Thursday, July 5, 2012

14 May 2012: Chowdhury 1st witness Anissussaman

The tribunal hearing started with examination in chief by the prosecutor, Zead Al Malum of the first witness, Professor Dr. Anisuzzaman, in the trial of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. The charges against Chowdhury are set out in the charge framing/indictment order.
Prosecutor: We’d like to produce Professor Dr. Anisuzzaman as our prosecution witness.

Prosecutor: What is your name and age?

Witness: My name is Anisuzzaman, born on- 18th February, 1937 at Kolkata, India and the name of my father is- ATM Muazzem.

Prosecutor: When did you come to the then East Pakistan?

Witness: After the division of two nations at 1947, we came to East Pakistan in October, 1947.

Prosecutor: Where you have completed your education?

Witness: On 1956 I’ve completed my B.A. (Hons.) in Bangla from the University of Dhaka. Afterwards in 1957 I passed my M.A. in Bangla from the same University.

Prosecutor: After passing your M.A. what were your activities?

Witness: After passing M.A. I started research in 1958; In 1959 I joined the Bangla Department as a lecturer.

Prosecutor: In which year did you get your PhD?

Witness: In 1962 I got my PhD in Bangla.

Prosecutor: How many years you have served with Dhaka University?

Witness: From 1959 to 1969 I was serving there for the first time. Afterwards, I joined the Chittagong University as a Reader. In 1972 I became a Professor at the same University.

Prosecutor: At the time of liberation war, where were you?

Witness: From the onset of liberation war from 25th March, 1971 when the Pakistan Army started attacking innocent people we were based at the Chittagong University and initiated a small resistance against those atrocities. When we started feeling that the resistance became week, we had planned to send our family members, living in the residential area of the University, outside the Campus. Some of the family members of the faculties of the University took shelter at the Kundeshwari Girls School. They were almost 50 in numbers, my wife and two daughters were included in the group.

After sending them to the Kundeshwari Girls School myself and the family members of the vice chancellor and the Registrar stayed two more nights there at the campus. On 1st April, 1971 I met my family members after visiting the Kundeshwari Girls School. On 2nd April, along with my family members, I took shelter at the village-Kathirhat under the Hathajari Police Station in Chittagong. On 10th April we went to Ramgor and took shelter at the home of Mr. Abdul Awal who was the manager of Ramgor Tea Estate, and who was a friend of my elder brother. When I went to the Kundeshwari Girls School, then Mr. Nuton Chandra (the founder of Kundeshwari Medicine Centre) was living there with his family members. He was there with his family and there were 50 more people consisting of the family members of the faculties of Chittagong University.

Prosecutor: Was Mr. Nuton Chandra there, when you visited?
Defence Counsels: My Lord, he is asking a leading question.

Justice Nizamul Huq: We won’t take the question as it is a leading question. The question which consist the answer of either yes or no that is a leading question. You should not raise any leading question.
Prosecutor: When you came to Kundeshwari Medicine Centre towards India, was Mr. Notun Chandra there?

Witness: When I’ve left towards India, Mr. Nuton Chandra was there [as the medicine centre] with his family.

Prosecutor: After reaching India did you met any family members of Mr. Nuton Chandra? If it is so who were they?

Witness: After crossing the border of India I reached Agortola on 26th April, 1971 and from there I’ve reached Kolkata on 15th May, 1971. There were a lot of colleagues of Chittagong University there. Mr. Profullo Chandra who was the younger son of Mr. Notun Chandra was also there with his family. I’ve told you that we reached Ramgor on 10th April, 1971 and stayed there till 26th April. As far as I can remember I’ve met Mr. Profullo Chandra at Ramgor. There he has stated to me that his father was dead. When I asked the details, he stated that the Pakistan Army entered the Kundeshwari premises and when returning under the direction of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury who was the son of Fazlul Quader Chowdhury his father was shot down, his corpse was left there for 3 days, and afterwards the neighbors took the initiative to organize his funeral.

At Kolkata I had formed a Bangladesh Teachers’ Association with a number of refugee teachers. Professor Dr. A R Mollik- the Vice Chancellor of Chittagong University was assigned as the President and I was assigned as the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Teachers’ Association.

On 16th December, 1971 Bangladesh got its victory. I returned on 6th January, 1972 at Khulna and at 8 January I reached Dhaka. I joined my previous post as a faculty member of Chittagong University and became a Professor of the Bangla Department. Afterwards I went to Kundeshwari to express my gratitude towards them.

Then Profullo Chandra Singha let me know that he was assigned as a faculty member of Kundeshwari Girls School, and that the then Gopal Dash and some other people had informed him that on 13th April, 1971 the Pakistan Army had entered the place, and at that time Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury was known as a Major. The Pakistan Army shot Notun Chandra Singha by dragging him from his place and afterwards Mr. Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury has shot him by his own Pistol.

I would like to mention another incident. Salehuddin, who was a student of Chittagong University, was abducted by razakar troops and was detained in the house of Mr. Fazlul Quader Chowdhury at “Goods Hill” for maintaining connection with the Freedom fighter. Mr. Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and others tortured him grievously. He become a Senate member of Chittagong University and mentioned this incident in a Senate meeting. Now he is the Vice Chancellor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.

Prosecutor: When have you left Chittagong University?

Witness: In 1985 I left Chittagong University and joined University of Dhaka as a Professor and I retired in 2003. In 2005 I joined the same University as an extra faculty and at 2008 I’ve become the Professor of Emeritus.

Prosecutor: Would you please say something about the atrocities between 25th March, 1971 to 16th December, 1971?

Witness: In between the period of 25th March-16th December, 1971 the Pakistan Army committed several crimes like killing, genocide, looting, arson, rape etc. Almost 1 crore people have left their homes and took asylum at India as a refugee. The Jamate Islami, Convention Muslim League and others have formed auxiliary forces and tortured the innocent people. A number of intellectuals lost their lives at the the hands of this group. They have formed the Peace Committee to assist the Pakistan Government, among them Motiur Rahman Nizami, Fazlul Quader Chowdhury and a lot of other leaders have played leading role.

Prosecutor: Where was Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury staying at the time of 1971?

Witness: His activities were mainly based on the Chittagong area.

Prosecutor: Have you faced the Investigation Officer?

Witness: On 28th September, 2011; Monowara Begum, an investigation officer asked me some questions and I answered them.
Mr. Ahsanul Haq [Defence Counsel]: The statements which he has given are not similar to the statements given to the investigation officer and the book which has been written by him.

Justice Nizamul Huq: Mr. Counsel, please do not make any comment whether the Professor is stating true or false. Now start your cross examination.

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