Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hindu Temple Desecrated and Destroyed in Hindu-Majority India

Hindu Temple Burnt, Kali Icon Desecrated and Vandalized in Basirhat,   West Bengal, India

Hindu Samhati


Thursday, December 31, 2009 1:29 AM

33 year old Kali Temple Attacked and Burnt; Kali murthi stripped and vagina blackened;

At the late hours of 16th December, 2009 some unknown miscreants (suspected to be Islamic activists) entered the 33 year old Kali temple of Kankra village of Kachua Panchayet, under Basirhat Police Station in North 24 Parganas district, stripped the murthi, or icon of Mother Kali naked and burnt the temple. Before leaving the temple, the miscreants even tied the throat of the stone made murthi of the Goddess with a thick rope. The vagina of the idol was blackened. Keeping in view to the nature of the crime and mixed population of the area, one can easily understand that no Hindu can do such a heinous and sacrireligious deed. The finger of suspicion is definitely pointed to the Muslim community.

 The village of Kachua is a popular pilgrimage place because of the famous temple of renowned saint Sri Loknath Brahamachari. Hundreds of thousands of devotees visit this this Temple throughout the year. In this area where the Hindus have become a minority, perhaps the next target is this Loknath Temple.
Hindus became extremely aggrieved for this desecration of their temple and murthi. All Hindus of the village cutting across party lines jointly put a roadblock and demonstrated at Basirhat Police Station. At the time of demonstration, local Communit Party of India (CPI) MLA Narayan Mukherjee tried to divert the issue saying that the desecration of the murthi(icon) and temple must have been a deed of a mentally misbalanced person. But the Hindus rejected the idea. Police assured the Hindus that they will book the culprit. But till now no culprit has been arrested.

 A few days before, the ornaments of the Kali murthi(icon) and other valuables of the temple were robbed similarly. People lodged complaints to the police station. That case too unresolved.
Basirhat sub-division in West Bengal is border area with Bangladesh. It has become open ground for Jehadi(Islamist) terrorists. The whole area of Basirhat Police Station. became Muslim majority due to unabated illegal Muslim Infiltration from Bangladesh. The illegal activities and atrocities upon Hindus have increased simultaneously. The scale of torture upon Hindus has sharply increased in recent times. The desecration of the sacred Kali temple is the latest example. The aggrieved Hindus demonstrated in front of the local police station and blocked the roads. Communal tension rose in the area and RAF(special police force) was deployed to control the situation.

Desecrated Murti (Statue) of Mother Goddess Kali
Torched and Destroyed Murti (Statue) of Mother Goddess Kali
Original Kali Murthi (Icon)

 Posted by Hindu Samhati's International Communications Team.

Saraswati Puja in Bangladesh, 2013

Daily Star, Dhaka

Friday, February 15, 2013

Saraswati Puja being celebrated

File Photo
Hindu religious people are celebrating Saraswati Puja Friday in the city and elsewhere in the country with festivity.

Hundreds of Hindu devotees and visitors from all walks of life are celebrating Saraswati Puja at Dhaka University through traditional gaiety as elsewhere across the country on Friday, with prayers for wisdom and arts.

As in the previous years, the Jagannath Hall playground wore a festive look with colorfully decorated Puja mandaps (pavilions) that different departments of DU erected to offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati.

The Bani Archana, one of the vital parts of the Puja, also performs at Begum Rokeya and Shamsun Nahar halls at the university.

Saraswati Puja also celebrating at Dhakeswari temple, Siddheswari temple, Ram-Krishna Mission, Supreme Court premises and in many educational institutions, including Buet, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka Medical College, Stamford University, Dhaka College, and Eden Girls' College

Saraswati Puja in Dhaka Prothom Alo Feb 15 2013; in Bengali,  http://www.prothom-alo.com/detail/date/2013-02-15/news/329465
Saraswati Puja in Bangladesh Bhorer Kagoj Feb 15 2013; in Bengaii, http://www.bhorerkagoj.net/new/blog/2013/02/15/103567.php

Puja was held in the midst of anti Islamic-fundamentalist Shahbag movement. These reports tell us that schools and colleges celebrated Saraswati Puja, including several pujas within Dhaka University campus (see Bhorer Kagoj) but that is not allowed in Hindu-majority Indian West Bengal state (for the past 2 decades.)

See Amardeshonline.com and its daily print edition in Bangladesh:

35 Hindu Deities “ Sarwasati Devi’ desecrated at Agoiljhara Upazila of Barisal District in Bangladesh :

February 11, 2013

Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW) received information that some
perpetrators with religiously motivated attacked on Sarwasati Devi on 10th of February, 2013 in the night, destroyed the Hindu deities and desecrated. As a result of such
abrupt attack some goods procured for puja purpose has also been destroyed. This incident took place at Agoiljhara Upazila of Barisal District in Bangladesh.

Due to such unfortunate acts on the part of perpetrators the Minority
Hindu communities are in great anxiety.

In this connection Mr. Joydeb Chandra Paul – victim lodged a Case No- 2 dated 09/02/13 against some unknown perpetrators at Agoiljhara police station. But police could
arrest only one perpetrator till writing of this report.

