokyo form the basis for all international laws regarding trials of war criminals. After that, various covenants, declarations and human rights documents of the United Nations have laid stress on the need to ensure trial of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Because of this moral obligation to ensure trial of war criminals, many countries of the world have enacted their own laws regarding such crimes. In Bangladesh, the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act was enacted in 1973 to ensure trials of war crimes, crimes against humanity, against peace and perpetration of genocide.
The 1973 Act describes any action which imposes war on a people, killings, rape, torture, detention, destruction or looting of property or aiding and abetment of or complicity in or conspiracy to commit these crimes, for reasons of political beliefs, religious faith, race, language and culture, as war crimes, crimes against humanity and peace, and genocide.
The Act has provisions for the formation of special tribunals and it makes it permissible for the use of newspaper reports of the war period, written documents such as books etc. as evidence. The Commission, after scrutinising the evidence against the eight accused and the relevant laws, have come to the conclusion that these war crime suspects can be tried under the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act and relevant sections of the Bangladesh Criminal Procedure Code.
In order to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh, it is necessary to bring these killers, collaborators and war criminals to justice. Today, Bangladesh has a democratically elected government in power. The government and all opposition political parties are talking about establishing democracy in the country. The Commission believes that it would not be possible to establish democracy, rule of law or human rights, by avoiding the trial of those who participated directly or indirectly in the Pakistan army's campaign of genocide, rape, arson, looting etc. On this score, the principal responsibility to ensure trial falls on the shoulders of the government. Only the government has the power to ensure the trial of any crime.
The Commission recommends that these trials take place under the provisions of the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act of 1973. In addition the Commission recommends that all laws relevant to the subject, which have been repealed in the past, be revived and arrangements be made so that trials can take place under those laws as well.
National People's Enquiry Commission, Bangladesh
Dhaka, 26 March 1994
2nd Report on the findings of the People's Inquiry Commission on the activities of the War Criminals and the Collaborators
(Summary of the investigation published on 26 March 1995)
'National Co-ordinating Committee for Realisation of Bangladesh Liberation War Ideals and Trial of Bangladesh War Criminals of 1971' announced its programme to unveil the misdeeds of the war criminals of 1971 at a rally on March 26, 1993 while observing its first anniversary of the public trial of prime accused war criminal Golam Azam.
A national committee, hereby called, the 'National People's Inquiry Commission', was constituted to investigate into the activities of the leading war criminals and to determine the logic for their trail.
Poet, women leader and human rights activist Begum Sufia Kamal was made the chairperson of the committee while writer Shawkat Osman, educationist Khan Sarwar Murshid, Justice Debesh Bhattacharya, Justice KM Sobhan, poet Shamsur Rahman, Professor Anupam Sen, Professor M A Khaleq, former lawmaker Advocate Salahuddin Yusuf, Air Vice Marshal (retd.) Sadruddin Ahmed and Barrister Shafiq Ahmed were made member of the committee.
The country bust into protest when Gulam Azam, the prime collaborator of the 1971 Pakistani occupation forces and war criminal, was made Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh on 29 January 1991. The fanatic party violated the country's constitution and undermined once again the spirit of the liberation war by announcing a Pakistani citizen, Azam, the Ameer of its party. As the government was unheeded about the matter, country's renowned personalities have came together and formed a committee to resist the collaborators and uphold the spirit of the liberation war i.e. secular democracy. Jahanara Imam was made chief of the organisation.
Based on the investigation report, Golam was found guilty on ten specific account that is eligible for capital punishment by a public -trial at Sarwardi Uddyan on March 26, 1992. Then, the movement against the fundamentalism geared up with an intensified demand of banning on the fascist fundamentalist politics of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and other radicals. The people's Inquiry Commission was formed in March 1993 in this direction.
The commission on the first phase decided to investigate allegations of criminal activities of eight well known war criminals and come up with major disclosure on March 26, 1994 at a public rally. On the second phase the commission decided to continue investigation against eight more notorious persons 1) S A M Solaiman, 2) Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury, 3) Maolana Abdus Sobhan, 4) Maolana AKM Yusuf, 5) Mohammad Aen-ud-din, 6) Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, 7) ABM Khaleque Majumder and 8) Dr. Syed Sajjad Hossain.
The Commission gave responsibility to writer-journalist Shahriar Kabir for documentation of newspaper reportings, historical books and also to conduct a physical investigation. It asked Kabir to report back to the commission. A group of young journalists including Julfiker Ali Manik, Emon Sikder, Mehedi Hasan, Provash Amin, Barrister Sarah Hossain, Javed Hasan Mahmud, Asaduzzaman, Abu Junaed Seneka, Faezuddin Ahmed, Umme Habiba Sumi, Faiz Ahmed Setu and Mohammd Reza extended their support to the investigation process. On march 23, 1995 the commission finally approved the draft report and handed to the National Co-ordinating Committee to make it public.
The Commission abandoned field level investigation into allegation against Dr. Syed Sajjad Hossain as he died during the investigation process. Part of his anti-Bangladesh activities during the liberation, which was published in the newspaper during the 1971 and '72 and some government documents, were attached with the report. It was learnt through the investigation that the rest seven were still hatching various conspiracies against the country and were creating panic situation in their respective areas. As a result many people harassed in their hands during the war, have requested not to disclose their names fearing that their lives could be endangered.
