Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bangladesh 1971 War Crime Charges: Delawar Hossain Sayedee

11 out of the 20 charges against Sayedee are to do with minority genocide and forced conversion; others against tolerant Muslims and Awami League Party activists.

Daily Star: Dhaka

The charges brought against Sayedee The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday brought 20 charges against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for committing crimes against humanity and others during the 1971 Liberation War. The Daily
Star collected detail of the charges. The charges are published here in brief.

1. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee as a member of peace (shanti) committee carried secret information to the Pakistan army about the gathering of a group of people behind the Madhya Masimpur bus-stand under Pirojpur Sadar and he took the army to the spot who killed 20 unnamed people by firing.

2. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee along with his accomplices accompanied with Pakistani army looted goods of members of Hindu community living Masimpur Hindu Para under Pirojpur Sadar. They also brunt the houses of Hindus and opened fire on the scared people who started fleeing from the scene that left 13 people killed.

3. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee led a team of Pakistani army to Masimpur Hindu Para and the team looted goods from the houses of two members of Hindu community - - Monindra Nath Mistri and Suresh Chandra Mondol - - and completely destroyed their houses by setting fire. He also directly took part in the large-scale destruction by setting fire on the roadside houses of villages - - Kalibari, Masimpur, Palpara, Sikarpur, Razarhat, Kukarpara, Dumur Tola, Kalamtola, Nawabpur,Alamkuthi, Dhukigathi, Parerha and Chinrakhali.

4. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee with his accomplices accompanied with
Pakistani army looted houses of members of Hindu community and opened fire indiscriminately on them in front of Dhopa Bari and behind the LGED Building in Pirojpur that left four persons killed.

5. Sayedee declared publicity to arrest Saif Mizanur Rahman, the then deputy magistrate of Pirozpur Sub-Division when the magistrate organised a Sarbo Dalio Sangram Parishad to inspire people to join the Liberation War. On May 5, 1971, Sayedee along with his associate Monnaf (now deceased), a member of Peace (santi) committee, accompanied with Pakistani army picked up Saif from the hospital where he was hiding and took him the bank of river Baleshwar. On the same date and time, Foyezur Rahman Ahmed, sub-divisional police officer, and Abdur Razzak (SDO in charge of Pirojpur) were also arrested from their workplaces and taken to the river bank. Sayedee as a member of the killer party was present there and all three government officials were gunned down. Their bodies were thrown into the river Boleshwar. Sayedee directly participated and abetted in the acts of abduction and
killing of those three officers.

6. On May 7, 1971, Sayedee identified houses and shops of the
Bangalees belonging to Awami Legue, Hindu community and supporters of the Liberation War at Parerhat Bazar under Pirozpur Sadar. Sayedee as one of the perpetrators raided those shops and houses and looted away valuable including 22 seers of gold and silver from the shop of one Makhanlal Shaha.

7. On May 8, 1971, Sayedee led a team of Pakistani army to the house of Nurul Islam Khan and he identified Nurul Islam as an Awami League leader and his son Shahidul Islam Selim a freedom-fighter to the army. Sayedee then detained Nurul Islam and handed him to the army who tortured Nurul Islam. His house was then looted away and finally set on fire.

8. On May 8, 1971, Sayedee and his accomplices accompanied with
Pakistani army raided the house of one Manik Posari at Chitholia under Pirozpur Sadar and caught his brother Mofizuddin and one Ibrahim. Sayedee's accomplices then burnt five houses there. On the way to Pakistani army's camp, Sayedee instigated the members of occupational force who killed Ibrahim by gun-shot and his body was dumped near a bridge. On the other hand, Mofiz was taken to army camp and tortured. Sayedee directly participated in the abduction, murder and

9. On June 2, 1971, armed associates of Sayedee under his leadership accompanied with Pakistani army raided the house of one Abdul Halim Babul at Nolbunia under Indurkani Police Station and looted away valuables from Halim's house. The team then burnt the house to ashes.