The news has been published in the national daily “Amardesh” dated 11th
February, 13.


Indian Terrorism and Justice: Mohammad Afzal Guru

The Telegraph, Calcutta, India

Saturday , February 9 , 2013

Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru hanged and buried inside Tihar jail
New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI): Afzal Guru, Jaish-e-Mohammad militant convicted in the audacious attack on Parliament in 2001, was on Saturday hanged in Tihar Jail in an operation shrouded in secrecy, five days after his mercy plea was rejected by the President.
A resident of Sopore in north Kashmir, 43-year-old Guru, sentenced to death in 2002 by a special court and the verdict upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005, was executed at 8 am in Tihar Jail here and his body was buried in the prison premises.
Guru, a former fruit merchant, was found guilty of conspiring and sheltering the militants who attacked Parliament on December 13, 2001, in which nine persons were killed.
Fearing a backlash over the execution, an indefinite curfew was clamped in the Valley and security beefed up. Jammu and Kashmir Minister Omar Abdullah, DGP Ashok Prasad and other senior officers flew from Jammu to Srinagar early on Saturday morning to keep a close watch on the law and order situation.
On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing five Delhi Police personnel, a woman CRPF official, two Parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener.
A journalist, who was injured, died later. All five terrorists were shot dead by security forces.
Guru was arrested within hours after the attack from a bus in the national capital.
”Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 am,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters shortly after the execution.
Guru was taken to the gallows at around 7.30 am and appeared calm, a top Tihar Jail official said.
The family of Guru residing in Sopore in north Kashmir was informed about the decision of the Government that his mercy petition has been rejected. This was done through speedpost, Union Home Secretary R K Singh said.
Guru's mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3.
”I examined the file carefully and recommended to the President on January 21 for rejection of Afzal Guru's petition,” the Home Minister said.
Shinde said Guru's case was sent to the then President by the Home Ministry in 2011. “After that there was a new President and a new Home Minister. President Mukherjee sent Guru's file to the Home Ministry.
”We sent it to the President on January 21, 2013. On February 3, the President sent Guru's file rejecting the mercy plea to the Home Ministry.
”I put my signature on February four and sent it for further execution to the department. The due procedure was followed and it was then decided that the hanging will take place on February 9 rpt 9 (today) at 8 am.”
Reminiscent of the hanging of Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani national, on November 21 last year, the execution of Guru, who has been on the death roaw for over 10 years, was kept under wraps in a top secret operation.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has declared a four-day mourning. A complete shutdown will be observed during this period, Shahidul Islam, spokesman of the amalgam, said.
Guru is the second Kashmiri militant to be hanged after JKLF leader Maqbool Bhat who was executed on February 11, 1984 for the murder of Indian diplomat Ravindra Mhatre in United Kingdom.
The attack on Parliament had brought India and Pakistan on the brink of war.
Guru was sentenced to death along with Delhi University professor S A R Gilani and Shaukat Hussain. Hussain's wife Afsan was let off.
Gilani was, however, let off by the High Court in 2003 while the sentence of Guru and Hussain was upheld.
The Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty of Guru in 2005 while in the case of Hussain, it was commuted to 10 years.


Telegraph, Calcutta
Hurriyat calls for four-day mourning
Srinagar, Feb 9 (PTI): Moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday announced four-day mourning on the death of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged this morning following his conviction in the Parliament attack case.
”We call on people to observe four-day mourning on the hanging of Guru. A complete shutdown will be observed over the mourning period,” Shahidul Islam, spokesman of the amalgam, told PTI.
Hurriyat also demands immediate return of the mortal remains of Guru so that he can be given a burial according to his family's wishes and as per Islamic rituals, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led hardline Hurriyat Conference Ayaz Akbad was taken into preventive custody by police in the early morning on Saturday.
”Akbar was arrested by police at 5.00 am and taken to an unknown location,” his son said.
All the senior separatist leaders including Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF leader Mohammad Yasin Malik are presently out of the Valley and could not be reached for a comment.
Jamaat-e-Islami condemned Afzal's hanging saying “the hanging of Guru in Tihar Jail mysteriously is an expression of extreme despotism and tyranny by the Government of India”.
”This action has deeply hurt the sentiments of more than one crore Kashmiri people. In order to achieve its nefarious political designs, the party holding the reigns of power in Delhi has always been committing such tactical tyrannical actions since 1947 whenever this party seemed to lose its power,” a spokesman of the Jamaat, Zahid Ali said.
He alleged that the the hanging of Guru also carries a sinister design to create an atmosphere of fear among the Kashmiri people so as to deter them from demanding their ”usurped right of self determination”.


