Genocide in Ghaterchar (shahid Nagar). Date of occurence- 25.11.1971 in the morning. Witnesses: P.W-01, P.W-07, P.W-08
In the night of 23rd November l97l there was a meeting of conspiracy in presence of the accused Abdul Quader Molla held in the house of Joynal Doctor where as it appears to be inferred, the plan of committing genocide at Ghaterchar with intent to destroy the un-armed non-combatant Bengali civilian population either in whole or in part the accused Abdul Quader Molla accompanied by his accomplices and the then occupation Pak army killed about or more than 67 Bengali civilian people by direct and systematic attack opening indiscriminate fire and also burnt some houses in the villages and thereby committed the offence of genocide and murder other crimes against humanity under section 3(2a), (c)(g), (h) and 4(l) of ICT Act, l97l punishable under section 20(2) of the Act. As the accused by his individual capacity or by a member of groups of individuals or a prominent leader of ICS or a leader/member of Al-Badre failed to control them (participants) from committing the genocide and as such he is also liable for that crime. Rather he himself opened fire with a rifle in his hand and thereby killed Nobi Hosain Bulu the husband Pw- 08. So he is also liable to be punished under section 4(l) of the Act.
PW-01: He was the MuktiJuddha commander of Keraniganj thana. He said in evidence in chief that the attack was started at the time of azan of fajor prayer [call to prayer] and lasted till 11a.m. on the day. He said that 57 un-armed Bengali civilian people at Ghaterchar. Attack continued from ghaterchar to Khan Bari, Khan Bari to Bhawa] where also 25 un-armed Bengali civilian people were killed including two unarmed freedom fighters. They also set fire at which some houses of the villages were bumt into ashes. He further said in evidence in chief that when he appeared at Ghaterchar he saw and found the terrific and horrible conditions of blood and dead bodies and also found local Tayob Ali and Abdul Mojid Paloan sorting and identifying the dead bodies of Hindus and Muslim. Then he heard from them that in the night 23/24 Novernber l97l there was a meeting held at Ghaterchar in the house of Dr Joynal wherein Dr Joynal, Kg Karim Babla, Mukter Hosen, Foyjur Ralraman and the accused Abdul Quader Molla attended. And in that meeting decision was taken to commit genocide by killing un-armed non-combatant Bengali civilian population with intent to destroy the Bengali Nation as a whole or in part.
He further said in chief that Muhammadpur physical training center was a torture cell of Razakers and Al-Badrs. And in front of its gate the accused Abdul Quader Molla was seen and found standby with a rifle in his hand with his associates accomplices on 01.11.1971. He further said in evidence in cross that his sector commander given him special assignment to destroy the aforesaid torture cell of Rajaker and Al-Badres at Mohammadpur. And for that purpose he came there to make ready for the operation.
Abdul Mozid Paloan - PW-07 told him that on 23/24Nov, 197l the meeting was held in the house of Doctor Joynal Abedin at Ghatarchar khalpar said by the witness in cross examination. On question put to him "Did you see in your own eyes that Quader Molla committed any crime in 1971? Answer: yes I saw. Question: What crime Quader Molla comit in 1971 which you saw? Answer: I saw that Quadr Molla was standing in the gate of the Physicial training centre holding a Chinese rifle in his hand.’
In reply to some suggestion he said "This is not true that after hearing the speech of Bangahbnus sheikh Mujibur Rhaman in March 1971, Quader Molla went to Faridpur in his own house from Dhaka and he was in his own house at Faridpur until February 1972 and he never come to Dhaka within this time.’
But this plea of alibi has been contradicted by the accused himself in his evidence given as DW-01. He did say in his evidence in chief that he stayed over here in Dhaka for a number of days in the Month of July, 1971.
PW 07 Abdul Mazid Paloan: He said in evidence in Chief that ‘At that time there was jungle in our area. I hid myself behind a tree. Then I saw Pakistan army were killing people. There are some people with Pakistan army wearing Panjabi. Quader Molla was amongt them. Pakistan Army killed people. A rifle was in the hand of Quader Molla, and he also shot with his rifle. This shooting and killing was going on from morning until 11 am.’
