“We have made substantial progress in the cases against them,” said Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, chief investigator of the agency. “It could take a couple more months to move the charges [to the tribunal].”
The two are, however, living in the UK and the US.
Mueen-Uddin, now a successful community activist and Muslim leader in Britain, was allegedly the “operation in charge” of the killings of intellectuals during the Liberation War.
He led the Dhaka unit of Al Badr, one of the forces created to help the Pakistani occupation army and oppose the pro-liberation forces during the war. Ashrafuzzaman Khan co-led the Al Badr unit, said chief investigator Hannan.
Once moved to the International Crimes Tribunal, the two could be officially charged for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of 1971.
According to Hannan, Ashrafuzzaman was one of the masterminds behind the intellectual killings and he directly took part in the killings of many celebrities, scholars, journalists and other intellectuals during the war. A Bangla daily Purbadesh report titled “Nab the butcher of intellectuals” published on January 13, 1972, had a photograph of Ashrafuzzaman Khan.
Mueen-Uddin used to work for the Purbadesh during the war and Bangladesh Observer on its December 19, 1971, issue described him as the “operation in charge” of Al Badr, Dhaka. The New York Times in its January 3, 1972, issue also elaborated how the journalist was linked to the “murder of Bengalis”.
The Telegraph, a UK-based newspaper, yesterday ran a report on Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin titled “Leading British Muslim Leader faces war crimes charges in Bangladesh”.
“Mueen-Uddin, then a journalist on the Purbadesh newspaper in Dhaka was a member of a fundamentalist party Jamaat-e-Islami, which supported Pakistan in the war,” the report said.
“He is accused of being a part of a collaborationist Bangla militia, the Al-Badr brigade, which rounded up, tortured and killed prominent citizens to deprive the new state of its intellectual and cultural elite,” the report said.
His victims include Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury, a prominent scholar of Bengali literature, journalist Sirajuddin Hussain and Ghulam Mostafa, who was a colleague of Mueen-Uddin in Purbadesh newspaper, the report said.
Dolly Chaudhury, the widow of Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury, claims to have identified Mueen-Uddin as one of three men who abducted her husband on the night of December 14, 1971, the report added.
“I was able to identify one [of the abductors], Mueen-Uddin,” she said in a video testimony, reportedly seen by The Sunday Telegraph.
“He was wearing a scarf but my husband pulled it down as he was taken away. When he was a student, he often used to go to my brother in law's house. My husband, my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law, we all recognised that man.”
The widow of another victim also claims that Mueen-Uddin was in the group that abducted her husband, Sirajuddin Hussain, another journalist, from their home on the night of December 10, 1971, the report read.
“There was no doubt that he was the person involved in my husband's abduction and killing,” said Noorjahan Seraji.
A member the group was caught later on and he allegedly gave Mueen-Uddin's name in his confession.
Ghulam Mostafa, a colleague of Mueen-Uddin at Purbadesh, also had disappeared.
According to the report, “Mueen-Uddin's then editor at Purbadesh Atiqur Rahman” in his statement said Mueen-Uddin had been the first journalist in the country to reveal the existence of the Al-Badr brigade and had demonstrated intimate knowledge of its activities.
He said after his colleagues disappeared, Mueen-Uddin had asked for his home address. Fearing that he too would be abducted, the editor gave a fake address.
Atiqur's name, complete with the fake address, appeared on an Al-Badr death list found just after the end of the war, he said in the statement, The Telegraph reported.
“I gave that address only to Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, and when that list appeared it was obvious that he had given that address to Al Badr,” Atiqur said in statements given to the investigators.
“I'm sure I gave the address to no-one else.”
Atiqur Rahman then published a front-page story and picture about Mueen-Uddin, who had by that stage left Dhaka, naming him as involved in the disappearances.
Moving to the UK in the early 70's, Mueen-Uddin has taken British citizenship and built a successful career as a community activist and Muslim leader, the report said.
He was the vice-chairman of the controversial East London Mosque controlled by the IFE. In this capacity, he greeted Prince Charles when the heir to the British throne opened an extension to the mosque, it said, adding that Mueen-Uddin was also closely involved with the Muslim Council of Britain.
A former chairman of the charity organisation called Muslim Aid, Mueen-Uddin is now a trustee at the organisation, which has a budget of £20 million.
Mueen-Uddin, the director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the UK's National Health Service (NHS), “fiercely denies any involvement in a number of abductions and disappearances” during the Liberation War, the report said.
He has claimed the accusations were “politically-motivated” and false, added the report.
Toby Cadman, Mueen-Uddin's lawyer, has told The Telegraph that no formal allegations have been put to Mueen-Uddin and therefore it is not appropriate to issue any formal response.
“Any and all allegations that Mueen-Uddin committed or participated in any criminal conduct during the Liberation War of 1971 that have been put in the past will continue to be strongly denied in their entirety.”