Telegraph,  Calcutta, India

February 8, 2013

Demonise’ charge on Mufti
Srinagar, Feb. 7: Some pro-aazaadi groups in the Valley have accused Grand Mufti Bashiruddin of “demonising” Kashmir with his fatwas, particularly the one that forced all-girl band Praagaash to disband, with one planning to move court.
The calls for action against the Mufti came as the Omar Abdullah government cracked down on the alleged online abusers of the band’s three girls. Three persons have been held and dozens of Facebook users are under the scanner.
While the alleged threats precipitated the band’s problems, the Praagaash girls had cited “respect for Mufti” and “Kashmiri sensitivities” while quitting.
Many pro-aazaadi groups disapproved of the band but distanced themselves from the fatwa. “He (the Mufti) is running a parallel judicial system and the government allows him… we are making the government a party in the case,” said Parvez Imroz of the Coalition of Civil Societies, which will challenge in the high court Bashiruddin’s authority.
Imroz dubbed the Mufti a “self-styled Supreme Court of Islamic Shariah demonising” all Kashmiris.
Telegraph, Calcutta

Monday , February 11 , 2013

Saeed twists SC order to fan fire
- Lashkar founder promises to satisfy ‘collective conscience’ of Kashmiris
Supporters of the Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa participate in an anti-India demonstration to condemn the hanging of Afzal Guru in Rawalpindi on Sunday. (Reuters)
New Delhi, Feb. 10: Lashkar-e-Toiba founder and suspected 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed has found an opportunity to stoke trouble in Kashmir by selectively quoting from the Supreme Court judgment upholding Afzal Guru’s death sentence.
Saeed fished out from the over 300-page judgment the phrase “the collective conscience of the society will be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender” and tweeted on it this evening.
“Our promise remains unchanged, We WILL satisfy the ‘Collective Conscience’ of Kashmiri people, with the help of Almighty ALLAH #AfzalGuru,” Saeed posted.
The tweet appeared to suggest that if Afzal was hanged to satisfy the “collective conscience” of Indian society, the Lashkar founder was free to fan the flames for the “collective conscience” of Kashmiris.
But the court’s elaboration was more detailed.
“The gravity of the crime conceived by the conspirators with the potential of causing enormous casualties and dislocating the functioning of the Government as well as disrupting normal life of the people of India is something which cannot be described in words. The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, has shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender,” a bench of Justices Venkatarama Reddy and P.P. Naolekar had said in their order on August 4, 2005.
The “collective conscience” phrase is often cited by rights activists and some former jurists who disagree with the verdict.
Saeed’s tweet came as Kashmir simmered over yesterday’s hanging of Afzal, who hailed from Sopore. The Lashkar had yesterday warned of retaliation.
In its 2005 judgment, the Supreme Court had also noted that there is no doubt the Parliament attack was without parallel “in the history of the Indian republic” while ruling that the most appropriate punishment for Afzal was the death sentence.
“The appellant… is a menace to the society and his life should become extinct. Accordingly, we uphold the death sentence,” the bench said.
While intelligence agencies reckon the hanging was necessary despite concerns it could be seen in the Valley as a provocation, others questioned the timing.
“It is a purposeless decision. You have put Kashmir in trouble where there was none and weakened Omar Abdullah,” said A.S. Dulat, ex-chief of RAW, the country’s external intelligence wing.
Much of the Valley has been under curfew since yesterday, with the chief minister camping in Srinagar despite the government having shifted to winter capital Jammu.
For the Pakistan-based Saeed, though, Afzal’s hanging could not have come at a better time. Tomorrow is the death anniversary of Maqbool Bhat, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front co-founder who was hanged and buried at Tihar jail on February 11, 1984.
Saeed was quick to club the two executions on the eve of Bhat’s death anniversary. “Maqbool Bhatt’s martyrdom infused new life in the struggle of #Kashmir, #afzalGuru’s sacrifice will pave the way for Freedom, Insha’Allah,” Saeed said in his tweet.
He had begun commenting on “shaheed (martyred) Afzal Guru” within hours of the hanging yesterday morning. He termed the execution “judicial terrorism” by India and called for “peaceful protests” across Pakistan.


Monday, February 18, 2013

West Bengal, India, Probe of Sai Bari Gruesome Killing by Commuhists

The Sunday Indian;
February 26, 2012
Sainbari Massacre: Judicial Commission begins hearing

C S BHATTACHARJEE | Kolkata, February 13, 2012 15:15

The Justice Arunava Basu Commission, set up in July 2011 to inquire into the Sainbari Massacre case, began hearing at Sain Bari in Burdwan on Monday.

The commission will collate evidences from the complainant Dilip Bhattacharya and members of the Sain family during the next three days.

The gruesome incident occurred on March 17, 1970, when a large group of CPI-M activists allegedly looted, attacked Sain family killing three people, including a tutor named Jiten Roy. Sain family was allegedly punished for supporting Congress.

Around 83 CPI-M cadres and leaders, including Binoy Konar, now Central Committee member, and Nirupan Sen, a Polit Buro  member  were named in the FIR. Konar and Sen figure at no 11 and 63 respectively in the FIR.

Earlier, the Left Front (LF) government had reportedly withdrawn the case against the accused thereby letting them free.

Some of the accused later acquired high posts like Registrar of University or important ministries of the state government.

It was also alleged that police, under the instructions from LF government, had burnt the records relating to the massacre. Also the then Left Front government, on the basis of absence of records, told the Supreme Court last year that the case records are missing from Kolkata High Court.

Advocate Joydeep Mukherjee, who had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, finally succeeded in extracting the duplicate case file from Writers’ Buildings.

He later placed the file before Justice S H Kapadia’s bench in the apex court.

Mukherjee will be presented at the hearings as a petitioner in the case.