10. On June 2, 1971, Sayedee's armed associates under his leadership accompanied with Pakistani army burnt 25 houses of a Hindu Para Umedpur village under Indurkani Police Station. At one stage, a victim Bisabali was tied to a coconut tree and was shot to dead by Sayedee's accomplice.

11. On June 2, 1971, Sayedee led a team of Peace (shanti) Committee members accompanied with Pakistani army to raid the houses of Mahbubul Alam Howlader (freedom-fighter) of Tengra Khali village under Indurkani Police Station. Sayedee and the team then detained Mahbubul's elder brother Abdul Mazid Howlader and tortured him, and looted cash money, jewellery and other valuables from the houses.

12. One day a group during the war 15-20 armed accomplices under
Sayedee's leadership entered the Hindu Para of Parerhat Bazar under Pirozpur Sadar and captured 14 Hiddus who all were supporters of Bangladesh's independence. The fourteen were then tied with a single rope and dragged to Pirojpur and handed over them to Pakistani Military where they were killed. Their bodies were thrown into the river.

13. About 2 to 3 months after the war starts, one night some members of Peace Committee under Sayedee's leadership accompanied with the Pakistani army raided the house of Azhar Ali of Nalbunia village under Pirozpur Sadar Police Station. They then caught and tortured Azahar Ali and his son Shaheb Ali. The team then abducted Shaheb Ali and ultimately he was taken to Pirojpur and killed.

14. During the last part of the War, Sayedee in a morning led a team of Razakar Bahini consisting of 50 to 60, to attack Hindu Para of Hoglabunia under Pirojpur Sadar. Seeing the attackers, the Hindu people managed to flee but one Shefali Gharami failed to do that. Some members of Razakar Bahini entered into her room and raped her. Being the leader of the team Sayedee did not prevent them in committing rape upon her. Sayedee and members of his team also set-fire on the swelling houses of the Hindu Para.

15. During the last part of the war, Sayedee led 15 to 20 armed
Razakars who entered the Hoglabunia village under Pirojpur Sadar
Police Station and caught 10 members of Hindu religion. The attackers then tied all of the members of Hindu religion with a single rope and dragged them to Pirozpur and handed over them to the Pakistani army where they all were killed and the bodies were dumped in the river.

16. During the time of liberation war in 1971, Sayedee led a group of 10-12 armed Razakars and peace committee members and surrounded the house of Gowranga Saha of Parerhat Bandar under Pirojpur Sadar.
Subsequently, Sayedee and others abducted three women and handed over them to Pakistani army at Pirojpur where they were confined and raped for three days before release.

17. During the time of liberation war, Sayedee along with other armed Razakars kept confined Bipod Shaha's daughter Vanu Shaha at Bipok Shaha's house at Parerhat under Pirojpur Sadar Police Station and regularly used to go there to rape her.

18. During the liberation war, one Bhagirothi used to work in the camp of Pakistani army. On one day, after a fight with the freedom fighters, and at the instance of Sayedee, Bhagirothi was charged for passing information to the freedom fighters and killed.

19. During the period of Liberation War, Sayedee being a member of Razakar Bahini, and by exercising his influence over Hindu community of Pirojpur converted 100-150 Hindus of Parerhat and other villages and compelled them to go to the mosque to say prayers.