He told the newspaper that for the chief investigator to be making such public comments raises serious questions as to the integrity of the investigation.
“Therefore, the comments by the chief investigator are highly improper and serve as a further basis for raising the question as to whether a fair trial may be guaranteed before the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh.”
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Mozaffor Ahmed gave this deposition to International Crimes Tribunal-2 saying that a team of Razakars, an anti-liberation force, led by Quader Mollah killed at least 57 people at Ghatar Char in Keraniganj on November 25, 1971.
Mozaffor also told the court that the collaborators also torched his residence on the same day.
The three-member tribunal headed by its Chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir recorded the deposition of the first witness after the proceeding began around 10:40am.
Earlier on May 28, the tribunal framed six specific charges against Quader Mollah for his alleged involvement in murders and mass killings during the Liberation War of 1971.
Reading out from the 96-page opening statement on June 20, Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon said that as an organiser of Al Badr Bahani, an auxiliary force of Pakistan occupational army, Quader Mollah directly took part in killing, mass killing, arson and looting during the war.
The Jamaat leader was arrested in a criminal case on July 13, 2010, and later shown arrested in the case for crimes against humanity committed in 1971.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Up to 70 Hindus killed in one day
7th prosecution witness testifies against SQ Chy
A witness to the genocide committed during the Liberation War in his description of wartime brutality yesterday said he had seen bodies of two pregnant women with their half-born babies.
Abbas Uddin Ahmed, seventh prosecution witness in a case against BNP lawmaker and war crimes accused Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 how brutally the Pakistani occupation force unleashed terror on the Hindus of Unsotturpara village in 1971.
About 60-70 Hindus of Unsotturpara in Rauzan in Chittagong were killed in a raid by Pakistani army on April 14, 1971, Abbas said, adding, he lost his friend in that attack.
The witness said he had heard from locals that such killings were also committed in Kundeshwari and Jagot Mollo Para and Salahuddin Quader was involved, but he did not see the BNP leader at that time.
Abbas, 62, chairman of East Gujra Union Parishad of Rauzan, used to live with his family at Unsotturpara village during the War. The majority of people of that village were Hindus in 1971.
Residents of Unsotturpara irrespective of age and race took part in the Liberation War, Abbas said, adding, he used to supply kedgeree for the freedom fighters in Chittagong.
Locals had set up a check post putting barricade on the road for checking vehicles in Unsotturpara, he added.
Abbas said the erstwhile Muslim League's chief Fazlul Quader Chowdhury became furious over the check post while crossing the village in a Volkswagen car as he and his three sons including Salahuddin Quader and Giasuddin Quader had to get down.
"In the evening that day [April 11, 1971], Punjabis patrolled the engineering college area. That's why many people left the place in fear," said Abbas.
The next day, the then chairman of Pahartali union Mofdul Hossain asked Niranjan Dutta Gupta, who had good family relations with Abbas, to call back the Hindus, the witness continued. Assured of no harm, Niranjan had called back the Hindus, Abbas added.
"On April 13, 1971 at about 4:00pm, Mofdul, Piaru and Burma Yousuf asked the villagers to gather at Hitoishi Mohajon's house. "Our leader will talk with you," Abbas quoted one of the three as saying. They however did not mention the name of the leader, he added.
"My friend Babul Mali rushed to my house. He told me that Punjabis came and asked them to gather at Hitoishi Mohajon's house. All Hindus of the village were going there," said the witness.
Abbas and Babul went to Unsotturpara School and saw Pakistani army going from north to south in a couple of cars. There were two civilians in the cars, but the witness could not identify them. Abbas and Babul then decided to move to their respective houses. "As I moved 200 yards further, I heard a loud bang. I looked back and saw Babul falling on the ground. A few moments later I heard the sound of rapid fire from the south," he said.
The next day Abbas learned that Niranjan had committed suicide as he could not bear the remorse that the Hindus, who were killed the previous day, had returned home at his request.
On April 15, Abbas along with some of his friends went to Unsotturpara. Abbas said, "At first I saw the body of my friend Babul and his father in a stream. I went to the house of Hitoishi Mohajan where I saw 60-70 bodies." He said he buried the bodies with the help of some locals in a burrow.
As his deposition was made, the tribunal asked the defence to cross-examine the witness. Defence counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena completed his cross-examination by asking two questions.
Ahsanul Huq asked him if it was true that Fazlul Quader and his sons did not go to Unsotturpara.
That is not true, replied Abbas. "Is it not true that you did not hear people saying that Salahuddin Quader was involved in the killing?" asked Ahsanul. Abbas again said that it is not true. Salahuddin Quader, who is facing 23 specific charges of crimes against humanity during the Liberation War, was present at the tribunal.
The proceeding of the case was adjourned until July 23. Earlier, the prosecution read out the opening statement in another war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami at the
tribunal. Prosecutors Golam Arif Tipu and Altaf Uddin Ahmed read out the statement. In the statement, Altaf said Nizami who was chief of Al-Badr, incited people to join the anti-liberation force by holding rallies during the War.