As many as 60 un-armed non-combatant Bengali civilian population (Hindus and Muslim). Then and while identifying the dead bodies of Hindus and Muslim the PW-01 came there and then the PW-07 narrated the occurrence of the meeting held in the previous night of 25 November 1971 in the house of Dr Joynal. So the Prosecution case to the matter of holding the conspiracy meeting to commit genocide and killing of un-armed Bengali civilian population with intent to destroy the independence loving bengali Nation as a whole or in part has been corroborated. On defence suggestion put to him the PW-
07 said in a reply ‘This is not true. There is jungle in our area. I hid myself behind a tree. And there was some people wearing Panjabi with Pakistain army. Amongt them, one was Quader Molla. Those statements are false.’ He further said in reply on Defense suggestion ‘This is not true that there was no rile in the hand of Quader Molla on the day of ocurrence and he did not shoot.’
PW 08 Nurjahan Wife of Shadid Nabi Hossain Bulu. She in her evidence given in Chief 'After that one my aunts came to our home and told to my mother in law that “Oh the mother of Bulu, your Bulu is no more”. I ran towards my uncle in law’s house after hearing it with shouting. After going there, I saw my uncle in laws was shot. I saw there some army man and a Bengali man who was black and short. I saw my husband fallen there. I went to hold my husband shouting then using a Rifle when the above mentioned Bengoli man insists me to go . I got scared and went home. It was probably after 10.30 or 11 am I picked up my husband who had fallen on in his legs. I saw then soil in his face and forehead. I saw blood in his chest and I cried and shouted and sent message to my mother in law to come. Thereafter we 5/6 people brought my husband to our home. I heard that 50/60 people have died by that occurrence in the village Gatarchor. There was Dr. Zoinal, Moktarat that time, I heard from my father in law that a man named Quader Molla of Jamat has killed my husband. I heard it from Abdul Majid Paloan other than Luddu Mia, my father in law. Abdul Quader Molla is the man in the Dock. He had a smaller hair cut then without a beard.’
So this evidence corroborated the prosecution case of identification of the accused Abdul Quader Molla who directly took participated in the atrocities with having a rifle in his hand and he himself opened fire causing death of independence loving Bengali civilian people. This is a matter [unclear word] that she would have to say to the IO that she was at the time pregnant. So the evidence so far come up has been rather confirmed the prosecution case in the cross examination.
Charge No-05Place of occurrence: Aluvdi Village occurrence. Date of Incident: -24/04/197l, Fazw prayer 11 a.m . PW-06 and PW-09.
The PW-06 said in evidence in chief: After that, on 24th April 1971, we heard sound of helicopter during the Fazar Prayer. We got out and saw that the Helicopter landed adjacent to the river in the western side of village. We heard the sound of firing after sometimes. We heard sound of open firing from every side. We the villagers started moving to and fro then. We saw some dead bodies here and there after becoming lightened from the darkness. I hid under a hole beneath a bush at the northern side of our village. It was the season for harvesting and there came a lot of people to cut our ripen paddy. Next I saw the Pak Army was gathering the villagers and the labor in a place. Abdul Quader Molla, Bihari and Pak Army forcefully gathered the villagers and the laborers in that same place after sometimes. I saw Abdul Quader Molla speaking with Pak Army in Urdu Language but I didn’t hear what from that remote place. I saw after sometimes that they started openly firing. There Was Rifle in the hand of Abdul Quader Molla and he was shooting also. My uncle Nobiulla Molla has died then along with 70/80 labor who came for cutting our ripened paddy and a total 360/370 people died.' All the died people was the Bengali people. The killing was going on till 11 am from the Fazar Prayer. They started looting and setting fire in the houses. Abdul Quader Mollas is identified in the dock.
