Monday, July 2, 2012

11 Mar 2012: Mujahid charge framing 1

Today’s hearing was set aside for charge-framing application of Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid. Advocate Munshi Ahsan Kabir for Mujahid came to the dais and said that there the prosecution had not provided all the documents required and so the defence is unable to complete their preperation

Justice Nizamul Haque: We’ve told the prosecution again and again to be careful about submitting documents. As far as I know, Mr. Prosecutor, Saiful Islam is dealing with this issue of missing documents. You could consult him to solve the matter before coming to the court. Now, you’re asking about this on the day of hearing.

Advocate Mokhlesur Rahman Badol for the prosecution apologized to the court and said that they, because we’re ready to provide the defence team with any kind of information that they are missing. But they’ve not asked for the assistance.

Justice Nizamul Haque: I can’t understand why the prosecution team has again submitted them papers with missing documents.

Advocate Zead Al Malum: My Lord, we’re dealing with 40 years old documents. So, it is quite possible there would be some minor problems in the photocopies of those documents.

Justice Nizamul Haque: Now, here I would like to say that the Prosecution team will again provide those documents. If afterwards the defence team still find any problem on those obscure photocopies, then they would be allowed to have a look at the original hard copies.

Advocate Zead Al Malum: The copies we’re providing here are the replica and it is our humble submission to consider the matter of 40 years old papers which have been photocopied, because it is difficult for the quality of such documents to decline when copied.

Justice Fazle Kabir: We are unable to take illegible copies. You have to provide legible copies.

Advocate Zead Al Malum: We’re very happy about providing the legible copies; My Lord.

Advocate Saiful Islam: My Lord; we’ve already supplied a lot of important documents and reference of books. And about the rest of the documents; we’re working on it.

Justice Nizamul Haque: So, now we settled down the matter of illegible and missing documents. We would like the prosecution to read out our formal charge

Advocate Munshi Ahsan Kabir: My Lord, as we’ve not got the chance to prepare ourselves, we humbly request your Lordship to adjourn the matter today and let us have some more time.

Justice Nizamul Haq: Let the prosecution submit their submission of formal charge.

Advocate Munshi Ahsan Kabir: My Lord, Please consider our matter. My Lord, if you would kindly allow a short adjournment so in that case we would be so obliged.

Justice Nizamul Haq: No, Mr. Munshi; as we’ve been hired to hear the matters till 4 P.M. each day; so it would be odd to adjourn the court within 20- 25 minutes. So, let the prosecution team shortly read out their submission.

Advocate Mokhlesur Rahman Badol then read out the following application for charge framing
1. The case history and description:
The Investigation Officer has been assigned to do this job powered by Section 8 of the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 and according to section 3 (2) of the same act. Later on, according to a order of the International Crimes Tribunal, notification number tri/87/rules/10, issued on 15-07-2010 and authored by complaint registrar number-01/2010 of the Investigation Agency, Date: 21-7-2010, the Investigation Officer initiated his job against the accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid. After conducting the investigation, the IO submitted all the collected paper, documents, evidence and witness statements to the chief prosecutor on 30-10-2011 according the rules and regulations of the International Crimes tribunal Act 1973 and the International Crimes tribunal (Amendment) Act 2010 and 2011. Based on those submitted documents, the prosecution submitted the formal charge against Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid on 5-112-2011 before the International Crimes tribunal. The tribunal set 11-12-2011 for cognizance hearing. But the first formal charges was not in proper form, saying this the tribunal sent the charges back to the prosecution instead of taking into cognizance. The tribunal asked the prosecution to submit the formal charges again in correct form on 16-01-2012. As per the tribunal order, today at 16-12-2012, this is the application for submitting formal charges against the accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid.

2. Profile of the accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid: 2.1 Late Maulana Abdul Ali is the father of the accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahi. His mother is Late Nurjahan Begum. The accused was born in 2nd January, 1948. His native address is located at the West Khabashpur village of the Kotowali thana of the Faridpur district. And in Dhaka, he lives in House no. 5, Road 10, Sector 11 of Uttara.

2.2 The accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid was admitted in Faridpur Rajendra College after passing the SSC in 1964. In the last year of HSC while reading that Rajendra College, he joined at Islami Chhatra Shangha (ICS). He was president of Faridpur district ICS from 1968-1970. By the end of December 1970, he got admitted in the Department of Law of the Dhaka University. In month of January-February 1971, he was appointed as the president of Dhaka district ICS. He has been selected as the Secretary General of central ICS in August/September of the same year. He was appointed as the provincial president of ICS at the October, 1971 and continued his job till 16th December 1971. He is married and a father of 3 sons and a daughter.

The accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid belongs to a political family. His father Late Maulana Abdul Ali was a provincial assembly member of the then East Pakistan from 1962-1964. Mr. Mujahid took part in the national parliamentary election held in 1986, 1996, 1996 and 2008 but could not secure victory. He performed his job as the Social Welfare Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh from 2001 to 2006.

3. The background of the crimes committed by the accused:

3.1 The Indian sub-continent came under British rule following the defeat of Nawab Shirajuddowla to British forces at the Lakkabad of Poliashi on 23rd June 1757. The people of this continent then carried a struggle with their aspiration to get free from the autocracy of the foreign invaders. At one stage of this century-long struggle, Pakistan and India two separate states emerged on 14th and 15th August of 1947 based on the spirit of two-nation theory.

3.2 After analyzing the backdrops of the liberation war of Bangladesh, history relevant documents and news papers, it appears that, the state of Pakistan was formed consisting two separate territory named East Pakistan and West Pakistan. The distance between these two territories was around 12 hundred miles. Pakistan was established to preserve the interest of the Muslim communities of the East and West Pakistan. But, practically from the initial stages, a sectarian group of West Pakistan captured the central power and most of them were landlords, more precisely Panjabi land lord. They took over the entire Muslim League and compelled the party and government to surrender before the bureaucracy. Thus, the administrative and power politics became centered within the West Pakistan. East Pakistan became the victim of deprivation and repression of West Pakistan from the begginning of the journey of the state of Pakistan. The West Pakistani people treated the East Pakistanis as inferior to them. There was vivid racism as well. Though the state of Pakistan was formed based on religion and the Islam dominated the belief of the 80 percent of the people, except for religion there was no similarity among the peoples, even there were differences in social customs and manners, dress, gesture, tradition, culture and food habit. Due to the racism, East Pakistan or its leadership could not play any significant role in the policy making strategy of Pakistan. Along with the policies of depriving the East Pakistan in the general assembly, the West Pakistani authority was plotting conspiracies to make the East Pakistan a colony of the West Pakistan.

3.3 Though the number of population was higher in East Pakistan, West Pakistan has the dominance in all sectors and forces including the defense force. The West Pakistan took the absolute control in the military, buracracy, judiciary, economic institutions and the politics. From the beginning of the new state, the rulers of West Pakistan carried their repression and discrimination by suppressing the basic rights of the people of East Pakistan. The inhabitants of East Pakistan became the worst victim of those tyrannical rules in all sectors including education, job, trade and commerce, industry, social welfare, budget, foreign business and foreign currency based development projects, donor aid, agriculture and power and electricity. The people of East Pakistan became angered facing this continuous deprivation. East Pakistan remained under insecurity during the war between India and Pakistan in 1965. In this backdrop, prior to a conference of the opposition leaders of the West Pakistan on 6th February 1966, the pro-people leader of the East Pakistan Sheikh Mujibur Rahman placed the historic 6 points at the subject committee meeting in Lahore on 4th February. He boycotted the conference and returned to Dhaka as the pro-Islamic leaders of Pakistan rejected his proposals. Then he placed his 6 points again at the working committee meeting of Awami League on 21st February.

3.4 Following the move, the rulers of West Pakistan bolstered their repression and as a part of it, a new case named Agortola Conspiracy case has been filed at the beginning of the year 1968, keeping Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the principal accused. Massive movement launched consequently with the demand of withdrawing this motivates cases and against the West Pakistan conspiracies, those were made to foil the interest of the Bengalis of the East Pakistan. This movement created an upsurge across the East Pakistan. Facing that mass movement, the West Pakistani rulers became compelled to withdraw Agortola Conspiracy case and to release Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other accused on 22nd February of 1969. Later, appearing as the uncontroversial leader of East Pakistan, Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for a massive movement based on 6 points claiming the Right of Self Determination and the 11 points, which had been placed by the all party student movement committee.

