Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 Sep 2012: Sayedee 1st defense witness

This was the first day at the tribunal for the newly appointed Justice Jahangir Hossain.

Tanvir Ahmed Alamin from the defence asked the Tribunal to wait and start the examination in chief of the first Defence Witness in the presence of the accused petitioner. The tribunal rejected the prayer and instructed the defence lawyers to start the examination in chief.

In an order on 14 August, the tribunal stated that the defense could only call 20 witnesses. The application to recall the order was rejected.

The first defence witness, Shamsul Alam Talukdar in the case of Sayedee came to the witness box. He was asked questions by Manjur Ahmed Ansari
Defence: What is your name and state your identity.

Defence Witness: My name is Shamsul Alam Talukdar, father- late Monuchehar Talukdar, mother- late Fulbanu Bibi; Age- 68 years. Address 1: village- Ikri, Police Station- Vandaria, District- Pirojpur and Address-2: village- Khuntakata, Police Station- Shoronkhola, District- Bagerhat.

I have read at class-4 of the Primary School of Ikri village, and then I have read at class- 5 & 6 at the Shonnasi School of Morolgonj Police Station of the Bagerhat District. I have read class- 7,8 and 9 at the Bagerhat Town School. I have passed the SSC from the Dighirjan High School of the Najimpur Police Station of Pirojpur District on 1961. Then I have passed intermediate examination from the PC College on 1963. I have passed degree examination on 1976. On 11 November, 1963 I have been elected as the general secretary of the Student Union of PC College. In 1964 I have been elected as the organizational secretary of the East Pakistan Student Union, Khulna District. In 1965 I have been elected as the general secretary of the same organization. In 1968 I have been elected as the Vice President of the East Pakistan Student Union. In 1969 I have joined the National Awami Party under the leadership of Mawlana Vasani and became the President of Shoronkhola Thana Committee. I have been imprisoned for joining the movement against the Report of educational system and for joining the democratic movement. In 1970 I have submitted the nomination paper for the election of Provincial council. Due to working for the distressed flood victims of the then East Pakistan and for the burying of so many corpses of flood victims our leader Mawlana Vasani has instructed me to stop taking part on the election.

From my student life I am involved with social works. In 1962 I have established a High School in my village Khuntakata. I along with my family have gifted the land required for the establishment of the school. In 1979 I have established a junior girl’s School named BK School, which is now known as BK High School. I have gifted 1 acre land in this establishment. In 1963 I have set up the establishment of the Kathalbari High School and by the donation of everyone I have established the school. In 1978 I have established the Shoronkhola College and gifted 14 kura (terms used for the measurement of land in locality) land. In 1962 I have proposed to establish a college in Morolgonj and I was the first man to donate. In 1973 I have established the Rajapur High School of Shoronkhola. In 1974 I have established the Jonota High School and the Vasani Kindergarten School. In 1978 I have established the Bagerhat Khan Jahan Adorsho School and I was the executive member of the same school. In 1978 I have played the lead role in establishing the Bagerhat Adorsho School and I was the member of managing committee of that school. In 1970 the Bagerhat Foundation has been established by the cooperation of Mr. Mostafijur Rahman for the help of the poor students. Now the foundation holds 3 Crore taka. In 1986 I have established a Madrasa in the name of my elder brother Abdus Sobhan at the village Vandaria. Our family has donated 10 kura land for the establishment. There are so many organization where I was directly involved with the establishment work.

Defence Counsel: What do your children do?

Defence Witness: My elder son Asadujjaman Taj has completed M.Com and now working at an NGO at London, the second son is operating a pharmacy at Khulna who is a graduate, my third son has completed M.Com and he has a whole sale business of medicine, my forth son has passed from AIUB by getting first class, my elder daughter is studying LL.B at the 2nd year, the youngest daughter has passed SSC examination by obtaining GPA-5 from the Viquarunnesa Noon High School. The second daughter has completed the SSC from Bagerhat and is involved in religious activities. I have a fish ground and a lot of lands at my village.