Amrit, son of Swarnalata Jash, the elder sister of Malay and Pranab, is likely to dispose before Justice Arunava Basu.

The Commission may also probe into the alleged murder of NSUI leader Gunamoni Roy. Gunamoni was killed after he came out disposing at Tarapada Roy Commission, set up to probe the case by the then Chief Minister S S Roy, on May 26, 1971.

Nabakumar Sain, the eldest son of the family, was killed a year later of the massacre.

 The Statesman, Calcutta
Because we are different.

Walkout over Sain Bari
17 March 2010

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA/BURDWAN, 17 MARCH: The Trinamul Congress and the Congress today staged a walkout in the state Assembly after the Speaker, Mr HA Halim, turned down their demand for an adjournment motion on the Sain Bari murder case in Burdwan in 1970.
The Speaker later said an adjournment motion was allowed only on recent issues and not on an incident like the Sain Bari killings that had occurred 40 years ago.
Several Opposition members rushed to the well of the House shouting slogans and demanding the resignation of the industry minister, Mr Nirupam Sen, an accused in the case.
They also demanded the arrest of Mr Sen along with former CPI-M MP Mr Anil Basu and party central committee member Mr Benoy Konar who had also been named accused.
Mr Sen was in the House when the ruckus went on. The government chief whip and two other CPI-M MLAs sat beside him when some Opposition members moved towards the minister's seat shouting slogans.
Later, Leader of the Opposition, Mr Partha Chatterjee said: “Today is a black day in democracy. We had the requisite number, yet the Speaker didn't allow us to move the motion.” He said on 19 March both the Congress and the Trinamul Congress will together move an adjournment motion on seizure of illegal firearms in the state.
Dr Manash Bhuinya, CLP leader, alleged that the Speaker had rejected the motion to shield the industry minister. He demanded that the state government suo-motu reopen the case. Mrs Sonali Guha (Trinamul) refused to get answers to her questions on solar power from Mr Sen and said,"I don't want any answer from one of the accused in the Sain Bari murder case.''
The Trinamul and the Congress would move the High Court for reopening the case.
The Trinamul took out a procession (see photo) in the city to protest against the Sain Bari murders and killings in Nanoor, Suchpur, Nandigram and Singur.
On the other hand, Congress supporters and members of the Legal Aid Forum took out processions across Burdwan district in the afternoon demanding reopening of the Sain Bari murder case.
Two Sain brothers and a tutor were murdered allegedly by CPI-M cadres four decades ago. Alleging that the Left Front government had destroyed the files and documents of the incident, the protesters said they would move the Supreme Court for reconstructing documents relating to the killings, Mr Joydip Mukherjee, general secretary, All India Legal Aid Forum said. The three CPI-M leaders were accused of conspiring, organising and committing the carnage under sections – 148, 149, 307, 302, 438, 300 IPC. Two brothers Pranab Sain and Moloy Sain of Sain Bari located in Radhanagar locality in ward 20 of Burdwan town were killed on 17 March, 1970. A private tutor, Jiten Roy who had come to the house of the Sains, to teach his pupils was also hacked to death.
Mrs Swarnalata Josh, sister of the deceased, who had come to her parents’ house, survived the attack. She wants the case reopened.

The Statesman, Calcutta 2011

Committee to probe Saibari killing

KOLKATA, 14 JUNE: The chief minister, Miss Mamata Banerjee, announced formation of two separate committees ~ to conduct a judicial probe into the Saibari killing and unnatural death of Daspur's BDO Kallol Sur in Ghatal, West Midnapore this evening at Writers’ Buildings. The BDO was found dead at his official residence in April, 2010. Kallol's father Mr Dilip Sur had said his son had been murdered though there was an attempt to portray it as suicide. Sometime before his death, Kallol had told his father about his knowledge of corruption in the block. When Miss Banerjee was asked about the possibility of any such probe into the Baranagar-Cossipore mass killings, she said that the government is studying the documents. Sns

Times of India

CPM's violent past rears its ugly head again

Saugata Roy & Ananthakrishnan G, TNN Nov 15, 2007, 02.56am IST

KOLKATA/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the Left bastions of West Bengal and Kerala, power often flows from the barrels of CPM guns.

With blood on their hands, as the CPM cadre celebrates the "sunrise in Nandigram," the turf-war in West Bengal has reignited the hidden memories of the infamous Sainbari incident in 1969, when a young man was hacked to death and his blood smeared on the face of his old mother. The man who led the Sainbari death squad is now a member of the CPM's central committee.


Outlook, India

Surviving kin of the victims of the barbaric Saibari killings of 1970 here today welcomed the judicial commission announced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to go into the carnage while the CPM called it an act of political vendetta.

Senior CPI(M) leader Nirupam Sen, who was industry minister in the former Left Front regime and is one of the 83 accused in the case, on the other hand, termed the present government's move as 'political revenge'.

"The Congress was in power in the state between 1972 and 1977. The Siddharta Sankar Roy government set up the Mukherjee Commission and its report was submitted to the government. The report still exists. The issue being raked after 40 years smacks of political revenge," Sen told PTI.