In cross he said that "My next brother is 12 or 13 years younger than me". Then the age of his next younger brother Altab Uddin Molla would be 6/7 years at the time of occurrence. The DW-05 named Altab Uddin Molla admitted that he is the next younger brother of PW-06 Md Shafiuddin Molla. The DW-05 admitted in cross that his date of birth is 10.04.1964. So his age as admitted was not more than 7 years at the time. He also said in evidence in chief that since some days before of the occurrence he started living in Sarulia village and on the day of occurrence also had been there. So he did not witness or see the occurence. And as such he could not say as to whether the accused Abdul Quader Molla participated in the occurrence of genocide and atrocities committed by him along with the then occupation Pak Army and accomplicies Non-Bengali Biharis.
He further said in cross that "there was a jungle in the end side of our village and I hid myself there. From there I did not see what was in the south side of it. There was a hole in the jungle and it was four feet height from land level. My present height is the same as it was during the occurrence. And this hole was made by people." So this PW-06 clarified the place from where he witnessed the occurrence as well as the way and manner in which way he witnessed the occurrence from the place in a hole. So there is no reason to disbelieve his evidence at all.
He further said in cross that on 24 April l97l he and his father were very much in their house. He further clarified that since after independence he is not involved in any party politics. Among his family members only his younger brother Altab uddin Molla(Dw-05) is doing BNP politics which is admitted by DW-05 himself. He further said in cross "This is not true that in 1970 my age was not 19 and I was minor. This is not ture that I did not see the occurrence hiding in the hole." He also said in cross that "According to my national ID card, my date of birth is 24 November 1953."Also in accordance with this date of birth the age of this PW-06 was l8 years at the time,
That the PW-06 is a direct eye witness. And by cross examination the defense neither could be able to shift or make any change in the manner and way of the occurrence which took place and also could not be able to shake the prosecution evidence by shaking his credibility.
PW-09 :- Md Amir Hassain Molla This PW-09 is a veteran and valiant freedom fighter who took training from Laylapur in India and made operation after independence of 18th December on Jondi Rader Camp at Mirpur against Al-Badar Bahini of Quader Molla and Panjabi Army of Pakistan where he received bullet injuries on right arm and right knee.
In response to the call of 7’s March-address made by Bangabondh this PW-09 formed a shechhasebok Bahini and started giving them training at Mirpur as well as also taken training from Iqbal Hall of D.U under the guidance of Shadhin Bangla Chaha Songrarn parishad which was formed under the leadership of Nur-E-Alam Siddique to achieve independence of Bangladesh. On the conhary the accused Abdul Quader Molla started giving training to 70/80 workers of Islami Chatra Songha and the non-Bengoli Beharis at Mirpur to protect the then Pakistan in the name of Islam. This PW-09 said in evidence that ‘On 22/23 April, I along with my father came near to Alubdi for harvesting the Paddy. We stayed in the house of my uncle Rustom Ali after harvesting. On 24 April, at dawn (during the Fazar prayer) the pak army got down from a Helicopter at the river side of Turag which was in the western side of the village Alubdi. 100/150 Bihari and Bengoli along with some army man entered into the village by the road at the eastern side of the village led by Quder Molla and they were shooting unmethodically when some people has died at that time. Thereafter, they entered into the village and brought 64/65 villagers forcefully, queue them in a line at the north side of the village and shot. There was a Rifle with Quder Molla and Aktr Gunda. They also shot with army and 400 men were killed there at that day.’
This was a systematic killing and direct attack made under the leadership of the accused Abdul Quader Molla with the then occupation Pak Army accompanied by his accomplicies the non Bengali Biharis upon the un-armed and noncombatant Bangali civilian population with intent to destroy the Bengali Nation as a whole or in part and thereby killed as many as 400 un-armed Bengali civilian population. And as such the accused Abdul Quader Molia who himself directly participated in the genocide and the atrocities committed by and also failed to control his Bahini and troops from committing the offence. Rather he himself opened fire and as such committed offense under section 3(2(a), (c),(g),(h) and 4(l) of the ICT Act 1973.