3.5 The Southern region of Bengal became widely affected by the cyclone that hit the area on 12th November, 1970. The entire life of the locals became shattered. Thousands of people became homeless and bankrupt by that cyclone and high tide. The role of Yahya Khan government testifies their reluctance towards the impoverished people this locality. The outsider world extended their hands of cooperation for the cyclone affected people, but the authority of West Pakistan showed no sympathy for this unfortunate people. Even Mr. Yahya never visited the disaster prone area. Then Bongonbondhu visited the devastated area and at a press conference in presence of the local and foreign journalists held the West Pakistani rulers responsible for their careless and irresponsible attitude towards this cyclone affected people. Under the circumstances, the people of East Bengal began to think in a new way about the future of the state of Pakistan. In this circumstance, the election of general assembly held on 7th December 1970 and the provincial election followed that on 17th December. In the national assembly election, Awami League won 167 seats including the 7 women reserve seats in East Pakistan. While, the Peoples Party secured victory in 88 seats and 5 women reserve seats in West Pakistan. Despite the Awami League gained outright majority in the general elections, the then military rulers of the West Pakistan denied to hand over power and plotted manifold conspiracies. Breeching all the constitutional norms, in guise of discussion and dialogue, adopting the tactics of treachery, cheating, defying promises and others, the West Pakistani authority started to kill time intentionally. As a consequence, President Yahia Khan suspended the session of the national assembly scheduled on 3rd March in an announcement on 1st March 1971. In the mid of 1970, just before the election, Yahya and Bhutto hold a meeting at Larkana. At one stage of that discussion, Bhutto informed Yahya that, East Pakistan is no problem. We will have to kill some 20 thousand people and then all would be well. By the end of December, a trustworthy General of Yahya Khan arrived in Dhaka. At a banquet at the governor house, he clearly stated that, ‘’don’t worry, we will not allow these black bastards to rule over us.” At a meeting of the army personnel at February 1971, General Yahya said, just kill some 3 million people of East Pakistan, then see how the rest of the people became handy toys for us to deal with.

3.6 As a consequence of President Yahya Khan’s suspension of the session of the national assembly scheduled on 3rd March, massive upsurge occurred in Dhaka on 2nd March and other parts of the East Pakistan. The student leaders hoisted a flag of an independent country at a meeting held at Dhaka University. To resist those pro-liberation people, the West Pakistani authority imposed evening law. Protesting the Pakistani conspiracy against the Bengalis, Awami League launched a massive non-cooperation movement. The Army took strong steps against the volunteers and general supporters of Awami League on 5th March that injured some 300 people. Mass resentment spread like anything against the repression of the West Pakistani authority across the East Pakistan. In this backdrop, Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave his historic address at the Racecourse ground on 7th March and urged the people to continue their non-cooperation movement altogether. He termed that ‘’this struggle is being carried for achieving independence.” He also called upon the people to remain prepared with anything. On 15th March 1971, Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced 35 declarations for the people of East Pakistan including the announcement of autonomous rule. In the meantime, Yahya Khan arrived at Dhaka and started a formal dialogue with Bongobondhu on 19th March. Mr. Bhutto consulted with Yahya coming into Dhaka on 21st March. Yahya also hold a informal meeting with Bongobondhu. On 22nd March Yahya Khan also adjourned the inaugural session of the national assembly scheduled on 25th March. With the cover of these formal discussions, as a part of their secret plan, the West Pakistan authorities reinforced huge amount of military forces in East Pakistan. President Yahya left Dhaka secretly on 25th March after giving the instruction to implement the pre-planned conspiracy to demolish and repress the Bengalis.

3.7 As per the plan, Pakistani army carried out massive crackdown against the general Bengali people in the 25th March midnight. The prime target of this heinous crackdown was the Bengali nation - except those pro-rightist politician who had been defeated by Awami League in the 1970 election - particularly Bangladesh police, army, EPR, Ansar, religious minority, Hindu people, worker and activist of Awami League and other progressive party, teachers, intellectuals, farmer, labors and general masses. The Pakistani army instructed by General Tikka Khan carried out a huge massacre at Rajarbagh police line, Pilkhana EPR headquarter, Jagannath hall, Rokeya hall and Iqbal hall of Dhaka University and the Shakhari Potti of the old capital where huge number of Hindu people resided. They also set fire at thousand of houses. In these circumstances, Bongonbondhu Sheikh Mujib announced the independence of the country at the very first hour of 26th March, which was published widely in the mass media. Immediately after that announcement, the West Pakistani authority arrested him from his house. The independence declaration of Bongobondhu was published as the main news item in the The Time magazine of London on 27th March.