Swarnalata Josh, the daughter-in-law of Mriganayana Devi, whose two sons and their private tutor were hacked to death in the killings, said, "Mamata's government has announced a judicial commission. I can now hope to see the killers punished in my lifetime."

She said that on March 17, 1970 a day after the United Front government in the state fell, the CPI(M) had taken out a victory rally in the town.

Some members of the procession suddenly attacked the house of the Sais, who were traditional Congress supporters, when the first rice and naming ceremony of her son, Amrita, was taking place, Josh, said.

The family had refused to be pressurized allegedly by the CPI(M) to switch allegiance to it, which had angered them, Josh said.

Mrigananyana's two sons Pranab and Moloi and private tutor, Jiten Rai were hacked to death by the attackers, she said.

The attackers also smeared blood of the dead sons on Mriganayana Devi, she alleged.

They threw Amrita into the sacred fire lit on the occasion, but he survived, she said.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had visited the family shortly afterwards, she said.

Amrita, on his part, said that he had grown up unable to forget the trauma of that day.

Another son of Mriganayana Devi, Bijoy Sai, however, said that security should be provided to family members for them to depose before the judicial commission.

He cited the killings of two witnesses, Gurumoni Roy and Nabakumar Sai earlier.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in



Bangladesh 1971 War Crime Charge: Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

The Daily Star, Dhaka

Thursday, August 30, 2012 Front Page

Kamaruzzaman's War Crimes

Witness recalls brother's killing 

Staff Correspondent A witness yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-2 Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and his accomplices killed his brother at Serih Bridge in Sherpur on August 23, 1971.

Musharraf Hossain Talukder, brother of martyr Gholam Mostafa and the fifth prosecution witness in the war crimes case against the Jamaat assistant secretary general, said a case was filed after liberation against Kamaruzzaman in connection with the killing. The 56-year-old witness said after the nine-month war, they had heard about the killing from one Abul Kashem, who was also shot by Kamaruzzaman and his accomplices that day.

Terming Kamaruzzaman as the chief organiser of Al-Badr, an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army in greater Mymensingh, and controller of the Al-Badr camps in the area during the war, Musharraf appealed to the tribunal to try him for "committing crimes against humanity, including the killing of his brother [during the war]."

On June 4, the tribunal framed seven charges against Kamaruzzaman, who hails from Sherpur, in connection with the murder and torture of unarmed civilians during the war. The fourth charge is related to the killing of Mostafa. The two-member tribunal headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir with member Judge Md Shahinur Islam also recorded the cross-examination of Musharraf before adjourning the case proceedings until today.

Another member of the tribunal was absent yesterday due to the death of his father. During his 45-minute testimony, Musharraf said he was a class VII student of Sherpur GK High School and Golam Mostafa, the eldest among his seven brother and sisters, was an HSC examinee from Sherpur College during the War.

Musharraf said Mostafa, at the time literary secretary of Sherpur College unit Chhatra Union and a regular contributor to Radio Rajshahi, went to India for arms training after March 26, 1971, and returned after around one and a half months. Before the HSC examinations in 1971, it was announced that those who would not take part in the exam would be counted as "anti-Pakistani and supporters of freedom fighters", said the witness.

Musharraf said Tofael Islam, one of his paternal uncles in his village Kharkharia, was a member of the Shanti Committee, another auxiliary force of the Pakistan army. He had convinced Mostafa to sit for the exam, assuring him of all-out support. "After Maghrib prayers on August 23 [1971]… my brother went to Sherpur College intersection to buy batteries for the radio," said the witness.

"At that moment, at the diktat of Sherpur Al-Badr chief Kamaruzzaman, some of his followers picked up my brother and took him to a camp set up at the house of Surendra Mohan Saha, a prominent businessman of Sherpur," said Musharraf. He said after learning of the matter, the family informed Tofael Islam about it and he went to the Al-Badr camp and met Mostafa that night.

"He [Tofael] met Kamaruzzaman at the Al-Badr camp and requested him to release my brother," said the witness, adding that Kamaruzzaman asked his uncle to leave the camp. Later, Tofael requested another Shanti Committee leader Samidul Haque to release Mostafa and Samidul also requested Kamaruzzaman, said Musharraf.

"On that night [August 23, 1971] Kamaruzzaman along with some Al-Badr men took my brother to Serih Bridge over the Mrigi river," said the witness. "One Abul Kashem was also taken to the bridge. At first, he [Mostafa] was charged with bayonet and afterwards he was shot to death," said an emotional Musharraf, adding, "Kashem survived as he jumped into the river with bullet injuries on the fingers of his right hand."

"After the Liberation War, Abul Kashem met us and told us about the killing," said the witness, adding that on August 24, some people from his village recovered Mostafa's body from the northeast side of the bridge and brought him to their village. "I had seen the body. There was no flesh under the right knee and he received bullets on his chest," added the witness.

He said after the Liberation War, either his father or his mother filed a case with local police against Kamaruzzaman along with some other Al-Badr members in connection with the killing. After his testimony, defence counsel Kafiluddin Chowdhury cross-examined the witness for one hour and asked him around 30 questions.

Replying to a question, Musharraf said their house in Sherpur town was looted during the war. Meanwhile, the same tribunal completed recording the cross-examination of Abdul Momen, the first prosecution witness in the war crimes case against former BNP lawmaker Abdul Alim.