The PW-09 took training from India and he stated in his evidence about it. This PW -09 is a direct eye witness who along with his late father directly witnessed the occurence hiding themselves in a water-hyacinth situated to the north-west corner of the village. And therefrom they saw and witnessed the occurrence that the accused Abdul Quader Mulla, and his 100/150 accomplices Biharis with the then occupation pak army made direct and systematic attack on and upon the unarmed, non-combatant Bengali civilian population with intent to destroy the Bengali Nation either in whole or in part and they alltogether including the accused Abdul Quader Mulla opened indiscriminate fire and thereby killed as many as about 400 Bengali civilians and as such the accused committed an offense of genocide.
In cross examination the defense neither could shift anything or shake any evidence in regards to the occurance and as such the evidence given by the witness could not at all be shakened. Rather the place and the way from where and in which manner the witness witnessed the occurance has been confirmed by evidence in cross that ‘I and my father hid ourselves in North west side of Alokdi village and from there we saw the occurrence.’
In respect of identification of the accused the witness said in evidence "In the election of 1970, I canvassed in favour of Awami candiate Advocate Johiruddin in the suymbol of Noka (boat) and Quader Molla canvassed in faviour of Golam Azam uding symbol of Daripala (scales of justice) and then Abdul Quader Molla was leader of Islami Chaatro Sangho. Abul Quader Molla was idenitified in the dock.’ That the defense tied to discredit the credibility of the witness by raising some questions about some cases which all are pending in different courts and in some criminal cases this witness has been acquitted.
So the credibility of PW-09 at all has not been shakened. The evidence of this witness corroborated the evidence of PW-06 and both the witnesses supported, corroborated and proved the offence of genocide, murder, burning and looting and other inhumane acts against humanity in charge No-05 beyond the shadow of all reasonable doubt and as such he should be convicted under sections 3(2) (a), (c) (g) (h) and 4(l) of the ICT Act" 1973. Because the accused was the leader of several persons who made such direct and systematic attack and as such is a liable to that crime by abetting, and by giving his complicity in the crime. Aad as such the accused deserves to be convicted and to be awarded capital punishment under section 20 (2) of the Act.
Charge No-06 :-Witness: PW-03: Occurrence of killing of Hazrat Ali Lasker and his family members at Mirpur-l2.DlO 26.03.1971, in the evening.
Momena Begum (also victim of Gang rape): This PW-03 is only the alive member of her family who all were brutally killed in so much barbarious way that can not be expressed in any language. She was the eldest daughter of Shahid Hazat Ali Lashker among his children. Hazrat Ali Lashker was a blind loyal to Bongobondhu and took participated in the meeting and procession of Awami League and chanted slogans "Joy Bangla, Joy Bongobondhu' for which he was target of the accused and his accomplices Non-Bengali Biharis. She further said at that time her mother was pregnant
This witness No-03 stated in evidence as: 'The occurrence occurred before at dusk at 26th March in 1971. My father running towards home and told “Qader Molla will kill me.” The Biharis along with Akter Gunda and Pak army also coming behind him for killing my father. My father entered into the house and closed the door. Everybody was in house then. My father told us to hide under the Khat (bed). I along with my Amena hid under there. The Biharis along with Quader Molla came in front of the door and told “Hey ...Son, Open the door or we will throw bomb”. They threw a bomb then. My mother opened the door with a Da (local arms) in her hand. They shot my mother after opening the door. Quader Molla pulled the collar of my father’s shirt when he went to catch my mother and told “Hey son of Swine, Won’t you do Awami League now? Won’t you go with Bongobondhu? Won’t you go to procession? Won’t you slogan for Joy Bangla?” My father apologized to him and told “Brother Quader, Let me live”. My father told to Akter Gunda “Brother Akter, Let me live”. They dragged forcefully my father out and slaughtered my mother (The witness was weeping). They slaughtered my sister Khodeza and Taslima. They killed my brother Babu who was 2 years old. He was crying to calling mother. Amena shouted by hearing his crying. They pulled Amena after shouting and torn apart her dress and started torturing over her. Amena was crying loudly then and she stopped at one stage (Witness started to weep and became senseless). It was approximately at dusk, they started to hitting at one stage and searching there anybody else. Once they hit my left leg. I became wounded seriously. They pulled me after hitting when I became unconscious. It was night when i became conscious. I couldn’t walk as I felt pain in my abdomen and my pant was wet. I also felt pain in my abdomen. I wore a pant which was torn. I went to Fakirbari slowly. ..... Mother or father opens the door. They opened the door and saw me wearing awet and bloody dress. They also saw my pants apart. They tied my wounded place and gave me a long pant to wear.