The people's Inquiry Commission observed that the major information could not be recovered due to non-cooperation by different government agencies and many evidences were destroyed. The minority Hindu community, the prime target of the Pakistani occupation forces and their collaborators, was still panic-stricken for socio-political adversities. As many of the Hindus left the country during this period, one of the commission had no other option but to testify their neighbours. Therefore, this time also the nature and extent of crimes committed by the killers and collaborators were partially disclosed like the previous report. The extent of crimes is more than that of the allegations.
The accused and the Evidance
A S M Solaiman
A S M SOLAIMAN, son of Md. Jonab Ali, Village - Boydder Bazar, Post Office - Boidder Bazar, Thana - Soanargaon, Dist - Narayanganj. At present : 20/1, Pallabi, Thana - Pallabi, District - Dhaka. He is the president of Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Party now.
Solaiman as the minister of Malek cabinet of with the portfolio of Labour, Social welfare and Family Planning and as chief of the district coordination committee presided over a meeting with DC office, police officers and other communities on December 8, 1971. The meeting expressed firm determination to maintain law and order and took some decision.
From the very beginning of the war, Solaiman was very active. In a statement on April 8, 1971 he called upon the then armed forces for 'bringing back normalcy in the country by fighting the anti-social and anti-state elements'. On May 7, he also called upon the members of the Peace
Committee at a meeting to 'check all common people and anti-state elements' in a bid to catch the freedom fighters. On November 15, 1971, he told newsmen in Karachi, "Razarkers were doing praise-worthy and they should be called the national heroes." (Genocide '71 : An Account of the Killers and Collaborators, Edited by Dr. Ahmad Sharif, Qazi Nur-uz-Zaman, Dr. Serajul Islam Chowdhury & Shahriar Kabir, published by Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka, February 1987)
Inhabitants in Sonargaon brought allegation against Soliman of direct or indirect involvement in killing, looting, torching, raping and various forms of atrocities. President of Aminpur Union Awami League and an elected Union Parishad Member, Mohammad Tayebur Rahman, narrated formation of Razaker Bahini by ASM Solaiman in 11 unions of Sonargaon thana.
Tayebur informed Solaiman had appointed every chairman of the then Union Parisads as chairman of the 'Peace Committee'. Among them (1) Raja Moulavi of Aminpur (2) Shamsul Haq Khan of Perojpur (3) Alauddin of Boiddyer Bazar (4) Gafur Sarker of Sammandi (5) Abdul Mannaf Bhuiyan of Jampur UP (6) Hossain Khan of Kanchpur (7) Bakhar Ali of Sathipur (8) Nasiruddin of Noaga (9) Abdur Rob Milkey of Barodi (10) Rafiqul Islam of Mograpara and (11) M A Jaher of Shomvupura Union Pariashad were appointed as chairmen of the Peace Committee. Soanrgaon Peace Committee chairman ASM Solaiman led them as their leader. M A Zaher was also appointed the General Secretary and Raja Moulavi as Organising Secretary of Sonargaon unit of Peace Committee (PC). Alauddin and Mohiuddin Mollah, a brother of Solaiman, acted in absence of Solaiman.
Tayebur Rahman also informed that Jamir Ali Kerani, an associate of Solaiman, handed over a Hindu girl named Bibha Rani to the Pakistani occupation forces in mid-May .The military-men released her in a critical condition after raping overnight. Bibha is now in India. Ali also led an attack on the home of one Narendra Patel in Boiddyer Bazar. Tayebur at that time risking his life reached at the scene and rescued five girl from the scene and taken to a nearby village for their safety, he said.
Tayebur said that the Soliaman-gang had attacked on a freedom fighters' meeting on May 24 at Boiddyer Bazar. Tayebur was caught by the PC members twice and was released on request from a non-bengali postmaster at the area. The gang, he said, set on fire homes, more than hundred in Sammanadi, ten in Companiganj, five in Shatipur and the entire homes of Pirojpur village. Jamir and Allauddin executed the plan of Solaiman from women supply to torching.
Moshammat Azimon Nahar of Haria Gopindi village told the commission that her husband Siddiq Mia was killed on December 14 near Adamjee area. She alleged Soliamn's gang and local razakars were involved in her husband's killing. She demanded trial of her husband's killing.
An Awami League worker, Sumon, of Hatkopa village when appeared to the commission said, the Pakistani forces attacked his home with the help of Tekka Shamsu, a trust-worthy associate of ASM Solaiman, in a bid to catch the young women of his home. He said the women saved them hiding in a nearby jute plantation.
Freedom fighter Nurul Islam of Basan Daradi village said, geographically Sonargaon was ab important area and all goods were being transported through the Sonargaon river port. At the very beginning of the war Solaiman and his associates, especially the Razaker Bahini, used to loot the goods like rice, sugar, flour, oil, fertiliser, tea etc. from various vehicles. Traders lodged a number of complaints at freedom fighter's camp in Sammanadi village, according to Islam.
He said being informed by the Razakars, Pakistani forces unleashed attack on the training camp of the freedom fighters at that village. During the attack the Razakars on their way took away two young girls from the village. But none of the girls returned. He said many such incidents were suppressed social humiliation apprehending.