Witness Momen, a former student leader, testified before the tribunal on August 6 when he said the former BNP lawmaker had ordered the killing of nine Hindus of Khetlal upazila in Joypurhat during the war. During the cross-examination, defence counsel AEM Khalilur Rahman said on April 20, 1971, Alim left Joypurhat sadar after hearing that the Pakistan army had killed former minister Fazlul Bari on March 27, and took shelter in Paikar village in Amdai union for three to four months.

But in his testimony, Momen said a few days before Eid-ul-Fitr in 1971, Abdul Alim and Major Afzal, a Pakistani army officer responsible for Joypurhat during the war, came to Hatsahar Hat in Khetlal where they addressed a meeting and he heard Alim's speech 30-40 yards away from the spot.

"You have given false testimony for financial benefit," charged the defence counsel.

Bangladesh 1971 War Crime Charge: Ghulam Azam

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Atrocities in 1971
Ghulam Azam also liable
Says Sultana Kamal at war crimes tribunal
Staff Correspondent
Leading rights activist Sultana Kamal yesterday said Ghulam Azam, chief of the auxiliary forces of the Pakistani occupation army in 1971, was organisationally responsible for the activities of the collaborators.

Prosecution witness Sultana Kamal, who also fought for the independence of Bangladesh, told this to International Crimes Tribunal-1 during her cross-examination in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam.
In her deposition on September 10, she said the collaborators had set fire [to houses], looted and killed many people. They had captured and supplied women to army camps and bunkers.

Yesterday, she said she had no documents on when or where Ghulam Azam had given Al-Badr the permission to kill intellectuals or whether he had approved the killing.
“However, he [Ghulam Azam] being the chief of such organisations (Peace Committee, Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams), it was not possible for the activists to commit any activities without his consent. Besides, there is no evidence of him taking any punitive measures against the offenders. Therefore, responsibilities of such activities organisationally fall on him,” said Sultana Kamal.

She further said the Peace Committee, Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams could not be held as Jamaat's wings. Nonetheless, Jamaat had played pivotal role in forming the auxiliary forces.
In reply to another question from the defence, she said she did not have clear idea on whether the chief and member secretary of the central Peace Committee were the members of Jamaat.

The witness said she had seen Ghulam Azam leading Peace Committee procession and playing vital role in forming and making plans for the auxiliary forces in the newspapers published during the Liberation War.
Ghulam Azam had called upon to form the Peace Committee during the Liberation War and it was published in the Daily Purbadesh and the Daily Azad on April 5 and April 7 in 1971, she said, adding that these records had been submitted to the investigation agency.

In response to another question, Sultana said several cases on intellectual killings had been filed after the Liberation war, during the tenure of Bangabandhu government, but she did not know if the number of the cases was 50.
Defence counsel Mizanul then asked the witness whether she knew that three cases had been filed for the killing of Shahidullah Kaysar, Dr Alim Chowdhury and Munir Chowdhury.

Sultana replied in the affirmative.
The defence counsel then asked whether Ghulam Azam was made accused in the cases filed for killing intellectuals.

He was not made accused as a planner or for any other involvements in the cases filed for killing intellectuals, replied the witness.
“Each case was filed for killing one intellectual. And my testimony today is not for any individual killing but for the role of Ghulam Azam in mass killing during the Liberation War in 1971,” she said.

She then said two cases had been filed against Ghulam Azam in 1972 for different incidents in 1971.
“Ghulam Azam was accused in those cases for his association,” Sultana said.

She also said she knew that documents regarding killing intellectuals had been found in the house of a former minister of Pakistan. She, however, could not name the minister.
The defence counsel told the witness that Ghulam Azam had not been in Bangladesh [then East Pakistan] between November 22, 1971 and December 16 of that year.

“I know he met Yahya Khan on December 1 which suggests he might not be in the country during the period,” said the witness.
Sultana Kamal's cross-examination will resume today.

Ghulam Azam was present in the court yesterday. He is facing five charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the Liberation War.
Testimony of Sayedee's witness

Abul Hossain, the fourth witness for war crimes accused Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee, yesterday told Tribunal-1 that he and the accused had been neighbours in Jessore until mid-April in 1971.
He said he along with his family then had moved to India while Sayedee went to one of his Pir's (spiritual leader) house at Mohiron village under Bagherpara Police Station in Jessore.

The defence witness said he know nothing about Sayedee after that.
Abul said Sayedee had lived at New Town in Jessore until April 3 or 4 in 1971. Afterwards he along with Sayedee and two other neighbours had taken shelter in a house at Dhanghata village in Jessore and stayed there for seven to eight days.

Following the deposition, prosecution Syed Haidar Ali cross-examined the defence witness.
During the cross-examination, the witness said he had previously given testimony in many cases, but this was his first deposition in such case.

The prosecution later made a suggestion that Abul was a professional witness and had come to testify for the accused for money.
“It is not true,” replied Abul.

The case proceedings were adjourned until today.
Sayedee was produced before the tribunal yesterday. The Jamaat leader is facing 20 specific charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 1971's Liberation War.