20. One day in the last part of November 1971, Sayedee got the
information that thousands of people were fleeing to India in order to save their lives. Then, a group of member of Razakar Bahini consisting of 10-12 armed forces, under Sayedee's leadership, attacked the houses of Talukdar Bari at Indurkani village and detained total 85 persons and looted away goods from there. Of them, all but 10-12 persons were released on taking bribe negotiated by Fazlul Huq a member of Razakar Bahini. Male persons were tortured and female persons were raped by Pakistani army deployed in the camp.
The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Friday, December 9, 2011
60 Hindus forced to 'become Muslims'
War hero testifies against Sayedee
Staff Correspondent
Resuming his deposition yesterday, Ruhul Amin Nabin told the International Crimes Tribunal that Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee and other collaborators had compelled 60 Hindus to convert to Islam during the Liberation War in Pirojpur. He said they also helped the Pakistani army rape several women in 1971.
Freedom fighter Nabin, who was 21 years old at the time, said some of the Hindus of Parer Haat area, forced to convert, fled to India as they were unable to deal with the humiliation. They, however, returned after the liberation of Bangladesh and followed their own religion, he said.
Now 61, Nabin began his deposition Wednesday and resumed and completed giving his testimony yesterday. He is the second prosecution witness to testify against Sayedee, who has been charged with crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 war.
Detained Sayedee, 71, was present in the dock of the tribunal during the testimony.
A three-judge tribunal led by its Chairman Justice Nizamul Huq recorded the testimony of Nabin. It fixed December 11 for cross-examination of Nabin and Mahabubul Alam Hawlader, who completed his deposition Wednesday.
There are 66 more prosecution witnesses yet to testify in the case.
Nabin yesterday narrated how during the Liberation War Sayedee helped the Pakistani occupation forces loot valuables from Awami League activists, freedom fighters and the Hindu community in Pirojpur.
The Pakistani occupation forces went to Pirojpur district on May 3, 1971. Around 52 members of the force arrived in 26 rickshaws in Parer Haat area of Pirojpur on May 7, Nabin told the court, a fact which supports the statement of Hawlader.
Sekandar Ali Shikder, Danesh Ali Mollah, Mawlana Mosleh Uddin and Sayedee, among other collaborators, welcomed the Pakistani force led by one Cap Ejaz. Fluent Urdu speaker Sayedee managed to form a close and friendly relationship with the Pakistani occupation forces, Nabin said, echoing Hawlader's statement.
With the help of collaborators, the Pakistani force looted over 50 houses and shops in the area, including the shop of a local businessman Makhan who had around 20kg of gold (22-sher) and silver jewellery buried under his shop.
They looted eight more houses in Pirojpur's Badura Chithalia village the following day and torched them, he said.
“On a Thursday sometime in mid-June, I took a boat to Parer Haat to gather rations for freedom fighters…It was a haat day [weekly bazaar]…I stood in front of Masud's store and observed the atmosphere of the surrounding area,” Nabin said.
It was then that he saw Sayedee in the distance. “He was wearing a panjabi and lungi,” said Nabin, adding, “He carried a corrugated iron sheet in one hand, and brass utensils in a wooden basket on his head.”
Nabin watched Sayedee, then known as Delawar Hossain Shikder, make his way to a shop, which used to be known as “Panch Tahabil”.
He directed passerby Moulvi Nurul Haque's attention towards Sayedee and said, “See, Delawar Saheb is taking away the loot.”
Nabin, who carried a revolver then, turned angry and told Nurul Haque, “I will shoot this robber right now!”
“Nurul Haque stopped me and said if I created a scene the Pakistani occupation forces would torch the remaining houses too and commit genocide.”
Nabin then made his way towards another shop in the bazaar area where he learnt from locals that Madan Saha's shop had been looted. He then saw Sayedee appear with five men. They began demolishing Madan Saha's shop.
The looted goods were then taken to Sayedee's father-in-law's house in the area, Nabin said.
According to Nabin, the collaborators took over two shops in Parer Haat to store the booty. Sayedee was in charge of the shops, he said.
Nabin told the court that during their stay in Parer Haat the Pakistani occupation forces raped a number of girls with the help of the collaborators.
The collaborators also forced 50 to 60 Hindus to convert to Islam. The victims included Rony Saha, Makhan Saha, Dr Ganesh Chandra, Dr Sudhir Chandra Roy, Gouranga and Ajit Chandra Roy, he added.
“Everyday, they were taken to mosques and forced to pray five times. They were also forced to learn two to four suras [verses of the holy Quran] and were provided with materials for prayers.”
Unable to accept the insult, many of them escaped to India, he added.
On June 21, 1971, Nabin along with a number of freedom fighters went to India to receive guerrilla training. On his return, he took part in armed warfare against the Pakistani occupation forces, Nabin said.
Along with his fellow freedom fighters, Nabin returned to Parer Haat on December 18. The freedom fighters then searched different houses to get hold of the collaborators.
While some were arrested, identified collaborators like Danesh Ali, Maulana Mosleh Uddin and Sayedee could not be apprehended, he said. “We came to know that they had fled,” Nabin told the court.
Some looted goods were recovered from the houses of the collaborators. They were handed back to their original owners.
On behalf of the freedom fighters and the victims of the atrocities committed during the Liberation War by the Pakistani occupation forces, Nabin pleaded for justice.