According to eyewitnesses account, Razakars set their eyes on the Hindu dominated Shahapur, Baninathpur, Joyrampur, Vattapur, Barirghubhanga, Baghmucha, Panamnagar, Boiddyer Bazar, Satbhayapara, Ramganj and Panchabati for the Hindu girls. As per the directions from Solaiman, Jamir Kerani and Shamsu led the Razakers to supply women to the Pakistani camp at Boiddyer Bazar.
Apart from this, the commission learnt that a number of incidents of firing, looting and killing took place in the area perpetrated by the Razakars led by Solaiman and his associats.
Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury
SALAHUDDIN KADER CHOWDHURY, son of late Fazlul Kader Chowdhury, Village-Gahira, Thana -Rawzan, District-Chittagong. He was a minister in the autocratic General Ershad's cabinet. He is now leader of the National Democratic Party.
Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury opposed Bangladesh's independence and took a number of measures against the freedom fighters during the Liberation War of 1971. He used to provide all out support to the Pakistani occupation forces. His area was grater Chittagong district. He along with his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury, brother Giasuddin Kader Chowdhury organised a number of collaborators against the liberation war. They had been out and out anti-Bangladeshi elements and perpetrated whatever they wanted to do in the name of opposing the freedom struggle.
The vernacular daily news paper 'Dainik Bangla' published a report on 8 January 1972 featuring the activities of Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury and his family. The paper reported "Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury and his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury brought a good number of young boys at Good Hill's residence in Chittagong and unleashed repression on them. Salahuddin in association with Pakistan army killed one Faruk, a then student leader, at his residence on July 17, 1971. A platoon of Pakistan army was deployed in front of Salahuddin's residence from the beginning up to the end of the war. The common people caught him and his father when they were trying to flee with a mound of gold on
December 18, 1971, two days after the Pakistan army surrendered to the joint forces."
Shakhawat Hossain Majnu, a prolific author, in his book "Torture Cells and Killing Grounds in Chittagong during the Liberation War" gave a vivid description of the torture cells. He writes about the Good Hill's residence of Salahuddin, "The torture centre was being led by extremists of the Muslim League. The home belongs to Fazlul Kader Chowdhury. He was not involved with the crimes at the early stage of the war. But, from May inspired by the Muslim League extremists, he started assisting the Pakistani forces. At one stage his Good Hills residence become a torture centre of the pro-liberation forces. It is heard that his son Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury was directly involved with the torture. Pro-liberation elements were being caught from different city points and beaten up mercilessly after being tied. Omar Faruk, a well known freedom fighter was killed at this home. Members of the Al-Badr forces had directly been given support to the torture."
In a book tilled 'Bangalir Muktijudhher Itibritto', written by Mahbubul Alam described the torture. On page 69 of the book, the author writes, "Nizamuddin got free from Jail on November 18, 1971. He says I was arrested on July 5. I was taken to Fazlul Kader. I was tied back-folded and beaten up for continuous five hours by Fazlul Kader's son Salahuddin, associate Khoka, Khalil and Yousuf. I got unconscious. I was sent to the stadium on July 6. Until then I was given neither food nor water. Once I wanted water, they said that you became a Hindu, we will not give you water even. On July 13, I was taken to the jail. At this time I was being beaten hanged from upside down. When I was dropped once in a day was being provided with two pieces of bread and water, but they didn't feel offended to kick my back. Then I started to pray regular to avoid torture. But the soldiers did not spare me. They kicked me on my back saying, fuck you, you became a hindu, what pray you need to offer."
In the same book, the writer told about an incident of April 13 an attack on Kundeshawri Bhaban. "Principal Notun Chandra Singha was murdered in the Kundershawri Bhaban on April 13. From the morning, the military started firing from Gahira High School. They set up mortars on the roof of the school and was continuing firing toward Kundeshwari Bhaban. The principal had sent all other members of his family to some safe place but he remained with the Kundeshawri temple.
Presuming that the military might come, the principal placed some chairs and tables on the courtyard to welcome the soldiers. Two jeeps, followed by four tanks, had droved down at Kundeshwari Bhaban. Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury was one of them accompanying the soldiers. The principal made the soldiers understand that what he had done for the people of that area and what his plan was for the future. The military went back. But Salahuddin again brought them back saying that this Malaun (infidel) should be killed as per his father's order. On that day seventy years old Principal Notun Chandra Shingha set an example of strong courage. He stood before the statue of god without any fear. They shot three gunfire, the principal laid down in front of the temple and died praying. Both the Muslims and Hindus got shocked with the killing, but Salahuddin prevented the Muslims not to deplore the death of Malaun (Hindu). Then Salahuddin gang killed two more people, including one college student Dayal Hari Biswash in Gahira." (page 254-255)
Local Awami League leader Abdullah Al Harun filed an election case against Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury on April 25, 1991, Kader was the prime accused of among the seven. The petition narrated the wrongdoings of Salahuddin during the war of liberation and said, "the top accused does not bother the law and he believes in terrorism and unleashing attacks and terrorise the locality. He has neither honour to the election code of conduct nor he has regard for the people's vote. .. the petitioner said the aforesaid person was accused charged with collaborator act of 1972. He was accused in a case (No. 13.4.72) under the act. He was also charged in Notun Chandra Singha murder case 41 (1) 72 and 43 (1) 72. Immediately before the emergence of Bangladesh, this criminal had fled the country, and later he managed to take a seat in the Ershad's cabinet", said the petitioner.