Kamaruzzaman case
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday adjourned the case proceeding against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman until September 17, as the prosecution could not produce its witness.

The three-member tribunal headed by its Chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir re-fixed the date after Prosecutor AKM Saiful Islam said they could not produce witnesses due to their illness.
“You have given names of three witnesses [to the defence]. Are all of them ill?” asked Justice Fazle Kabir.

“Two of them are ill and father of another witness is also ill. So they couldn't be produced,” replied Saiful Islam.
Six prosecution witnesses have already given their testimonies in the case against the Jamaat assistant secretary general.

On June 4, the tribunal has indicted Kamaruzzaman in seven charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the Liberation War.

Your Right To Know
Monday, May 14, 2012

Anti-Bangladesh before & after '71

Ghulam Azam speaking at a Jamaat programme during Liberation War.

Julfikar Ali Manik and Rizanuzzaman Laskar

Ghulam Azam's crusade to thwart the emergence of Bangladesh had continued even after the nine-month-long blood-spattered Liberation War in 1971, as he tried to revive East Pakistan and spread propaganda against Bangladesh for several years.
Just when Pakistan was on the verge of losing the war, Ghulam Azam went to Pakistan on November 22, 1971. He formed East Pakistan Retrieval Committee in Pakistan and campaigned until 1973 to build public opinion against Bangladesh and its recognition in the Islamic world.

While reading out the charges yesterday, Justice Md Nizamul Huq, chairman of the International Crimes Tribunal-1, gave a brief profile of accused Ghulam Azam.
He said Ghulam Azam went to London in 1973 and set up an office of East Pakistan Retrieval Committee there. He published a weekly, Shonar Bangla, in London, which was used as a propaganda tool against Bangladesh.

Bangladesh government cancelled his citizenship on April 18, 1973.
Ghulam Azam later visited Saudi Arabia in March, 1975. He met King Faisal and told him that Hindus have captured East Pakistan, the holy Quran has been burnt, mosques have been destroyed and converted into temples, and Muslims were killed.

He collected funds from the Middle East for rebuilding mosques and madrasas.
After the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Ghulam Azam returned to Bangladesh on August 11, 1978 with a Pakistani passport. He got back his citizenship and rejoined his post as the ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami. He served in the post until Motiur Rahman Nizami was elected ameer.

Ghulam Azam was born on November 7, 1922. He studied in a madrasa first and then obtained master's degree from Dhaka University in 1950. He was a teacher of Rangpur Carmichael College between 1950 and 1955.
He joined Jamaat-e-Islami in 1954 and served as its secretary from 1957 to 1960. He became the ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1969. During the Liberation War, Jamaat and Islami Chhatra Sangha under his leadership opposed the Liberation War.

He played a pivotal role in forming Shanti (peace) Committee, Razakar, Al Badr, Al Shams (collaborator forces). He was an elected member of the national assembly from Tangail in the sham elections of 1971, Justice Nizamul Huq said.
The Daily Star went through historic documents and is able to shed more light on Ghulam Azam's records.

According to records on the Liberation War, Ghulam Azam began playing an active role in helping the Pakistani occupation forces even as the nation joined the armed struggle to free Bangladesh soon after the launch of a massacre by the Pakistani military on the night of March 25, 1971.
He was ameer of the East Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami before the Liberation War. As the ameer, he campaigned across Bangladesh and even in Pakistan (then West Pakistan) in an attempt to foil the liberation movement.

"Pakistan is the house of Islam for the world's Muslims. Therefore, Jamaat activists don't justify staying alive if Pakistan disintegrates," said Ghulam Azam in a speech to mobilise his party men and followers against Bangladesh and help the occupation forces. (Source: Jamaat's mouthpiece the daily Sangram, 1971).
Ghulam Azam is one of the front men who actively helped the Pakistani forces' attempts to foil the birth of Bangladesh. He was hyperactive against the Liberation War and became a symbol of war crimes in Bangladesh.

He met Pakistani General Tikka Khan, who was known as the "Butcher of Baluchistan", 10 days after the war started and earned the same title "butcher" as an architect of the genocide launched on the night of March 25, 1971 in Dhaka.
During the nine-month-long bloody war, Ghulam Azam and his party Jamaat-e-Islami, its student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha (later renamed Islami Chhatra Shibir) played a key role along with their other political partners to foil Bangladesh's independence struggle.

According to newspapers, including the daily Sangram, and books and documents on 1971, Jamaat and its student wing played a key role in forming the Peace Committees and some other collaborator forces like Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams.
Throughout the nine-month war, Jamaat, its student wing and the collaborator forces actively helped the Pakistani military in mass killing, rape and atrocities.

The Pakistani forces and their Bangladeshi collaborators committed genocide and war crimes that left three million people dead and around a quarter million women violated, besides the planned elimination of some of the best of Bengali brains on December 14, 1971.
War records show that Jamaat formed Razakar and Al-Badr forces to counter the freedom fighters. Razakar force was established by former secretary general of Jamaat Moulana Abul Kalam Mohammad Yousuf, and Al Badr included the Islami Chhatra Sangha activists.