3.8 The independence declaration of Bongobondhu inspired the Bengali nation to initiate struggle against the repression of the West Pakistani rulers. Soon that struggle turned into a liberation war of a nation. Bengali EPR, Police and army men took part in that war. Responding at the call of Bongobondhu, general Bengali people continued their war. To make the war more comprehensive and strong, an interim government was formed on 10th April 1971 as per the consent of the elected representatives keeping Syed Nazrul Islam as the acting president, Tajuddin Ahmed the Prime Minister. The interim government took oath on 17th April at the AmroKanon of Boidhdhonathtola of the Meherpur district. The headquarter of this government was established in the free area of Mujib Nagar located at the South Western part of the country. The formation of the government gave a new pace to the liberation war struggle across the country. The Pakistani invading forces carried out inhuman torture and repression against the people of Bengals with the assistance of the local associates including Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League, Nezam-e-Islam party, PDP and other right wing parties and the peace committee along with the collaborators of AL Badr, Al Shams. At one stage of that struggle, the nation of Bengal achieved victory on 16th December following the surrender of the Pakistani forces before the joint command of the Freedom fighters and Joint force. A new country named Bangladesh appeared at the global map.

4. Time of occurrence and committed crimes:

Pakistani forces initiated a military crackdown from 25th March 1971, through operation searchlight and it continued for 9 months till 16th December, where the Pakistani forces surrendered before the joint command of the Freedom fighters and Joint force. From 25th March to 16th December 1971, Pakistani forces and their associates committed various crimes under 3 (2) of the International Crimes Tribunal Act 1973 including crimes against humanity such as murder, genocide, conversion, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, hostages, abduction, confinement, tortures, rape, persecution, arson and looting.

5. The crime committing sides:
Pakistani armed forces were the key players behind all sorts of the above-mentioned crimes that had been carried to repress, suppress and discriminate the Bengali nation. But to conduct a successful military operation local assistance was needed inevitably. The reason of that inevitability was the lacking of area based information and idea about the targeted personnel and the language differences. To meet the deficiencies, the Pakistani forces largely depended on their local collaborators. Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League, Nezam-e-Islam party, PDP and other right wing parties and the peace committee along with the collaborators of AL Badr, Al Shams appeared at that time as the main associates of implementing that Pakistani strategy and assisted them widely. Most of these organizations were constituted earlier and rest of the bodies formed after the liberation war. The military role of the West Pakistan was paved the way of offences and these auxiliary forces turned into criminal organizations. The Pakistani army and their auxiliary forces are the main side who had committed crimes.

6. The main purpose of the crimes:

6.1 The West Pakistan carried a discriminatory role against the Bengali people in several decades and that intention and ill motive were reflected in their crimes committed during liberation war. Even a vivid similarity was found in motives and targets between the defense and auxiliary forces. The target and motives were clearly understood from the backdrop the liberation war.

6.2 The main target of the army and their auxiliary forces were as follows:
a) To continue the financial exploitation over the Bengali nation
b) To demolish the pro-Awami League people and Awami League supporters of East Pakistan as they have provided Awami League an outright majority
c) Ethnical vindictiveness towards Bengali nation
d) Political rigidity
e) To create panic among the Bengali people so that they would become compelled to withdraw from the liberation struggle
f) To establish normalcy by crushing the pro-liberation movement
g) To make the Bengali nation intellectually bankrupt

7. How the victims of crime were identified 
During the war of liberation, the Pakistani forces and their auxiliary forces including Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League, Nezam-e-Islam party, PDP and other right wing parties and the peace committee along with the collaborators of AL Badr, Al Shams identified the victim considering some specific issues. To detect the victim, the Pakistani military and the auxiliary forces almost followed the same strategy. They considered religion, race, gender, political involvement, complicity with liberation war and the freedom fighters ages to detect the victims.

8. Complicity of the accused, influence and organizational structure:
8.1 The accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid was the president of the Islamic Chhatra Shangha (ICS) from 1966 to 1970. He was selected as the president of ICS Dhaka district at the January/February of 1971, became the provincial Secretary General of the ICS (Daily Sangram 8th July, 1971) and then performed the job of the provincial ICS president in the later period. Al Badar was formed consisting the member of the ICS. Matiur Rahman Nizami conducted the job of the Al Badr forces from September 1971 and then Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid became the head of the force from October. At that time, ICS was the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.
There then followed a series of sections on the Jamaat-e-Islami, its student wing, the Peace Committee, Razakers, Al Badr and Al Shams almost identical to that used in section 5 of the application relating to Gholam Azam that can be found on this page.

The tribunal was then adjourned for the day. Proceedings on this case were adjourned until 20 March.

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