Wednesday, January 4, 2012

28 Dec 2011: Manik cross exam day

After dealing with the orders involving Nizami, Mujahid, Molla and Kamruzzaman, everyone waited for Sayedee to arrive so that the cross examination of the sixth witness, Manik Poshari could take place.

A court official mentions that he had been taken to BIRDEM hospital for physiotherapy. Justice Nizamul Haque says that the jail authority should have informed them and asks the counsels to proceed in Sayedee’s absence. Mizanul Islam for the defence started the cross examination of Manik Poshari

Below is an unofficial translation of Evidence in Chief. (Notes and translation undertaken by Onchita Shadman. Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, but there may be some small omissions.) 

It should  be noted that the first five questions were asked at the end of the hearing the day before.
Defence: You and Alamgir Poshari being brothers lived in the same house.

Witness: No, in separate houses adjacent to each other.

Defence: Both of you are of the same age.

Witness: No he is much younger than me. Almost 30 years difference

Defence: You had at least 12 mothers.

Witness: not true, 5-6

Defence: How long before 1971 was Alamgir Poshari’s house built?

Witness: I don’t know

Defence: You lived in 5 houses?

Witness: No we lived in 3; one was a guest house and one was granary.

Defence: You mentioned having a granary yesterday. How much paddy did you store in it.

Witness: 400-500 maunds of paddy.

Defence: What was the room you had lived in made of?

Witness: it had brick floor and wooden beam covered around with tin.

Defence: How many bundles of tin were required to build each room?

Witness: approximately 30-35 bundles for my room

Defence: Bed was amongst the major furniture of your house.

Witness: There were 4-5 beds.

Defence: How many chairs and tables?

Witness: many

Defence: Did you have any almirah?

Witness: 2 made of Segun wood.

Defence: Your father had built the house before your birth.

Witness: My father had built it after I was born.

Defence: How long before 1971 was that house built?

Witness: When I studied in either year four or year five.

Defence: How much did a bundle of tin cost back then?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: Didn’t you hear of the value of tin, bed and furniture of that time from your father?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: How much did a bundle of tin cost in 1971?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: You can’t tell the value of wood, tin and brick in 1971?

Witness: no

Defence: Your brothers’ rooms were smaller than yours?

Witness: One was of the same size as mine and had similar furniture. The other was smaller.

Defence: When did you take charge of the family?

Witness: As soon as I got married.

Defence: When did you start raising your family away from your father?

Witness: When I married in 1968, my father gave me that house in which I started living with my family. But my father owned all the property.

Defence: When did your father die?

Witness: in October, 1997. In the month of Bhadro (according to Bangla calender).

Defence: Your father used to live in Khulna before he passed away.

Witness: We have land in Khulna and siblings there. He used to come here (in Chithalia village) too.

Defence: Your brother Jahangir Poshari now lives in the Khulna house.

Witness: no he doesn’t. My brothers Panna, Ponu, Tuku and Nanna now live over there.

Defence: Did Jahangir Poshari live in that house while your father was alive?

Witness: No he lived in a different house of my father.

Defence: Was that house in Khulna town?

Witness: No it wasn’t in town. It was in village.

Defence: What was the name of the village where Jahangir Poshari lived?

Witness: Hetalbunia.

Defence: When did Jahangir Poshari sell that house?

Witness: After my father’s death, he’d sold his share to my other brothers.

Defence: How much land did your father own in Khulna?

Witness: He had 40-45 bighas of land in Hetalbunia.

Defence: How much was your share from there?

Witness: 2 bighas.

Defence: Do you still own it or did you sell your share?

Witness: I still own my share of the property in Hetalbunia.

Defence: Who looks after it?

Witness: My brothers. They send me my share (of harvest).

Defence: Your father had invited Delwar Hossain Sayedee to his Khulna house after 1990.

Witness: I don’t know. This is impossible.

Defence: Your family had properties in different areas of Pirojpur.

Witness: I am unaware of whereabouts of my father’s lands. I still can’t find the related papers.

Defence: Did you have property in Gazipur of Pirojpur?

