Thursday, July 5, 2012

21 May 2012: Chowdhury 2nd witness Salimullah

After the morning session dealing with the Sayedee trial, the examination-in-chief of the second prosecution witness Md. Salimullah relating to the trial of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury took place, with questioning by Zead-al-malum.
Prosecution: What is your Name? 
Witness:  My name is Md. Salimullah. 
Prosecution: How old you are? 
Witness:  I am 68 years old. 
Prosecution: How long you have studied? 
Witness:  I have completed my graduation. 
Prosecution: What did you do after completing your study? 
Witness:  I used to my family business. We had a printing press which was known as Muslim Press. It was situated in Abhyamitro Road, Firingi Bazar in Chittagong. 
Prosecution: Who used to work in your Printing Press? 
Witness:  Basically Hindu people would work in my Printing Press. There were 5 or 6 Hindu employees in my Press. 
Prosecution: Did they face any problem on their way to work? 
Witness:  Yes, they had been facing harassment by the Pakistan Army, Basically they need to cross the Kalurghat bridge and Pakistan army checked them by opening out their cloth whether they Hindu or Muslim. 
Prosecution: Had you done anything for their security? 
Witness:  I had hired a house of my Hindu friends Runu Babu and Nihar babu for their accommodation. Actually on July, 1971, Runu Babu and Nihar babu went to Shatkania to avoid torture of Pakistan army. 
Prosecution: Would you please tell us what was the condition of your employees? 
Witness:  September 2, 1971 there was curfew at Chittagong from 6pm. In the mean time at 5pm one of my employees came and said that 2 of my employees was tortured at the house of Nihar babu where they used to live by the Hamidul Kabir Chowdhury alias Khoka, he was the commander of Chittagong Alshams force, Wahidul alam, Jafar, Saifuddin son of Fazlul Quder Chowdhury was also with him. They tortured my employees after blaming them for setting the Bihari’s House on fire. Basically Al Shams Force was set up under the leadership of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and under the supervision of Fazlul Quader Chowdhury. They used to go Rangunia, Boalkhali, Saatkania, Patia, Raujaan and other areas in a red car which was provided to them by Fazlul Quader Chowdhury. According to the information of the “sources” they abducted those people who were in favour of independence and looted the house of Hindu people. If they saw any beautiful girl, they would abduct them and bring them at the Nihar babu’s house and torture them through out the night. Even they (beautiful girls) were handed over to the Pakistan army, after that they were killed and their dead bodies were thrown into to the Karnafuli River from the Kalurghaat Bridge. Based on information of the “sources” persons who were politically influential had been abducted and detained at the tortured cell of the Fazlul Quader Chowdhury and Salahuddin Quader ChowdhuryBasically they intentionally blamed my employees so that they left the Nihar babu’s House. Hearing that, I came to the Nihar babu’s House and saw they were torturing my employees. I asked them why they tortured my employees. In response they said my employees set the bihari’s house on fire. Then I said that “it is unbelievable, they cannot do so, and how can they do so? They are scared on their own life then how can they do so. Okay, if they do so then hand over them to the Kutawali Thana” But in reply they said to me that we will punish him, then I was told not to argue with them otherwise they will punish me but relief them. Then they if it is needed we will punish you also. Then carrying my two employees in their car they left the place towards the good hills. Then I decided to go to good hills. 
Prosecution: Then what did you do? 
Witness:  When I started to walk toward the goods hill, I saw that a car was coming back from the goods hill. There was another car coming behind this one. Then these two cars were broken down in front of me. In one car there was 15 Sindhi police and from another car Hamidul kabir khoka got down and directed the sindhi police to detain me. Then they forced me into their car and drove me to the good hills along with the 70 year old “Khalifa”. At that time an old “Khalifa” lived at Nihar Babu’s house, he also came with me willingly. When this car was going back towards the good hills then another car was coming from the Jatindra Mohan Sen Hall. Actually my uncle Mr Mukhlesur rahman was in that car and he saw that I was forced into the car. Mr. Mukhlesur Eahman was my mother’s cousin. Then they took me to the corridor of the goods hill, and that time Hamidul kabir chowdhury Khoka and Wahidul Alam said “Sala Malaun ka sarfarsti kartahe. Uska paa upor koro ser niche koro” (he supported hindus, put his legs up and head down). Then I was hung upside down from a pillar in the yard of goods hill. They also beat me up all over my body with the back of their rifles. Then they said “sala ko garage me band karo” (lock them up them inside the garage). They also tortured us in the garage. Actually those garages of the house were used as used as tortured cell. I had also heard groans coming from other two or three adjacent garage. Then in one moment I was groaning for water. I felt extremely thirsty. Then Khalifa was crawling towards door of the garage and brought out a brick and hit it under my head. After that I became unconscious. Then most probably at 12am I got back my sense hearing barking of dogs then I lost my sense again. Then in early morning I became conscious again by hearing the sound of gunshots outside. Apparently, sons of Fazlul Quder Choudhury used to practice by shooting every morning and also would fire on those people from the garage who needed to be killed. 
Defence: My lord, I have an objection upon the word “apparently”. 
Witness: Then I thought that “may be I am going to be murdered” and in one point I remembered nothing but my 4-month young daughter and prayed to Allah to keep her safe. After that I heard that a Sindi Police was reciting from the Holy Quran in a very sad tone. Then he passed me a mug of water while he crossing the garage at time of going Toilet. My life was regained by drinking this water. Then at 8 to 8:30pm the door of the garage was opened by Hamidul kabir chowdhury alias Khoka then he embraced me and apologized to me. My nephew Muhammad Isak and my friend Shafikur Rahman also came with him. Then they told me “let us go.” I said I will not go without that old “Khalifa”. Then they said “you go, he will be released later.” When we were coming back from the good hill we saw Saifuddin Quder Chowdhury was standing besides the stairs then my friend Shafiqur rahman angrily said to him torturing innocent people by forming Al shams would not bring any good results. I have not not get any news about this Khalifa or my two employees yet. I think, they were killed. Name of my two employees are Dewal and sampan. 
Defence: My lord, I have an objection upon the word “I think” 
Witness: In 1971, there were two peace committee, one was run by FQchy and his son SQchy, and another was run by Mahmudun Nabi Chowdhury. Alshams Force which was led by SQchy had committed many crimes that time. On his direction Khoka, Jafar, Wahidul Alam used to go Patia, Raujaan, Rangunia, Boalkhali and abducted independence–seeking people and tortured them at their tortured cell at good hills. Then their dead bodies were thrown into the Karnafuli River. I have given this statement to the I.O Nurul Islam on 12 April, 2011 at Cercuit House Chittagong. And on 3pm - 5:30pm I have identified the garage where I was tortured at Goodhills of FQchy which is now residence of Sallauddin Quader Chowdhury and Saifuddin Quader Chowdhury.There was a wooden staircase which is absent now and there are tin sheds garage which were not there at that time. And later on 13th July, 2011 I have showed the place to the I.O from where I was abducted and the yard of Runu babu and Nihar babu’s house in where my employees were tortured.
At one point witness and defence counsels Ahsanul-haq-hena exchanged heated words. Then Justice Nizamul Haq said, keep the situation under control. 'His not an expert witness that is why certain problems are created'. In reply Mr. hena said “I know him very well, he is quite expert.

Then the court was adjourned.

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