After the declaration of independence by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at 7th March, 1971 we got to understand that negotiations will not give effective results; so we have started taking preparation for freedom fight movement. At the end of May we have preserved some rice and foods at Sundarban near Shoronkhola. At the end of May, 1971 the Razakars arrived. At that time there were some old Bengali Army Officers and other people. Kabir Ahmed Modhu was also there. We have attacked the Razakar Camp of Morolgonj Union Office with the local people approximately at 11 P.M. From that attack one boy of our team named Abu died and 3 men from the Razakar have died on spot. At the very first stage of the morning the Razakar fled away from Morolgonj.

Afterwards we the freedom fighters met at the house of Radha Gobind and fixed the next work plan. We have set up a camp at the house of Radha Gobind by the help of the people of Chatro League, Chatro Union and Jubo- League. We have got the news that Major Ziauddin is staying at a house, after getting the news we have sent a team to bring him to us with due respect. He has come within the evening. He has heard everything from us. Then we had a meeting by making some more people gathered there with us. At that meeting we all have fixed to make Major Ziauddin as the Commander of that area. 1500 to 2000 freedom fighters were present at that meeting. I was appointed as the second in command. After two days the Pakistan Armies attacked. We the freedom fighters have entered Sundarban. After getting entry into the Sundarban we have changed some of our war-strategy and sent Major Ziauddin to India by boat to bring arms. We have made some small shelters for the freedom fighters by cutting trees which could contain 20 to 25 freedom fighters at a time. Afterwards we have made two groups- one group contained the college student or the elderly people and another group contained the school student and the younger people. Everyone entered at the village one by one- everyone got training- then a large team of freedom fighters was prepared. We have made a parade ground for their training by cutting trees and flatten the field. There were women freedom fighters with us, they had separate group.

Before the return of Major Ziauddin we didn’t have gone to any big operation. My wife was there with us at the Camp. Sordar Rashid of Potuakhali and his two sisters- Anu and Monu were also there and there were so many other people. They have got training and were doing other works of the Camp. We have made something like a mini Cantonment there. In the meantime Major Ziauddin arrived with the arms loaded with 11 boats. No Razakar got the chance to enter the Southkhali Union. The area was always under our control. After the return of Major Ziauddin we have planned to attack the Morolgonj Police Station. The Matriculation Examination was running at that time. There were 5 razakar Camps at Morolgonj. We have made 6 groups. Subedar Aziz got the responsibility of the team to attack the police station. Kabir Ahmed Modhu got the responsibility of the team to attack the Rayer Building Razakar Camp. Subedar Gaffar got the duty of the team to attack the Kutibari Razakar Camp. Major Ziauddin took the responsibility of the team to attack the Morolgonj College Razakar Camp and took me with him. Mukul got the duty of the team to attack the KC High School Razakar Camp.

We have attacked Morolgonj School and college; Major Ziauddin entered the building by the ventilator of the school and Razakars were attacked by him. 14 or 15 of them surrendered, two of them were seriously injured and they died when they were being taken to Sundarban. The Razakars who were caught by us have been killed. The villagers became very happy and gifted us several types of foods and they started slogan by shouting- ‘Joy Bangla’. Then we had a meeting at the parade ground, we have planned how we could operate the freedom fighting.

Then at that time so many people have started joining the freedom fight movement. We have consulted with Shahjahan Omar of Jhalkathi and Mr. Mehedi of Potuakhali. We have made some arrangements for the thousands refugees to reach India. Then Major Ziauddin was again sent to India and he has returned after 15 days with heavy arms and the trained freedom fighters. Afterwards we have again changed our strategy and started attacking the Police Stations. By taking the charge of Tushkhali Port Go-down we have seized about 240,000 kilogram rice and brought 150 Razakars and Police with us at our Camp. Then we have sent 80,000 kilogram rice to India for our freedom fighters.