Witness: I heard there were 12-13 bighas of land. We don’t have the papers. Others have occupied those land and are its beneficiaries .

Defence: Who have occupied your land?

Witness: The natives of that place, Malek Khalifa, Khalek Khalifa and their brother. Others are involved as well.

Defence: Did you file any case against them?

Witness: no not against them but filed case against the government in court.

Defence: Is this Khalek Khalifa brother of the present lawmaker Abdul Auwal?

Witness: No, he didn’t benefit from our land.

Defence: Did your father have any land apart from the two places that you have mentioned?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did Sayedee grab any of your land?

Witness: No

Justice Zaheer: He didn’t mention this.

Defence: My lord, there’s no harm in asking this.

Defence: Did you buy any land after 1971?

Witness: No, but I’ve had exchanged some lands with my brothers.

Defence: Did you fight in the liberation war?

Witness: No I didn’t take part in the battle directly. But I helped out from home.

Defence: You lobbied to include your name in the list of freedom fighters and present MP AKM Auwal has issued a DO Letter in response to that.

Witness: Because I had helped the freedom fighters, fed them, MP Auwal had issued this DO Letter in my name.

Defence: Did he give you the DO Letter before you had filed case against Sayedee in Pirojpur court?

Witness: I can’t remember.

Defence: After the present government came to power, you were listed in the “Ekti Khamar, Ekti Bari” project on 5/8/2010.

Witness: yes

Defence: Before the arrival of Razakars and Pakistani military in Parerhat, the region was under the occupation of the freedom fighters.

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: Were ‘seven brothers’ amongst the Razakars who had looted your house?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: The way, in which your house was being looted, left it unsuitable for living.

Witness: yes

Defence: You’d rebuilt the house after liberation.

Witness: We built a makeshift house before liberation. Fifteen days after the arson, I used the burnt bamboo beams and tin to build this dwelling.

Defence: Where did you live after your house was burnt down?

Witness: At my uncle’s place in the same village.

Defence: How far is your uncle’s house from yours?

Witness: It takes 40-42 minutes if travelled eastwards. I don’t know the distance.

Defence: What’s your uncle’s name.

Witness: Late Hashem Ali.

Defence: Are his children not there?

Witness: no, (later he said) they have left. The house lies barren.

Defence: After your house had been torched, how long did it take you to return there?

Witness: We returned after fifteen days.

Defence: What was the dress of the Razakars, who had torched your house, like?

Witness: Khaki

Defence: How far was the bridge you’d mentioned from Thanarghat?

Witness: It takes two minutes to travel.

Defence: I am asking how far.

Chief Prosecutor: He’d mentioned two minutes.

Justice Zaheer: It takes people different times to travel the same distance. (Explains distance to the witness)

Witness: From bridge to Thanarghat, it could be 30-35 hands.

Defence: Do you know when and where were the Razakars and Peace Committee formed for the first time?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: Before the military’s arrival, Razakars and Peace Committee were formed in Parerhat.

Witness: No Razakars and Peace Committee were formed before military’s arrival.

Mizanul Islam complains to the judges about prosecutors interfering. He said it alerts the witness about his answers. Justice Nizamul Haque asks the prosecutors to keep quiet.

Defence: You have not been to India before liberation.

Witness: No.

Defence: You didn’t go to India before the onset of the liberation war.

Witness: No.

Defence: Parerhat was freed from Pakistani occupying forces on 8 May, 1971.

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: When did you go to Pirojpur first after it had been freed from the grip of Pakistani occupying forces?

Witness: I can’t remember.

Defence: Did you visit Parerhat’s Muktijodhdha (freedom fighter) camp?

Witness: No

Defence: After independence of the country, Sayedee lived in his area for a long time.

Witness: He’d lived before (independence). I haven’t seen him afterwards.

Defence: You were in the country in between 16 December, 1971 and 14 August, 1975.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: You lived in your own home at Parerhat between 1971 and 2001.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Until 2009 you didn’t file a case against Sayedee. You didn’t bring forth any charge or speech against him.