On depositions from witnesses, investigators charge-sheeted all the accused of Notun Chandra Singha murder case filed in 1972 (FIR NO. U/S/302/120(13)/298 BPC). The case started on 29 January 1972. Of the accused Salahuddin's father and five others were in jail and the five rest were absconding.
Sheikh Muhammad Jahangir, a son of a martyr freedom fighter, told the Commission that Salahuddin Kader in association with the Pakistani army killed his father Sheikh Muzaffar Ahmed and brother Sheikh Alamgir on April 17, 1971. They had taken his father and brother near Hathazari military camp and killed there. After the independence, Jahangir also filed a case against Salahuddin and his gang.
Chittagong Jatiya party leader Harun-or-Rashid was the liaison officer the liberation war of 1971. He said that, he had formed a publicity cell in favour of the freedom fighters to collect information about the anti-liberation forces. He made a report on Salahuddin's activities including killing and looting, and handed over to Sector Commander Maj. Rafiqul Islam.
Harun came to know that Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury, his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury and other members of their gang had tortured on uncountable number of freedom-loving citizens and killed them at the Good Hills residence. They also supplied innocent Bengali women to the Pakistan Army for their gratification. He said Salahuddin fled the country immediately before the country gained independence. He was shot at by the freedom fighters while running away.
Even after 24 years of the liberation war, Salahuddin still killing innocent people and terrorising entire Raujan area in Chittagong. Agency reports will qualify those allegations. Still, the NDA leader is accused in three criminal cases filed in Roujan police station.
Moulana Abdus Sobhan
MOULANA ABDUS SOBHAN, son of late Noimuddin, Pathartala, Pabna, is the member of the fundamentalist Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami's central Shura (committee) and Member of Parliament elected from Pabna Sadar in 1991, and deputy leader of the Jamaat's parliamentary group.
Sobhan had been serving the Jamaat-e-Islami as acting Ameer (chief) of Pabna during the liberation war and he nominated for the so-called by-election in 1971. He was the vice president of Pabna unit of Peace Committee, an organisation of Pakistani collaborators. Field level investigation revealed that Sobhan organised the Al-Badar, Razakar and formed the PC and had been involved in a number of criminal activities. As he was fluent in spoken Urdu, he easily managed to come close to the Pakistanis and become a policy maker of anti-liberation forces. He supervised almost every activities of the Razakers and Al Badars.
Sobhan was implicated in a special tribunal case for his activities against the freedom struggle and killing of the freedom fighters, innocent people and assisting in killing 3 million people, assaulting and repressing women and other heinous activities. He was asked to attend before the Sub-divisional magistrate court on February 29, 1972. But he fled to Pakistan with Gulam Azam at that time (Source : 'Ekattorer Dalalra' by Shafiq Ahmed and Advocate Shafiqul Islam Shibly, Patahrtala Pabna).
Like Dhaka, Pakistani forces also unleashed attack on innocent people of Pabna on the very night of March 25, 1971. But the situation in Pabna was a bit different. An aged woman told the investigation commission that the Pakistani forces caught Pabna's eminent personalities searching their homes and brought to their camps on the night. On March 26, she said that she had been seeing an army lorry stopped on the road at Rayer Bazar area. More or less 100 people were tied with rope behind the van. They were being dragged. Their clothes have been tore, blood letting from injury marks. She witnessed Mowlana Sobhan along with three Pakistani soldiers in the van. Among the dragged people, the woman could recognised Pabna's eminent businessmen Syed Talukder, Professor Harun of Edward College, dentist Amulendu Dakshi and Awami League Leader Advocate Aminuddin. The soldiers came down from the lorry and burnt some national flags hoisting on the building tops. The woman preferring anonymity said the soldiers killed all the people they dragged to various points within March 29. She farther said that, on 27 March she went to visit Amalendu Dakshi's residence. Dakshi's wife informed her, it was Maolana Sobhan who came to pick her husband.
Senior Advocate of Pabna Judge Court and former Public Prosecutor Awami League leader Golam Hasnaen said, "Sobhan took the Pakistan Army to the residence of Awami League leader Aminuddin." Sobhan organised all the Al Badar, Razakar and Peace Committee members. Daily Ittefaq's Pabna correspondent Anwarul Haq and Advocate Shafiqul Haq Shibly said that Sobhan inspired the Pakistan army to kill Pabna Zilla School teacher Kochimuddin. He also directed killing of freedom fighter and musician Shadhon, informed Shadhon's mother Sufia Begum.
Retired principal Md. Abdul Ghani of Kalachand Para, Pabna, said Sobhan along with the Pakistani soldiers raided hindu-dominated Kuchiapara and Shankharipara on April 17. Eight people including Sudhir Chandra Chowdhury, Ashok Kumar Shaha, Gopal Chandra Chowdhury were killed during the operation. The army torched as many as 25 homesteads, looted valuables and assaulted the Hindu women.
He said a strong group of collaborators led by Sobhan, Ishaq, Tegar and many others killed over 1000 people and torches homes in Faridpur thana in Pabna district in the month of May. The second largest mass killing in Pabna took place in Sujanagar. It was one of the dawn of the first week of May, the Pakistanis' killed some 400 people at Nazirganj in Satbaria, according to freedom fighter Zahirul Islam Bishu. He said his Mujib Bahini had arrested one of the gang leader Moulavi Modhu in late May and later killed him. Modhu during the interrogation admitted that before they go for attack they had a meeting ahead of the attack at Sobhan's residence. He said before any attack the collaborators used to had meeting at Sobhan's residence.