The Daily Star, Thursday, August 9, 2012
Sayedee's Trial
ICT accepts statement of witness who died recently
Staff Correspondent
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday accepted the statement of another witness, passed away recently, as evidence against Jamaat leader and war crimes accused Delawar Hossain Sayedee.
With this, the number of witnesses against the Jamaat leader will be 28, excluding Investigation Officer Helal Uddin.
Meanwhile, the tribunal extended the deadline of cross-examining Helal Uddin to August 13 from yesterday as Sayedee's counsels sought for more time to complete quizzing him.
Mentioning that witness Mukunda Chakraborty died three and a half months ago, Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali in his petition urged the tribunal to accept his statements as evidence in line with the rules of evidence of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973.
According to Rule 19(2) of the Act, a tribunal may receive in evidence any statement recorded by a magistrate or an investigation officer being a statement made by any person who, at the time of the trial, is dead or whose attendance cannot be procured without any amount of delay or expense which the Tribunal considers unreasonable.
On March 29, the tribunal accepted statements of 15 absentee witnesses, given to an investigation officer, as evidence against Sayedee and refused to do the same for 31 other depositions.
Mukunda, who died on April 21, was one among the 31 witnesses.
Opposing the petition, defence counsel Mizanul Islam questioned why the tribunal would accept the statement even though it was rejected earlier.
Justice Anwarul Huq, one of the three-member tribunal, told the defence, “The state of the witness is different now.” There was no problem to accept the statement as evidence as Mukunda passed away.
Mizanul argued saying that had the witness was so important to the prosecution, then they would have tried to produce him following the rejection. But they did not do it, he added.
Following the hearing, tribunal Chairman Justice Md Nizamul Huq accepted the petition and asked the defence to cross-examine Helal Uddin on the matter.
Nizamul Huq also observed that the defence needed more time to cross-examine the IO as it was not possible to complete by the scheduled deadline, yesterday.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Pak troops shoot after talking to Sayedee
Witness tells war crimes tribunal
Staff Correspondent
Prosecution witness Manik Poshari yesterday narrated before the International Crimes Tribunal how Pakistani soldiers shot his employee Ibrahim after consulting with Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee in 1971.
“They took Kutti [Ibrahim] to the other end of the Pararhaat Bridge [a bridge in Parerhaat of Pirojpur], consulted with Delawar Sikder [now known as Delawar Hossain Sayedee] and shot him,” Poshari told the tribunal. Sayedee stood beside as the body of Ibrahim was thrown into the river.
Poshari while hiding on the other side of the bridge witnessed the murder of Ibrahim, who worked in his house.
Poshari, who claimed to be 27 during the 1971 Liberation War, testified yesterday in a case against Delawar Hossain Sayedee filed in connection with crimes against humanity committed in 1971.
Poshari started giving his testimony yesterday after the three-member tribunal finished recording the deposition and cross-examination of fifth prosecution witness Mahtabuddin Hawlader.
Sayedee, who is now 71, was present at the dock during the proceedings. The Jamaat leader spent much of the time reading a pocket-size book. He was allowed to lie down on the dock as he suffers from back pain.
After Poshari finished his deposition, Sayedee's counsels began cross-examining the witness yesterday and it will continue today.
Yesterday, Poshari, who was a fish trader in 1971, began his deposition by introducing himself. “During the 1971 Liberation War, my age was around 27 and I was in my home at Chithalia village of Parerhaat.”
Poshari said the Parerhaat peace committee was formed with Delawar Hossain Sayedee (who he kept referring to as Delawar Sikder), Sekandar Sikder, Danesh Ali Mollah, Moslem Mawlana, Majhar Talukder and other collaborators.
The peace committee members then went on to form the collaborators' force in the area, he said.
On May 8, 1971, Sayedee, Sekandar Sikder, Danesh Ali Mollah, Mohsin Mawlana, Momin, Hakim Kari, Sobhan Mawlana along with other collaborators and Pakistani soldiers came to Poshari's house in Chithalia of Parerhaat.
“Sensing them approaching, my brothers and I hid ourselves in the woods on the eastern side of our house,” said Poshari. “We watched everything that happened in my house from there.”
Seeing the Pakistani soldiers, Mofizuddin, a cousin of Poshari, and Ibrahim, who used to work in the house, tried to run away.
But they were captured and tied up.
“Then, they looted the rice, paddy, money, gold and other valuables from my house,” Poshari told the court.