Witness: No

Defence: Within this time no one had stopped you from filing case against Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee.

Witness: No

Defence: Did you file a police complaint before filing your case in court?

Witness: No

Defence: You didn’t show any reasoning behind filing your case so late.

Witness: I didn’t write that.

Defence: You didn’t mention your cousin and house help in that case.

Witness: No. (Later said) I can’t remember.

Defence: The first IO of that case was Azim Howlader.

Witness: no, Noor Mohammad.

Defence: After the case had been lodged, IO sent the six witnesses to testify in the Magistrate court.

Witness: Yes

Justice Zaheer: He didn’t file this case as deposition.

Defence: We have presented this as defence document.

Justice Zaheer: ok

Defence: The investigation officer (IO) of that case had visited your house several times.

Witness: Nur Mohammad went to my house once and told me that the case has been transferred to Dhaka.

Defence: IO had consulted you regarding witnesses.

Witness: I don’t know

Defence: The IO had visited you for evidence. Since you couldn’t provide it at that time, you are hiding this.

Witness: not true.

Defence: Afterwards you and PW1 Mahbubul Alam gave an interview on ETV.

Witness: I can’t remember

Defence: You are hiding this account since you’d mentioned in the interview that there are no burnt marks.

Witness: Not true.

Defence: Later on the IO, Helaluddin consulted you and Mahbub to create a seizure list for this case.

Witness: not true.

Defence: There wasn’t any burnt brick in your house.

Witness: there still is

Defence: The evidence that the IO had seized is not present before the court today.

Witness: I have left them in charge of Mahbub and Mustafa.

Defence: When did the IO visit your house to seize these items?

Witness: On 18/8/2009

Defence: When did he inform you that he’ll visit to seize the items?

Witness: I can’t remember

Justice Nizamul Haque: The IO goes for investigation, not to seize.

Defence: That’s the rule, but didn’t happen in this case.

Justice Nizamul Haque: The phrase “will visit to seize” won’t go. You’ll make the witness confused.

Defence: But he has given an answer. In my eyes, there is no ambiguity. Had he said, you could have raised this.

Justice Nizamul Haque: You’ve asked such a question where the witness was bound to say yes, “He had been to your house”.

Defence: He had informed before going.

Justice Nizamul Haque: If it was a Suo Moto question that would have been ok. But you’ve asked a question to embarrass the witness.

Defence: Have a look at the previous line. There’s no missing link between the two.
Adjournment for lunch
Defence: When on the day the items were being seized, did Helal Saheb come to your house?

Witness: Around 10-10:30 am.

Defence: After he’d arrived, he summoned Mahbubul Alam

Witness: He came much later.

Defence: When did Mahbubul Alam Howlader arrive at your house?

Witness: at 11am.

Defence: After Helal Saheb (Helaluddin) had come to your house, when did he call upon him (Mahbubul Alam Howlader)?

Witness: He was not called but came by himself.

Defence: Was Mustafa Howlader called upon?

Witness: No, he came by himself.

Defence: When did he come?

Witness: A little later after Mahbub (Howlader) had arrived.

Defence: Were many people present while preparing that seizure list?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Helal Saheb asked you to sign on the seizure list.

Witness: He didn’t ask me and I didn’t do it.

Defence: You have mentioned the name of Sekander Shikder in your statement. Did you know him before 1971?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: You father had cigarette trade with him.

Witness: My father didn’t have any business.

Defence: Do you know of his (Sekander’s) profession?

Witness: No.

Defence: You have mentioned the name of Danesh Molla. Did you know him previously?

Witness: Yes he was a school teacher.

Defence: Did you know another Razakar and Peace Committee member, Moslem Maulana?

Witness: Yes. He hails from our Badura village.

Defence: What was his profession?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: Did you know Razakar Momin?

Witness: Yes. I have seen him farming and teaching in Madrasa.

Defence: Did you know Sobahan Maulana?

Witness: He was a student back then, not a Maulana.

Defence: Your house is in Shangkarpasha Union?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Did you know the chairman of the Peace Committee of this union, Ekram Khalifa?