Maulana A K M Yousuf
MAULANA A K M YOUSUF, village-Rajoir, Thana-Saran Khola, District-Bagerhat. Presently he is the Naeb-e- Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. He was one of the leading anti-liberation organizers during the 1971 war. As part of his role in the anti-liberation activities he became a member of Malek cabinet during the war. He first formed 'Razakar Bahini' comprising 96 members of Jamaat-e-Islami in Khulna district. He became the leader of the Jamaat well before the freedom War started. He started his anti-Bangladesh role and cooperating the Pakistani forces as soon as the war began on March 25. His responsibilities were to issue statement, organize the anti-liberation forces and lead attacks, killing, looting and arson by his groups. He also helped the members of the Pakistani forces to do the same.
His statements published in the newspapers where he opposed the liberation war and urged the collaborators to resist the pro-liberation forces. On October 10, 1971, this anti-liberation leader praised activities of the Razakars in a public rally and said, "we will have to make the people understand that the so-called Bangladesh concept is created by Indian authorities is valueless. Naxalaits, separatists and criminals are trying to create anarchy in this part of the country. They should be ousted by root." (Genocide '71, Muktijuddha Chetana Bikish Kendra, Dhaka, February 1987).
On October 26, at a gathering in Sylhet, he said, "a section of ignorant youths inspired by Indian propaganda has been unleashing separatist activities on our land. You spread over every nook and corner of the country to resist this movement and uproot the concept of so-called Bengali nationalism". He warned the allied forces saying, "Had there been any war imposed on them, then heroes of Razakar and soldiers would face with all courage." On November 12, 1971, he praised the Razakar activities while visiting Razakar camps in Shatkhira. He commented, "the Razakars have been doing their best to resist the spies and intruders of India". He also assured the Razakars that he would provide them with government jobs.
On November 28, while he was discussing with newsmen in Karachi, Yousuf said that the Razakar have been working hand in hand with the soldiers. He demanded supply of modern arms to the hands of razakars to eliminate freedom fighters. "now the number of Razakar and Al-shams stood to some 1 lakh. Apart from them, there were Mujahid bahini also. They all are in guarding the borders along with the soldiers. The razakars have been operating successfully resulting in reduce of criminal activities". (Ibid)
Guljan Bibi, a mother of martyr Shahid Seikh, informed that one Razakar Khaleq Member asked her son to join in the Razakar Bahini during the monsoon of freedom War. As Shahid rejected his proposal, the member called him out a month after. On the same day she learnt that her son was handed to the Pakistani forces. Later she rushed to the founder of the Razakar force, Maolana A K M Yousuf and requested him to free his son. At that time Khaleq Member was also with Yousuf who turned down her request. Guljan Bibi did not get her son back, later she came to learn that Pakistanis killed her son. Guljan demanded trial of her son's killing.
Yousuf along with his associates Khaleque and Adam Ali had killed number of males and females during the war. They raped many women. These information were disclosed by the citizens of Khulna, but still after 24 years of independence they are tight lipped for the sake of their own security. One of them told the commission that Yousuf forced many people from his own area Morelganj to join in the Razakar force. He forced them to work against the liberation war. Yousuf's headquarters was the then 'Ghost House' which is now being used as district Anasr camp. This camp was the prime torture centre. Apart from this they used to torture the freedom-loving people at Khulna Shipyard, Bhashani Biddalaya and many other camps. They also killed people at such places wherever they felt comfortable. They handed over the innocent Bengalis to Pakistani Army stationed at the prime camp Circuit House, and other makeshift camps at Helipad, Naval base, hotel Shahin, Asiana Hotel etc. The Razakar and other fundamentalist forces maintained regular connection with the camps. They used to kill the people at Gallamari, forest Ghat, Station road and some other places.
Mohammad Ayen ud Din
ADVOCATE MOHAMMAD AYEN UD DIN, son of Late Md. Moinuddin, Village and Post Office : Shaympur, thana : Motihar, District : Rajshahi. He serves the Muslim League as Secretary General and work as an advocate in the Dhaka High Court. The Muslim League leader resorted to do whatever needed to oppose the creation of Bangladesh. He was the chairman of the then Peace Committee (PC) Rajshahi region and he contested by-election to the then provincial assembly from Rajshahi-13 constituency. Under his direct supervision the Peace Committee, Razakar Force and Al Badar Force were constituted in Rajshahi at that time. He and his associates led all the killings outside the battlefields in the northern Rajshahi area.
"They have been able to face the enemy with unlimited tolerance. Normalcy restored all over Rajshahi. Peace Committee was formed at every sub-division, thana and union levels," he told the Daily Azad in an interview on May 31, 1971, after the formation of the PC. On August 4, 71 the Daily Sangram reported - "The closing session of the first batch training of Razakar Bahini held at Jinnah Islamic Institution. The trainees took oath on the Koran. In his speech, Ayenuddin advised the Razakar Bahini to do their duties sincerely for an integrated Pakistan. Local personalities and military officers attended the function."
His kin and kith and locals alleged that Ayenuddin indulged him in killing, torching, looting, repressing the women, forced joining to the Razakar forces and appointing of some persons against their willingness for bridge vigilance. He was also charged with looting assets and property of innocent people who were handed over to Pakistani military by him.