While Sayedee, Danesh Ali Mollah, Moslem Mawlana and other collaborators distributed the looted gold and many valuables among themselves, other items including rice, paddy and the furniture were looted by the “public”, he said.
After the looting, under the leadership of Sayedee, the collaborators poured kerosene all over the house. “Delawar Sikder then torched the place...”
According to Poshari, his house had sections--three residential quarters, a granary and a guestroom--and it was valued at Tk 10 lakh in 1971.
He claimed that the burnt corrugated iron sheets, pillars, wood and other remains of the torched house are still there even after 40 years.
After torching Poshari's house, the collaborators and Pakistani soldiers took Mofizuddin and Ibrahim towards their camp in Parerhaat, Poshari said.
“I followed them from afar to the Parerhaat Bridge,” Poshari told the court.
“From my end of the bridge, I saw the Pakistani soldiers consulting with Delawar Sikder and Danesh Mollah.”
Ibrahim, who Poshari kept referring to by his nickname Kutti, was untied and taken to the western end of the bridge.
“They took him to the other end of the bridge. The Pakistani soldiers consulted with Delawar Sikder and shot Kutti who gave a loud shriek.”
Ibrahim's body was then thrown into the river, Poshari said.
Mofizuddin, the other captive, was taken to the camp and brutally tortured there. Between 1:30am and 2:00am the following morning, Mofizuddin escaped from the camp and returned to Poshari's house.
“His whole body was covered with blood and scars,” said Poshari.
Earlier yesterday, fifth prosecution witness Mahtabuddin Hawlader narrated how he saw a collaborator shoot Bisha Bali under Sayedee's orders in Umedpur village of Parerhaat.
“On June 2, 1971, I was on my way to Parerhaat around 10:30am,” said Mahtabuddin.
It was then when he saw Delawar Hossain Sayedee, Sekander Sikder, Mawlana Moslem and other collaborators along with Pakistani soldiers enter the Hindupara (a neighbourhood predominantly Hindu) of Umedpur village.
“I quickly hid myself in the woods on the southern end of the Hindupara,” he said.
He watched the Pakistani army and the collaborators loot around 22 houses including that of Anik Mandal, Nalita Bali, Harendranath Chakrabarti, Muken Chakrabarti, Satish Bala, Chitya Talukder and Robi Talukder among others.
The houses were torched afterwards.
“I saw the collaborators and peace committee members share the looted valuables among themselves,” said Mahtabuddin.
Then the collaborators, led by Sayedee, tied Bisha Bali to a coconut tree and brutally beat him up, he said. “At one point, Delawar Sikder said something in Urdu to a razakar [collaborator], who then shot Bisha Bali,” said Mahtabuddin.
On the same day, he heard that the collaborators also looted the house of Parerhaat's freedom fighter Mahbubul Alam. Mahbubul earlier testified against Sayedee in the tribunal.
During the cross-examination, counsel Mizanul Islam asked Mahtabuddin whether he knew the collaborator who shot Bisha Bali, and whether he knows what happened to Bali's body.
Mahtabuddin said he does not know the answer to either of the questions and he did not try to find out during the last 40 years.
The witness told the counsel that he is currently the Awami League General Secretary of Parerhaat Union.
He later told the counsel that Pirojpur sadar was liberated from the Pakistani army on December 8, 1971, under the leadership of Major Ziauddin and Parerhaat was liberated on the same day under the leadership of freedom fighter Ruhul Amin Nobin, who also testified against Sayedee in the tribunal.
After liberating Parerhaat, Nobin and other freedom fighters captured Mobin, Atahar Ali Member, Abdul Bari Mintu, Habibur Rahman Mridha, Sobhan and other collaborators from the area, he said.
Later, counsel Manjur Ahmed Ansary concluded the cross-examination by suggesting that the allegations Mahtabuddin brought against Delawar Hossain Sayedee in his testimony are false.
The counsel went on to say that Mahtabuddin does not have a profession. And as a local Awami League leader, he falsely testified against Sayedee in a false case under the directive of his MP, and enjoyed government facilities for it.
Mahtabuddin Hawlader responded by saying that it was not true.
The New York Times
World Briefing | ASIA
Bangladesh: Opposition Leader Charged With Crimes in 1971 Independence War
Published: October 3, 2011
Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.
A court charged a prominent opposition politician, Moulana Delwar Hossain Sayedi, on Monday with war crimes in the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Prosecutors said the charges against Mr. Sayedi, a leader of the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami, included rape, murder, arson, looting and forcing Hindu citizens to convert to Islam. If found guilty, Mr. Sayedi, 71, could face death by hanging. His party opposed independence and fought with the Pakistani Army. Mr. Sayedi denied the allegations, saying, “I committed no crime.”
Daily Star, Dhaka