Witness: There wasn’t any Peace Committee in Shangkarpasha union.

Defence: Did you know Ekram Khalifa?

Witness: Yes. He was the chairman of that union.

Defence: Was he a freedom fighter?

Witness: No.

Defence: For how long did Ibrahim Kutti work in your house?

Witness: for 3-4 years.

Defence: What was his father’s name?

Witness: Gofur Sheikh.

Defence: Shahijuddin Sheikh wasn’t his father.

Witness: No.

Defence: His house was in your neighbouring village of Badura.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: From your house, Badura village has to be crossed to reach the end of the bridge.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: When he was brought there, none of his relatives came over there?

Witness: No.

Defence: Had no one come after his murder?

Witness: I haven’t seen.

Defence: What had happened to his corpse.

Witness: He was thrown into the river. I don’t know whether his body was buried afterwards.

Defence: He was thrown below the place of his murder.

Witness: Yes it was canal, not river.

Defence: Was Ibrahim Kutti married?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: His wife’s name is Momtaz Begum.

Witness: that I don’t know.

Defence: Do you know where his in-laws were from?

Witness: I’ve heard that his in-laws were from Nalbunia.

Defence: Did he have any children?

Witness: He had 1 or 2 perhaps.

Defence: Have you met his wife and children after independence?

Witness: No.

Defence: You are not aware of their condition-whether they are dead or alive.

Witness: No

Defence: Do you know that Ibrahim Kutti’s father-in-law is Azhar Ali?

Witness: No.

Defence: Ibrahim Kutti’s brother-in-law is Shaheb Ali alias Shiraj.

Witness: Yes I know.

Defence: Do you know Abdur Razzak, Delwar Hossain, Abdus Sattar Howlader, Taher Ali Howlader, Setara Begum, Azhar Ali Howlader, Ranu, Md Ali and Makbul Shikder of Baroikhali village.

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Razakar Atahar Ali Howlader, son of Ainuddin Howlader from Baroikhali?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Razakar Asrab Ali, son of Asmat Ali from Tengrakhali?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Abdul Mannan Howlader, son of Late Hashem Ami Howlader from Badura village

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Ayub Ali, son of Late Aroj Ali? He was a Razakar in Parerhat.

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Kalam Choukidar from Baroikhali village?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Ruhul Amin, son of Anwar Hossain from Parerhat?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Abdul Hakim Munshi, son of Momin-al Munshi from Baroikhali village?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did you know Mominuddin, son of Abdul Goni from Gazipiur?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Did you know the ASI of Pirojpur station in 1971, Shamsur Rahman.

Witness: No.

Defence: Ibrahim Kutti’s wife Momtaz Begum had filed a murder case of Kutti and his brother-in-law Shaheb Ali stating that they were killed by the Pakistani military on 1/10/1971 in Kutti’s in-law’s house. In her complaint, she had accused Danesh Ali Molla, Sekander Shikder, Moslem Maulana and the people who I’ve mentioned previously, starting from Atahar Ali until Shamsur Rahman. The case filed in Pirojpur Sadar police station on 16/7/1972 was recorded at 13:30 as case no. 9. Your statement regarding “Kutti was captured from your house and killed on Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s advice” is a false one and you have lodged a false complaint with the intention to receive government allowance.

Witness: Not true.

Defence: Despite your knowledge of Kutti’s mother-in-law being abducted by the Peace Committee, you have denied that account.

Witness: Not true.

Defence: The list I have mentioned, Abdur Razzak, Delwar Hossain, Abdus Sattar Howlader, Taher Ali Howlader, Setara Begum, Azhar Ali Howlader, Ranu, Md Ali and Makbul Shikder of Baroikhali village, are relatives of Ibrahim Kutti and Shaheb Ali. They know the real event and are witnesses of the case filed by Ibrahim Kutti’s case. They have told you about the real incidence but since their account doesn’t match with yours, you have given a false testimony.

Witness: Not true

Defence: For the same reason, you have hidden information regarding Ibrahim Kutti’s wife and children.