Freedom fighter Advocate Abdullah-hil-Baki and Professor Zinnatunnesa told the Inquiry commission that Ayenuddin started announcing by microphone in the city that if anyone catches Baki, live or dead then he will be awarded Taka 10,000. Ayenuddin, in a letter (D-44 CPC Date 13-09-71) to the then army captain, Mohammad Ilius Khan provided a list of 10 people from the city with a request for immediate arrest. Baki was one among the ten.
Baki said one Abdur Rahman (son of Solaiman, village- Ramchandarpur, thana-Paba), listed in the letter, was arrested from Parila village in September. During a army raid in that area Pakistani forces killed some 30 people at the village and torched some 150 homesteads.
Zinnatunnesa said Ayenuddin killed one Harunur Rashid of Chandua village in Tanore thana because of rivalry over property in April. Then he took away Harun's nine-year old girl and 13-year old daughter-in-law and then handed over to the Pakistani soldiers, according to an eyewitness of Harun killing.
Awami League district unit vice president and central member of Bangladesh Krishak League Abdus Sobhan told the investigation team that Ayenuddin helped arrest of nine people, including Rahimuddin Sarker, his son Pintu. These nine was later killed at a killing field behind the Joha hall of Rajshahi University.
In late November, he said, Ayenuddin in association with the army picked up Aminul Haq Chowdhury, a hotel owner, Mokbul Chowdhury, Advocate Taslim Uddin, Contractor Altaf Hossain, Nowrozuddula Khan, Advocate Abul Hossain and many others. On December 18, after two day of the victory, the bodies of most of them were recovered from a sandy shoal in the Padma. There were no injury mark on the bodies and it was assumed that all of them were buried alive in the sand.
Sobhan said that Ayenuddin had grown up at their home and studied from there. "But he killed my father in 1955 when he was hardly a student of intermediate. He was implicated in the murder case, but he was spared because two of the juries, from the then Muslim League, helped him to escape.
Preferring anonymous, one local said that the Pakistan army raided a village and arrested several hundred people from there. Ayenuddin came to the scene and separated five of them and asked the army personnel to kill them. Two of them were killed in the hand of Pakistanis, the rest three were released. These five had been campaigning against him during the provincial election held under Pakistani army junta.
Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid.
ALI AHSAN MUHAMMAD MUJAHID, now is one of the assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. He was the president of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Shangho and chief of the Al Badar Bahini in Dhaka in 1971. As per his commitment to the party, Mujahid helped in the massacre, looting and women repression during the 71. He led the killings of the intellectuals only two days ahead of the victory of the war.
His anti-liberation activities were evident from his statements published in the then newspapers. While addressing a function of the Chhatra Shangha in Faridpur on September 15, '71, he had announced that they should have captured Assam before taking control of India. He called upon his cadres to be prepared for such actions. He was quoted in a report published on October 15, as saying that Mujahid criticised Bhutto, Kawsar Niazi and Mufti Mahmud for their objectionable comments on the Razakars and Al Badars. "The youths of the Razakars and Al Badar forces and all other voluntary organisations have been working for the nation to protect it from the collaborators and spy of India. But, recently it was observed that a section of political leaders like Z A Bhutto, Kawsar Niazi, Mufti Mahmud and Asgar Khan have been making objectionable remarks about the patriots." He called upon the government to take measures to stop such activities by the sections of leaders. And at the same time he urged the students to come back to classes and help the army to bring back normalcy.
In another statement on October 25, Mujahid called upon for observing Badar day on 17 Ramadan and said, 'We are now facing anti-islamic forces. We will today take oath for the interest of the nation to establish Islam in the country.' (Genocide '71 Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka February 1987).
Mujahid used to stay at various homes in Fakirerpul and Nayapaltan in Dhaka during 1971. His main place was 181, Fakirerpul, Garompanir Golli of some Feroz Mia. This Feroz was a commander of Razakar forces, according to eyewitness accounts of Jatiya Party leader Abdus Salam, journalist GM Gaus, freedom fighter and columnist Mahbub Kamal.
This home was not only the den of local Razakars, but all the anti-liberation forces had been thronging to this house to make their plan. Razakars were used to use this home as their training centre and meeting place. Many people were taken at this home blind folded and they were being subject to torture. Mujahid was the gang-chief. As he was the party chief, his associates were bout to execute his directives.
GM Gaus said that they have known Mujahid as a leader of one Islamic organisation. He used to stay on rent in the area and tried to convince the general students to join in his party from '70. After March '71, the entire Razakar Bahini was formed in the area under his direct supervision. He nominated Feroz Mia as the local commander and organised armed training for the recruited Razakars. Mujahid was also responsible for collecting money and arms. During the mid-way of the war, Mujahid started operation at various places and picked up intellectuals and resorted to torture on them. Even he led the operation in Dhaka University to kill the teachers, scientists and the writers, said Gaus.
Abdus Salam echoed Gaus saying as a central leader Mujahid's activities were spread all over the city. "I recovered a number of important documents and photos from Firoz Mia's home. The evidences included list of Dhaka's Razakars, their bio-data and various photographs of their activities. Later, the documents were lost during police raids at my home," he said. After the victory, Firoz Mia's home was used temporarily a camp of the freedom fighters.