Anticipating defeat, the occupation forces and their collaborators--mostly leaders of Jamaat and its student front--picked up leading Bengali intellectuals and professionals on December 14 and killed them en masse with a view to intellectually crippling the emerging independent nation.
Though Ghulam Azam was the brain behind Jamaat's anti-liberation efforts, incumbent Jamaat Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, president of Islami Chhatra Sangha in 1971, played a vital role in collaborating with the Pakistani junta in committing genocide.

Nizami, who is also behind bars on charges of war crimes, had said, "Every one of us should assume the role of a Muslim soldier of an Islamic state and through cooperation with the oppressed and by winning their confidence we must kill those who are hatching a conspiracy against Pakistan and Islam." (Daily Sangram quoted Nizami on September 15, 1971)
Ghulam Azam and his party men and anti-liberation elements used to call the freedom fighters "miscreants", "Indian agents", "malaun" (an offensive word used against the Hindus), and "infiltrators".

On April 8, 1971, Ghulam Azam issued a joint statement with other Jamaat leaders. A book containing an account of the killers and collaborators titled “Genocide '71” quotes from that statement: "India is interfering in the internal affairs of East Pakistan. Wherever patriotic Pakistanis see Indian agents or anti-Pakistan elements and infiltrators, they will destroy them."
Genocide '71 also reads: "On June 18, on arriving at Lahore airport, Ghulam Azam spoke to journalists, stating that, in order to further improve the conditions in East Pakistan, he was going to provide some additional advice to the president [General Yahya Khan].

"However, he refused to elaborate any further on what sort of advice he was going to give. Regarding the situation in East Pakistan, he said: 'The miscreants are still engaged in destructive activities. Their main aim is to create terror and turbulence. These miscreants are being directed by Naxalites and left-wing forces.'"
On June 19, before Tikka Khan left for Dhaka, Ghulam Azam met then Pakistan president Yahya Khan. After his meeting with Yahya, he addressed a press conference in Lahore. He told journalists, "The miscreants are still active in East Pakistan. People must be provided with arms to destroy them."

Addressing Jamaat workers prior to the press conference, Ghulam Azam said, "In order to prevent the disintegration of Pakistan, the armed forces had to be deployed." He further noted, "The recent tumult in East Pakistan is 10 times greater than the 1857 Revolution in Bengal." Speaking at a press conference in Peshawar on August 26, he said, "The armed forces have saved us from the treachery of our enemies and from the evil designs of India. The people of East Pakistan are lending full support to the armed forces in destroying miscreants and infiltrators."
On November 23, Yahya Khan declared a state of national emergency.

Ghulam Azam welcomed this announcement. He told the press in Lahore, "The best way to defend ourselves is striking at our enemies." He said in order to restore peace in East Pakistan, each patriotic citizen, each member of the Peace Committees, Razakar, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams must be armed with modern automatic weapons.
At a meeting in Rawalpindi on November 29, he said, "There is no example in the history of a nation at war surviving without retaliation. Aggression is the best form of defence."

On December 3, he in Karachi said, "An East Pakistani should be in charge of the foreign office because it is only an East Pakistani who can cope with the Bangladesh tamasha [the Bangladesh farce]."
Immediately after victory on December 16, 1971, Ghulam Azam and many others like him fled to Pakistan and returned only after the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members in 1975.

After victory the first issues of newspapers of the new nation carried the government's decision to ban five communal parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami, on December 18 with immediate effect. The banned parties were given the green light to resume politics during the regime of late president Ziaur Rahman.
Genocide '71 said soon after Ghulam Azam with a few of his followers went to Saudi Arabia, an advertisement, in the name of a fake organisation, appeared in several Middle Eastern papers. The ad proclaimed, "mosques are being burnt in East Pakistan, Hindus are killing Muslims and destroying their properties." On the plea that Islam had to be saved, the ad appealed for contributions.

It also said Ghulam Azam, in order to collect funds and to continue his campaign against Bangladesh, visited several countries of the region, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Beirut. After completing his tour of these areas, he left for London in April, 1973.
Even though he came to Dhaka on a three-month visa during the rule of president Ziaur Rahman in 1978, he never left Bangladesh. He became Jamaat's undeclared ameer taking over from alleged war criminal late Abbas Ali Khan who was the acting ameer.

In the early 90's, Ghulam Azam was officially declared ameer of Jamaat, while Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam launched a unique mass movement demanding trial of war criminals. She held an unprecedented People's Court as a symbolic trial of Ghulam Azam where thousands of people gathered and the court pronounced a verdict to the effect that offences committed by him during the Liberation War deserve capital punishment.
Ghulam Azam's citizenship issue came into focus when he came to Bangladesh as a Pakistani national.

In 1991, the BNP formed government with support from Jamaat and in 1992 Ghulam Azam filed a case with the High Court to get Bangladeshi citizenship. The government of the day arrested him and put him in jail. However, after Ghulam Azam acquired Bangladeshi citizenship through a court order in 1994, the government released him from prison.
In 1998, BNP and Jamaat formed the four-party alliance and Ghulam Azam appeared at a grand public meeting with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Ghulam Azam left the party's top post in 2000 and was succeeded by Nizami.
Ghulam Azam stayed out of focus since then but he is back into the spotlight after yesterday's court order.