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sayedee in the Dock

Hindus attacked, raped

Prosecution tells tribunal about his links to war crimes

Staff Correspondent
Delawar Hossain Sayedee along with other collaborators kept a Hindu girl confined to her father's house at Parerhat in Pirojpur and raped her day after day during the Liberation War, the International Crimes Tribunal was told yesterday.

The victim, Bhanu Shaha, daughter of Bipod Shaha, left the country after liberation out of fear of public humiliation. She still lives in India, said Syed Rezaur Rahman, a senior prosecutor, while placing the opening statement against Sayedee.
In the tribunal's first trial since its formation on March 25 last year, the prosecution on Sunday got through 61 pages of the statement in court.

Yesterday, Rezaur read out the remaining 27 pages before the three-member panel of judges headed by Nizamul Huq.
On October 3, Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Sayedee, one of the seven Jamaat-BNP leaders detained over war crimes links, was charged with 20 counts of crimes. The charges include genocide, murder, rape, arson, abduction and torture of civilians.

The tribunal will start taking depositions of witnesses on December 7.
Rezaur described the crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Sayedee in 1971 and also the background of the case.

He told the tribunal that Sayedee had led a 50-member team of the Razakar Bahini, an anti-liberation force, in attacking Hindu Para of Hoglabunia under Pirojpur.
Sensing the presence of the miscreants, members of the Hindu community had managed to flee.

The razakars, however, got hold of Shefali Gharami, wife of Madhusudan Gharami, and raped her.
Shefali gave birth to a baby girl after the war but, like Bhanu Shaha, she had to leave for India.

On May 5, 1971, Saif Mizanur Rahman, deputy magistrate of then Pirojpur Sub-Division; Foyezur Rahman Ahmed, sub-divisional police officer and father of famed writer Humayun Ahmed and noted educationalist-writer Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, and Abdur Razzak, SDO in charge of Pirojpur, were taken to the Baleshwar river bank and shot to death.
Sayedee as a member of the killing squad was present there.

Under his pressure, some 100-150 Hindus of Parerhat and other villages converted to Islam and had to go to a mosque, said the prosecutor.
He oversaw the creation of a fund with cash and other property looted by the razakars from the locals, mainly Hindu families. He also issued a Fatwa (religious edict) legalising war booty, said the prosecutor.

He also succeeded in allying himself with the Pakistan army, as he had a good command of Arabic and Urdu.
Sayedee went into hiding after the war but returned to his home district of Pirojpur in 1986. In the guise of an Islamic scholar, he began addressing waz mahfils or religious gatherings to hide his past, Rezaur said.



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