Columnist Mhabub Kamal termed the home as the den of conspiracy. The Razakers used to raid the homes of freedom fighters from this home. He said the residence of the then union Awami League leader Jobed Ali was raided several times. "They also searched home of one of my friend, Nazu, who was missing since August at that year. It is assumed that Nazu was killed by Feroz Mia and his gangs." He said during the liberation war one of his cousin, Mohsin, came in Dhaka in search of a job. Mohsin used to offer his daily prayer at the Mosque where Mujahid asked him to join the Razakar Bahini. Later, we sent him to Rajshahi secretly to save him from Mujahid.
According to locals, Firoz Mia formed a Razakar platoon of 300 who had been killing innocent people. They resorted to repression on the women in the area. One of the noted footballers who was taken by Feroz's men said he was brutally tortured at that home. He found a number of hapless young women tied up in houses. They were being tortured everyday. (Genocide '71 Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka February 1987)
Photos of anti-liberation activities by Mujahid were also brought up in the newspapers. A photo caption contained in the daily Azad that the Al Badar chief Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid speaking at a street corner rally of the Al Badars issuing warning to the rumour creators.
His anti-liberation activities and acts of terrorism were not stopped in the 1971. Mujahid has been continuing the same until today. According to a news report in the weekly Bichitra that in 1978 Shibir activists killed their opponent student leader, Abdus Sobhan. It was learnt that Mujahid led the killing.
ABM Khaleq Majumder
ABM KHALEQ MAJUMDER, son of Abdul Majid Majumder, Village: Dohatta, thana : Haziganj, District: Comilla. He was office secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Dhaka city unit, during the 1971 liberation war. Now he is not so active in politics. He helped the Pakistani forces as per his party belief during the war and he also killed many a people by his own hands. He had served as a commander of the Al Badar Bahini of the Jamaat during the war. He is charged with the intellectuals' murders.
On December 14 evening, he along with his associates forcibly picked up the then joint-editor of daily 'Sangbad' and noted litterateur Shahidullah Kaiser from 29 Kayet Tuli. Kaiser did not returned, even his body was yet to be recovered. Shahidullah's wife Saifunnahar alias Panna Kaiser, Nasir Ahmed, husband of Shahidullah's youngest sister, younger brother Zakaria Habib and his wife Neela Jakaria witnessed the incident.
According to their witnesses account, due to the war a number of Kaiser's relatives took shelter at his home. On the December 14 evening, Zakaria along with some others had been trying to listen to the 'Sawdhin Bangla Betar Kendro' (A radio station operated by the freedom fighters) programme. The entire area darkened due to blackout. At that time someone knocked loudly the outside door. Zakaria rushed to first floor. Shahidullah Kaiser was taking tea at the drawing room at that time, Neela was accompanying him. Informing that someone came at the door, Zakaria came down. Gripped by fear, Kaiser's sisters and other switched on all the lights on the ground and first floor. Kaiser was trying to make a phone call, but the intruders entered breaking the door inside. They first knocked Obaidullah (younger brother of Shahidullah) down by the rifle butt. The masked-men went up to Shahidullah's bedroom. Identifying himself, Shahidullah wanted to know the reason for their coming.
Getting Shahidullah's identity, one of the masked-men exclaimed saying "Mil gaya" (we got him) in Urdu and hold him by his hair. The others caught him by shirt, by hand and dragged him out. At that time wife Panna Kaiser, sister Shahana Begum and brother-in-law Nasir tried to rescue him from the cluster of the abductors. At one stage, Shahana tore one of the mask-men and everybody known him. Later, during identification of Khaleq Majumder in the court they said this man had gone to abduct Shahidullah Kaiser on the evening of December 14.
As the abductor was identified on the spot, he kicked Shahana and forcibly dragged out Shahidullah and Jakaria Habib. Shahidullah tried his best to resist the abductors, but failed. Finally, the abductors released Zakaria on the road but took away Sahaidullah by a waiting jeep. Khaleq Majumder was also the inhabitant of the area. He used to live at 47, Agamosi Lane.
Imam of the Kaet Tuli Mosque Ashrafullah who now works for the Banani graveyard said, on December 14, 1971 afternoon Khaleq Majumder wanted to know when Shahidullah Kaiser was available at his home. In response, Ashrafullah told him that he did not know. He even did not know that Majumder was looking for Kaiser to kill him. On that night, the Imam had been watching that Kaiser was trying hard to resist the abductors and was screaming 'help, save me'. And a number of people were picking up in a jeep. On December 17, Ashrafullah informed it to Nasir Ahmed and Zakaria Habib.
On December 14 night, Nasir Ahmed informed about the abduction to Kotowali police station, but no service could be provided due to a lack of police administration at that time. After the country was freed from the occupation forces on December 16, Nasir Ahmed was looking for Khaleq Majumder and filed a case with Kotowali thana.
Khaleq Majumder fled from his home fearing reprisal for his activities. Nasir Ahmed, Zakaria Habib and others went to his home. But he was not there. They found a revolver loaded with bullets, plenty of important documents with names of military officers and members of the Al Badar forces. These evidences were handed to the investigation commission formed to find out the culprits of intellectuals' killing. In fact: Nasir Ahmed along with a number of freedom fighters from Sector-2 had been looking for Khaleq Majumder to get Shahidullah Kaiser back. Finally, Majumder was arrested from one of his relative's home in Malibagh. The case proved that he abducted Shahidullah Kaiser to kill him and the court in its verdict on July 17 (1972) awarded Khaleq Majumder seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of taka 10,000. As Khaleq was convicted based on specific charges, he was out of the purview of the general amnesty announced by the then Prime Minister Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
But with the changed political scenario, Khaleq Majumder got acquitted from the case on appeal to the High Court on April 29, 1976 during the Ziaur Rahman's regime.