After this attack, the fighter plane and gunboat started targeting our Camp. But they have failed to make any damage to our Camp. Then we have attacked the Pirojpur Kowkhali Police Station. Then we have brought back the arms and bullets and two Panjabi Police with us at the Camp from the place of attack. Then we have attacked the Vandaria Police Station. The OC of that Police Station with the Police and arms and bullets have been brought back with us at our Camp. Then the gunboat attack was very frequent. By placing 5 to 6 freedom fighter at a prefixed place we have directed them to start firing if any gunboat appeared, so that the enemies would have thought that the freedom fighter Camp is situated at that place. Afterwards the gunboats appeared and used to fire on the same spot and then used to leave the place. So that they have failed to attack the real Camp. After that we have attacked almost all the Camps of Pirojpur and Bagerhat. Before those attacks the Police and Razakars used to surrender at our Camp. There was a reason behind the attack after the attack at the Tushkhali Camp. After that attack we have freed almost all the razakars by breaking the pins of their rifle and after their return they have said to their community that the freedom fighters didn’t torture us or misbehaved with them, they are amiable. Then the Police and Razakars have starting surrendering to us. After the acknowledgement from the fellow razakars about our amiable behavious, so many Razakars from Pirojpur and Bagerhat have surrendered to us.

The liberation war started after the recognition of the then Prime Minister of India – Ms. Indira Gandhi and after that a lot of people started surrendering and Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendor has played a vital role in liberation war by their programs.

In the meantime we have gone to Pirojpur with arms to visit Major Ziauddin’s mother and instructed everyone to behave well with everybody. After the liberation we have assigned freedom fighters for several Police Stations and instructed them to arrest the perpetrators and give them to the custody of Police. Everyone was instructed not to misuse the Law. There were 3000 to 4000 freedom fighters at our Sundarban area they were given instruction not to give their arms to anyone’s hand without our clear instruction. We have our communication with the Brigadier Salek of Indian Army. We followed his instruction at that time. In the meantime, we have gone to Parerhat of Pirojpur with Major Ziauddin. Major Ziauddin was there for 10 to 15 minutes. After watching everything he has directed to come to Pirojpur after 2 to 3 hours. Then Khosru, Mokarrom, Liakot Ali Badsha, Baten, Sunam, Sanu Khondokar with so many people have described the situation. I have visited the freedom fighters camp and razakar camp. Moslem Mawlana, Danesh Molla, Sikandar Sikdar, Rajjak, two guards and other people have described the incidents of torture. At that time no one has told me anything about Delwar Hossain Sayedee. At that night we have stayed at Pirojpur. Afterwards we have surrendered all the arms.

Defence Counsel: Has anyone told you anything about Mr. Sayedee.

After this question a heated arguments arose in the Tribunal with the Prosecution claiming that this was a leading question.

Witness: I was the second in command of that area. If Mr. Syedee committed any offence there, then people would have informed me about that. We are the freedom fighters, we have freed the country. Mr. Syedee’s son had come to me and requested me to say before the Tribunal what actually has happened and I am here at the Tribunal to describe so.]

Chairman: Okay Proceed.

Witness: I have not stated any untrue fact before the Tribunal. If Mr. Sayedee did any culpable activities then the people would have informed me. I was the Joint Secretary of the Freedom Fighters Central Counsil since 2002 to 2007. This is the end of my statement.
Chairman: Okay. Prosecution please initiate the Cross examination by a question.
Syed Haidar Ali: Are you fine?

Witness: Yes, I am fine.

Prosecutor: When did you join the Vasani NAP?

Witness: In 1969.
Chairman: Okay the Tribunal is adjourned till 2 P.M. After adjournment the cross examination continued.
Prosecution: Which parties opposed our liberation war during 1971

Witness: Muslim League, Jamaat-e-Islami

Prosecution: Till which year Bhasani was the leader of NAP (National Awami Party)?

Witness: During the president Ziaur Rahman’s time of rule, Bhasani quit the NAP and made a coalition with Zia through the Nationalist Front.

Prosecution: Bhasani was the NAP leader during liberation war and Jadu Mia was the secretary of that party?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: The followers of Jadu Mia joined the nationalist front under his leadership and the remaining people from Bhasani NAP have formed U.P.P. with the leftist principle.
Witness: Yes

Prosecution: Jadu Mia has been sent to jail after liberation war.

Witness: Yes, but why, I have no clear concept about that.