So this evidence as given in chief by the PW-03 was very natural as a victim in the occurrence' She appeared to be very much emotional remembering that very saddest and inflicted painful memory of the brutal killing of her mother, three younger sisters and youngest brother and also forcibly taking away her father out of their house who subsequently has never been found alive. The entire occurrence was seen by PW- 03 and also became a victim of gang rape and assault. She heard from local Akkas member in the yard of his house after independence.
In cross examination the implication and involvement of the accused has rather been comfirmed. She stated in cross that she and her younger sister Amena were married at the time but were not taken them to the houses of their husbands' She also stated in further details the position of their presence under the khat in the Ghor as: ‘They told to open the door by hitting their leg. There was a high bed. Under the bed there was a trunk. I was on one side the trunk and my sister was another side.’
She further said ‘I didn’t see who killed my father but Quader Molla took my father out of house, holding his shirt collar and I saw that from under the bed. She also said in cross: ‘Before that many people came to me and took my picture but I did not say the name of Quader Molla and Akhter Gunda for fear.’
She also informed the Tribunal voluntarily "I was insane for three years in my fathers in law house, and after getting well, I came to Mirpur for living permanently.’
In the form of suggestion the very ugly and indecent suggestion put to this victim witness which is so much painfirl undoubtedly like "This is not true that the reason why I cant say the age of my elder son is because he is not my son. (to take this sentence the prosecution had objection) I cant say the date of birth of my children but those are recorded in my house. If I know that it is needed I can bring the birth certificate of my children from counselor.’ She further said in cross ‘I did not see Quader Molla before the occurrence but during the date of occurrence my father came to house by shouting that people of Bihari are coming. Among the Bihari there were people talking in Bangla and also he took my father out of house taking his shirt collar. That person was Quader Molla. When Quader Molla was taking my father out of the house taking his shirt collar, I saw that from under the bed.’
She also further narrated in cross that: ‘We are all in the house during the date of cocurence. Then my father entered the house, coming by running. At that time my pregnant mother, four sisters and two brother s were in the house. We two sisters hid ourselves under the bed. After shooting my mother, they also cut her throat and took my father out of house, by pulling. After my mother was shot, she went to take my father and at that time they took my father out of the house and my mother fell down. After that they cut the throat of my sister Khudeja and Taslima. They also killed my younger brother hitting him on the ground and when she saw it Amina cried loudly. And then the Pakistan amry and Biahri took Amina and tortured her one by one.’
So the very narration and description given by this witness victim in cross examination appears to be very much natural, as usual and correct and thereby can be relied upon absolutely. It is to be argued that in that house of the occurrence the victim witness Momena, her father Shahid Hazrat Ali Lashker, pregnant mother Amina Begum, three younger sisters namly Amena Begum (died of gang rape), Khadija, Taslima and her youngest and only brother named Babu were inside the ghor of the house and there had been no other member to see and witness the occurrence. so only the alive victim member is PW-03 who has been examined in the Tribunal. So this single witness is sufficiently enough to prove the charge no-06 of brutal killing and rape of her family and thereby this evidence has proved the prosecution case in the charge beyond the shadow of all reasonable doubt as the defense has been miserably failure even to create an iot of doubt at all. That the presence and complicity of the accused as well his direct participation has been ensured and confirmed by the evidence of this pw-03. At the same time it has also been proved that a number of the accomplices of the accused with some Pak Army had been there under the leadership of the accused and also he had got control over the team but did not try to control the members of his team to commit the above mentioned atrocities and crimes against the humanity in the occrrence. so he the accused is responsible for commission of the offence of gang rape and brutal killing of other members and as such committed offense under section 3(2) (a)(g)(h) and 4(l) of the ICT Act, 1973.