In his book "shikol Pora Dingulo' Khaleq himself admitted that he was the secretary of Jamaat office of Siddique Bazar. His party was against the independent war in 1971. They had been assisting the Pakistani forces by mobilising Razakar and Albadar forces and directly involved themselves in genocide, rape, arson, torching etc. He admitted that due to his loyalty to the party he had to implement those things. He also admitted that he was well know with the other war criminal Matiur Rahman Nizami and operation in charge of intellectuals' killing Chowdhury Moinuddin. It was also learnt from his book that he maintained very good relations with the Pakistan army. In his book that came out 14 years after the independence, he expressed his hatred to the Bangladesh's freedom. When seventy million people were expressing their joys with the victory on December 16, 1971, the writer of the book was feeling frustrated saying "Alas! Everybody was surprised .on that very morning one Jamaat leader sent me to the Jamaat office in a hurry my mind was disappeared with disappointment listening to the news. " (Shikol Pora Dinguli, page 10). He continued writing "I was not certain about my future. But I did not feel well. The day was ended with a long breath of frustration. The night fell down with all its darkness. The fortunate star bade good-bye from our sky etc."
Dr. Syed SaJJad Hossain
PROFESSOR SYED SAJJAD HOSSAIN was the Vice-Chancellor of Rajshahi University during the early times of the war. He was appointed VC of Dhaka University in May 1971. He was active against the war of independence at that time. He had been trying to save his misdeeds by issuing press statements praising the activities of the Pakistan army. And he had used to maintain regular lesion with the army.
On January 10, 1972, a 'Dainik Bangla' report said "Dr. Sajjad had foreign trip to propagate against Independent Bangladesh within a few days of attacking by notorious Yahia's army on the innocent people." One of his letters were published in the London Times newspaper. The letter carried, "It was not right what is being told to be happened in Bangladesh." He opined in the letter that the Pakistani forces were not responsible for the post-March 25 killings of the teachers of Dhaka University inside the campus. They died of cross firing of two groups. Mentionable, those who died on March 25 and 26 by the army were the classmates of Dr. Sazzad.
A letter with his signature published in the Dainik Bangla newspaper on January 10, 1972 is still being considered as one of the proof of his collaboration with Pakistan. He wrote, according to the office order of London Embassy of Pakistan I should be paid money as per the following rate.-a) 50% D/A from June 24 to July 1, 25 pound 25 penny as per three pound 75 penny per day. b) 150 pound cash. My hotel fare will be given latter.
Dr. Sajjad was the number one signatory of a statement of 55 professors, writer, journalists and artists denouncing the war. The joint statement was published in the papers on May 17, 1971, which condemned the liberation New York based International University Emergency
Committee for extending its support to the Bangladeshi people. The statement termed the war as an Indian mission and the university was being used for political purposes. It also said that extremists in the Awami League has been making the simple demand of autonomy into an independent state. "We are frustrated with the demand we had been expressing our grievances within the one sate structure.. we never wanted such happening, as a result we become very sorry and frustrated with the developments."
According to the investigation by the National People's Inquiry Commission, the logic of trial for the aforesaid eight persons are valid. As they have been assisting an organised force for massacre, war crime, anti-human right activities and indulging them in the similar crimes, their trial is under the purview of international and national laws. The international laws of war crime are base on the historic Nuremberg and Tokyo trial. And the United Nations conventions, declaration, and the human rights documents emphasised trial of war crimes and crimes related to the violation of human rights.
Many countries have introduced laws for trial of the war criminals to uphold the moral base. Bangladesh is not an exception. Bangladesh introduced the International Crime (Tribunal) Act 1973 was defined to try the offences under anti-peace, war crimes, human rights violation and genocide related crimes. The law also defined the crime of imposing an unusual war on a section of people despite having political, religious, race, language and cultural differences, and resorted to killing, raping, detaining, destroying their property, and also help doing this misdeeds. The act suggested formation of special tribunal and to take evidences from the then newspapers, media as witnesses.
The Inquiry Commission after reviewing the offences of the accused and related laws came to a conclusion that these criminals can be tried under the International Crime (Tribunal) Act 1973.
To make the sovereignty of Bangladesh safe and sound, to ensure peace, human rights and dignity these criminals (killers, collaborators and war criminals) must be brought to the justice. Bangladesh has an elected government in office now. The government as well as the opposition parties are talking about human rights. The National People's Inquiry Commission believes without trying those who assisted the Pakistani occupation forces during the unequal war, those who resorted to killing, torture, rape, torched homesteads, and participated directly or indirectly to the massacre, democracy and human rights cannot be upheld. In this regard the responsibility goes to the government. The government has the authority to try such offence.
The commission strongly recommends trial of these offences under the International Crime (Tribunal) Act of 1973. In this connection this commission recommends further to revival of the laws, repealed herewith, and ensure trial of the offences against humanity.
National People's Inquiry Commission
Dhaka, 26 March 1995