Following completion of the opening statement, the tribunal fixed July 22 for recording deposition of witnesses against Nizami. The Jamaat leader was also present at the dock of the tribunal.
On May 28, the tribunal framed 16 charges against Nizami for his alleged war crimes.
Monday, May 28, 2012
War Crimes Trial
The third prosecution witness against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury told International Crimes Tribunal-1 that he had heard from a freedom fighter that Salauddin and his men killed 15-16 Hindus at Unosatturpara of Chittagong during the Liberation War.
Witness Sirajul Islam said one Captain Karim on May 21, 1971, told him how the murders were committed. Karim was trying to recruit Sirajul as a freedom fighter. He claimed that the captain was hiding in a bush near a marsh along the road to Kaptai when he witnessed the murders.
He also told the court that a freedom fighter, who has now passed away, had told him that he had seen Salauddin kill Nutan Chandra Singh of Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya in Chittagong.
Testifying against the lawmaker from Chittagong, the prosecution witness also claimed that Salauddin and his associates had abducted an Awami League leader and his son from Hathazari of Chittagong in April 1971.
Sheikh Mozaffar Ahmed and his son Sheikh Alamgir were picked up from Tin Rastar Mor of Hathazari and were later killed. Their bodies were never found, the witness claimed.
The 64-year-old witness began giving his testimony on Thursday in the case against Salauddin, who is facing 23 counts of crimes against humanity charges at the tribunal. Tribunal-1, headed by Justice Md Nizamul Huq, yesterday finished recording the 220-minute deposition of Sirajul Islam alias Shiru Bangalee. The defence began the cross-examination yesterday but the proceedings were adjourned after just one question.
In his testimony, Sirajul said on April 13, 1971, Salauddin along with Pakistani army personnel led a killing mission in the predominantly Hindu areas of Gahira, Sultanpur and Jagotmandal in Chittagong.
The Pakistan army and its collaborators shot and killed people of different religions indiscriminately and looted their homes, he said.
He said Salauddin's father Fazlul Quader Chowdhury had lost the 1970 general election to a young Awami Leaguer by a considerable margin. Fazlul's family was unhappy and they thought that the Hindu community's votes had cost Fazlul the election.
Salauddin and Fazlul led mass killings, looting and repression on women and forced them to leave the country to assert their dominance in the area, said Sirajul, who learnt this from Capt Karim.
Sirajul told the tribunal that in Khagrachhari he had met Bibhuti Bhushan, who was a freedom fighter from Raozan of Chittagong. Bibhuti has passed away.
Sirajul said Bibhuti told him that he had climbed up a tree in Raozan, while he was going to Hathazari from Rangamati, as he had seen a convoy of Pakistani troops approaching. The convoy was moving toward Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya, a herbal medicine store.
The Pakistani soldiers dragged the owner of the store, Nutan Chandra Singh, out and interrogated him, said Sirajul, quoting Bibhuti. After the interrogation, the army left, he said.
“As Salauddin Quader found his plan unsuccessful, he returned to the store a few moments later with two or three soldiers,” said the witness quoting Bibhuti.
“Shoot him,” was the order from Salauddin Quader, who also shot a few bullets into Nutan for good measure, Sirajul said.
Bibhuti witnessed the whole incident from the tree branch he was sitting on.
Sirajul said he along with other freedom fighters had begun capturing collaborators from October 27, 1971. They caught a close aide to Fazlul, Haji Abdus Sattar alias Sattar Haji, during the Liberation War.
“On interrogation, I came to know that Salauddin saheb was injured by a bullet on September 20 during a guerrilla attack but managed to escape alive while his driver was killed,” he said, adding, “Sattar showed me the September 21, 1971, issue of the daily Azadi as I had refused to believe his statement.”
Sirajul said the Al Badr force, led by Mir Kashem Ali, used Hotel Dalim in Chittagong as a torture cell.
Sirajul said he had sworn to a martyred freedom fighter that he would kill Kashem Ali but could not keep his promise as Kashem went into hiding after November 15, 1971.
The Al Badr, formed to collaborate with the Pakistani army, actively opposed the country's independence.
Salauddin's defence will resume cross-examining the witness today.
Meanwhile, Fakhrul Islam, a defence counsel of Salauddin, yesterday responded to the show cause notice the tribunal had served on him earlier.
The notice was issued on May 15 against him in connection with calling prosecution witness Prof Anisuzzaman a liar before the media.
According to the document submitted before the court yesterday, Fakhrul apologised unconditionally and sought mercy.
Tribunal-1 fixed Thursday for hearing on his application.
The tribunal also recorded the cross-examination of the investigation officer in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for the 12th day yesterday. The cross-examination will continue today.
The Jamaat leader is facing 20 counts of crimes against humanity at the tribunal.
Monday, January 23, 2012 ry 17, 2012