The PW-03 alone has been able to prove this occurrence of her house withouthaving any sort of corroboration. Because she is only the alive member of the family who only witnessed the occurrence and this circumstances no corroboration is required to prove the case.
In a case of "The Prosecutor v.s. JEAN-PAUL AKAYESU" held in International criminal Tribunal for Rwanda observation given there in the judgement in the head and title "unus Testis, Nullus Testis" in Rule-132 that the provisions of this Rule, which apply only to cases of testimony by victims of sexual assault, stipulate that no corroboration shall be required. In Rule 135 their Lordships passed their opinion in view of the above that the chamber can Rule on the basis of a single testimony provided such testimony is, in its opinion, relevant and credible.
In court there was the following exchange about these charges.
Prosecutor: In respect of Charge-4, this is genocide, committed by Pakistan Armies and some local perpetrators by the leadership of Abdul Quader Molla. To prove that, I have adduced 3 witness. They almost direct witness.
Judge Shahinur Islam: Whether it is direct or not?
Prosecutor: Me lord partly saw and partly heard. In respect of Charge-5, occurance of Alubdi village, on 24th April in 1971 in Ghatar Chor attack. That was direct planned attack about 400 Bengalis were killed. I have adduced 2 direct witnesses regarding this issue.PW-6 MD. Shafiuddin Molla and PW-9 Amir Hossain Molla.
PW-6- he was one of the student leader. Then after took part liberation war. Then he was involved 1/2 years in politics after that left the politics. His younger brother Altaf Uddin Molla is DW, he is totally involved in politics sometime her was a central leader of Zubodol. When PW-6 was cross examined by Defense Council but could not come out any single issue, which can be implemented.PW-6 deposition is correct, I show before your Lordship.
PW-9-He was a brilliant freedom fighter. This is not demand of Awamileague; this is demand of whole Bengali nation. Now question is regarding witness, what he saw at that moment? What he heard at that moment?
In respect of Charge-6, only one witness has been provided.PW-3 Momena Begum to prove this case. I make one point, she is not direct witness and she is victim of gang rape with torture. Later on, I will make some point for showing her credibility. My Lord, why the Hazrat Ali Laskar was targeted? Target was those were believer of independence. He was blind supporter of Bongobondhu. Joy Bangla was an instrument and inspired to people go to war. He attained all the meeting of Joy Bangla that was his fault.
The present accused Abdul Quader Molla; he formed the some group, accomplices to Biharis and helped to Pakistan. Your Lordship will find him directly participation of charges-4, 5 and 6 and have direct witness and 1, 2 and 3 have hearsay evidence.
In relation to prosecution witness 3:
Prosecution: My Lord, I prayed camera trial and your lordship permit according to this. That time she said, before I could not say many things but today I want to say before your Lordship. She said, she had been gang raped by leadership of Abdul Quader Molla. My Lord, Mr. Quader had effective control to his followers but he had failed to control over his followers.
Judge Shahinur Islam: How can you infer he had effective control over them?
Prosecutor: we get this from P.W.9’s statement; he said Mr. Quader formed his Bahini.
Judge Shahinur Islam: Where is the evidence?
Prosecutor: evidence of chief of PW-9. Thus My Lord, this is synopsis of charge-6. Mr. Abdul Quader Molla is accused. We get statement and book which written by their Principal leader. It is admitted, he was a central leader of Islamic Student Union. Since he was that, he converted in to Al-Bodor by such group. Your Lordship, get that book. The book of At Sunset of Mid-day in pg, 97 para-7 where have mentioned that “Workers were purely Islamic Student Union”.