Witness: Not true.
Manzur Ahmed Ansari took over for the defenc
Defence: Do you know Haripad Mistiri from your village?

Witness: Yes

Defence: Do you know Jadabchandra Roy, Jateen Halder and Khabir Howlader?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: In 1971 Moslemuddin Poga’s house was on the western side of your house.

Witness: I didn’t notice.

Defence: How far is your house from Sultan Howlader’s house towards east?

Witness: Quarter mile.

Defence: In 1971, Jaheer and Saiful’s shops were on the west end of the bridge.

Witness: No.

Defence: The Pals (potters) had a row of shops there due to connectivity with the Bazaar on the west.

Witness: I can’t remember.

Defence: In your statement given to the IO you didn’t mention of having fish trade.

Witness: no

Defence: You also didn’t tell him that Mofizuddin Poshari was your cousin and domestic help.

Witness: I told him

Defence: You didn’t tell the IO that Mofizuddin Poshari and Ibrahim Kutti were tied with the same rope.

Witness: not true.

Defence: You didn’t mention in your statement that the gold was taken by Delwar Hossain Sayedee and others.

Witness: not true.

Defence: You didn’t mention in your statement given to the IO that they had unfastened Kutti, took him to the other side of the bridge towards west and made him stand in the middle

Witness: not true.

Defence: You didn’t mention that Kutti had shouted, and then his body was thrown into the water.

Witness: not true.

Defence: You didn’t tell the IO that “you had learnt Mofizuddin had been tortured in the camp. Between 1:30 and 2 am on the very night (following morning) Mofizuddin fled and came to your house. There was blood and bruises all over his body.”

Witness: not true.

Defence: You didn’t tell the IO that due to arson in your house, the documents related to your land had been destroyed.

Witness: I told him

Defence: Earlier you didn’t mention ‘Shikder’ in Delwar Hossain Shikder’s name.

Witness: not true.

Defence: You have given a false statement in court that, Delwar Shikder Sayedee along with others had organised the Peace Committee and Razakar forces in Parerhat.

Witness: not true.

Defence: You have given a false statement in court that, “on 8 May, 1971 Pakistani military was coming from Parerhat port towards our house. They were accompanied by Delwar Shikder, Sekander Shikder, Danesh Molla, Moslem Maulana, Razakar Mobin, Hakem Kari, Sobahan Maulana and many other Razakars. Noticing them approaching, me and my brothers hid ourselves in a big jungle on the eastern side of our house.”

Witness: I told the truth.

Defence: Your statement regarding “after the pillage, at Delwar Shikder’s direction the Razakar force poured kerosene on the five houses/rooms and torched it. The items of those houses were valued at Tk 10 lakh then” is not true.

Witness: Not true (the suggestion above).

Defence: Your statement regarding “Ibrahim Kutti was taken to the other side of the bridge, shot and killed by the Pakistani army on Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s advice, after which his body was thrown into the water” is not true.

Witness: It is true.

Defence: “Mofizuddin being taken to the camp as a captive, being tortured, returning to your house between 1:30-2 am and having blood and bruises all over his body”, are lies in your statement

Witness: not true.

Defence: Since Mofizuddin was not captured by Pakistani army, you haven’t mentioned of his torture and escape in the case you’d filed in Pirojpur court. You also didn’t make him a witness in that case.

Witness: I did.

Defence: Goni Poshari was one of your uncles.

Witness: He is my cousin.

Defence: After liberation, Goni Poshari had captured Razakars Abdur Razzak and Sekander Shikder of your area; shot and killed Abdur Razzak; and handed over Sekander Shikder to the police at request of other people.

Witness: not true.

Defence: Long before 8 May 1971 your house was looted and set on fire due to family feud.

Witness: not true.

Defence: Delwar Hossain Sayedee was neither in Parerhat nor in Pirojpur until mid-July of 1971.

Witness: He was there.

Defence: Although you are not a freedom fighter, to become listed as one and to enjoy government allowances including membership in the project “Ekti Khamar, Ekti Bari”, you have given false testimony in a false case filed against Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee.

Witness: not true.

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