Prosecution: What party did you join after the resignation from NAP of Bhasani ?

Witness: BNP ( Bangladesh Nationalist Party) through Bangladesh nationalist front.

Prosecution: When you have joined BNP ?

Witness: During 1979

Prosecution: Your political post or position that you have selected from BNP?

Witness: Secretary, Bagherhat district BNP and member of the central committee (BNP )

Prosecution: Now are you an active BNP’s politician?

Witness: Now I am inactive in BNP’s politics because of my physical illness .

Prosecution: You have filed a suit against BNP chair-person when you were a leader of that party?

Witness: Yes, I have filed because organizing problem and I have made a press conference about that.

Prosecution: Have you passed S.S.C. (Secondary School Certificate) as a regular student?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: You know Mustafiz?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: Qhat was the occupation of Mustafiz ?

Witness: He was a business-man in Chittagong before Liberation war and during BNP’s regime he was three time’s Minister.

Prosecution: You have never gone to India?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: Now tell me whether it is possible to get any official document of liberation Period?

Witness: Was there any office to keep that?

Prosecution: There was two methods to recruit of freedom fighters?

Witness: Yes

Prosecution: Have you more than one wife .

Witness: Yes, I have two wife’s.

Prosecution: Which wife of you filed a suit against you ? First or second wife ?

Witness: Second wife. It’s land related.

Prosecution: A suit was filed against you under NARI O SHISU NIRJATAN AIN DAMAN AIN , 2000. District: Bhagherhat, case no -27. Dated-17.07.2000

Witness: Yes, this suit was filed by my 2nd wife.

Prosecution: What is her name?

Witness: Rehana Talukdar.

Prosecution: Do you have any conjugal relation between you and Rehana Talukdar now?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: Where does she live?

Witness: We live in the same house.

Prosecution: Most of the time where you have stayed?

Witness: Vandharia, Bhagherhat and occasionally in Dhaka.

Prosecution: Miss Nasima was your first wife? Have you divorced her?

Witness: Yes, she is my first wife and I have divorced her.

Prosecution: The house of your Bagherhaat belonged to your father or grand father.

Witness: The house was built by my mother. We have been living at this house for three years before that I stayed in a rented house.

Prosecution: You have no income during 1969.

Witness: I have cultivable land property.

Prosecution: You have separated from the extended family after your father’s demise?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: Who spent your educational expenses?

Witness: I have some property. Sometimes my brothers bear the expenses, if any need.

Prosecution: You have said something about Parer hat after going with Ziauddin but there was some dissimilarity between what you said compared with Zia Uddin’s book.

Witness: No, it’s a simple matter.

Prosecution: NAP- Bhasani, there was two followers. One is in favour of freedom war and another is against it during 1971.

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: Masiur Rahman Jadu Mia did not support the freedom war.

Witness: Yes, he has gone to India but fled from there to save his life.

Prosecution: With the help of central committee (NAP) there was a proposal to free Mr Masiur Rahman Jadu Mia but it was not possible to implement because of freedom war supporter.

Witness: I don’t know exactly.

Prosecution: BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) and Jamat –e-Islam are coalition political party from 2001?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: Were there thousands of people when you have gone to Bagher hat, dated on 8th December, 1971 ?

Witness: Actually it’s not correct figure. It may be 1300 approximately.

Prosecution: You inspect a freedom fighters camp , in fact it was a ‘’Razakar camp’’ before liberation

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: Was there any military camp?

Witness: Yes, but it was at ‘’Rajlakshi school’’.

Prosecution: You have mentioned some Razakar’s name. Did they flee from that place on that date?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecution: It is not true that “You have not joined with the same branch of thinking that was leading by Jadu Mia?”

Witness: It’s not true.

Prosecution: After the mutiny of Bhangbandhu, Jadu Mia and you contributed to rehabilite those people who were supporters of Razakar.

Witness: It is not true.

Prosecution: There was an accusation against Delwer Hossin Sayde during BNP and Jamat coalition but you hide it ?

Witness: It is not true .

Prosecution: You have followed those words which was taught by the son of Delwar Hossain’s.

Witness: It is not true.

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