Sunday, January 2, 2011

15 Dec 2010: Application to Arrest Salauddin Quader Chowdhury

On 15 December, the prosecution submitted an application to the International Criminal Tribunal for the the arrest of Salaudduin Quader Chowdhury, a senior BNP leader. The Tribunal set 19 December as the date on which the application was to be heard.

According to an article in the Daily Star, the application sought the court's permission to detain SQC:
'for his alleged involvement in the killings of Nutan Chandra Kundu, founder of herbal medicine factory Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya at Raozan in Chittagong, on April 13, 1971, and 107 others during the Liberation War.'
After the application was filed, the Chief prosecutor told journalists (as reported in the Daily Star) that SQC was:
'Involved in the killings of Nutan Kundu, 38 people at Jagatmallo Para and 69 othera at Unasattar Para in Chittagong during the Liberation War. Those people were tortured and killed in places close to Chowdhury's Good Hill residence. Primary investigation shows that SQ Chowdhury with the help of Pakistan occupation forces led the killings.
In October, the Daily Star had reported that the investigation team had gone to Chittagong following which it was confident that there was then sufficient evidence to arrest him. The article reported that it had found evidence that:
Prafulla Chandra Singha, son of Nutan Chandra Singha, a philanthropist and former owner of the herbal medicine factory, 'Kundeshwari', alleged that SQ Chowdhury on instructions of his father Fazlul Quader Chowdhury brought Pakistani army personnel to their residence on April 13 in 1971. They killed Nutan Chandra
In a seperate article on SQC's background (written on 17 Dec) the Daily Star stated that in 1972 a case had been lodged against SQC over the killing of Nutan Chandra Singha, which was mentioned in the Liberation War Documents, a government publication in the 80s:
After the Liberation War, a case was filed against him, his father and their associates under the Collaborators Act 1972 on charge of collaborating with the Pakistan occupation forces in Chittagong. He was also charged with the killing of Nutan Chandra.

Based on the deposition of the witnesses, investigators submitted a charge sheet against all accused in Nutan Chandra murder case filed in 1972.

The trial of the case began on January 29, 1972. Of the accused, Salauddin's father and five others were put behind bars while the rest five including Salauddin had been on the run.'
The article also quotes from the report of the People's Inquiry Commission, headed by Begum Sufia Kamal, which published a report in the 90s on "The Activities of the War Criminals and Collaborators during the Liberation War of 1971."
'The report stated that Salauddin from Gahira village of Raozan in Chittagong with his father Fazlul Quader and brother Giasuddin Kader Chowdhury mobilised a number of collaborators against freedom fighters and pro-liberation people during the independence movement in 1971.

Bangla daily "Dainik Bangla" published a report on January 8, 1972 featuring the activities of Salauddin and his family.

The commission cited the Dainik Bangla report that says, "Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and his father Fazlul Quader Chowdhury brought a good number of young freedom fighters to their Goods Hill residence in Chittagong and unleashed repression on them. Salauddin in association with Pakistan army killed Omar Faruk, a student leader, at his residence on July 17, 1971."

The report mentions, “A platoon of Pakistan army was deployed in front of Salauddin's residence throughout the war.

“The common people caught his [Salauddin's] father when he was trying to flee to Myanmar with a maund of gold on December 18, 1971, two days after the Pakistan army surrendered to the joint forces."

The report also cited from a book, Torture Cells and Killing Grounds in Chittagong during the Liberation War.

In the book its author Shakhawat Hossain Manju writes about the Goods Hill residence of Salauddin's family.

The house became a centre for torturing freedom fighters and pro-liberation forces caught from different parts of the city. Salauddin was directly involved in those activities.

"The torture centre was being led by extremists of Muslim League.”

Another book titled Bangalir Muktijudhher Itibritto written by Mahbubul Alam describes the torture. On page 69, the author writes about freedom fighter Nizamuddin, who was caught by collaborators on July 5 and taken to Fazlul Quader.

The author quotes Nizamuddin saying, “I was tied and beaten for five hours at a stretch by Fazlul Quader's son Salauddin and associates Khoka, Khalil and Yousuf. I became unconscious. I was sent to the stadium on July 6. Until then, I was given neither food nor water. Once I wanted water, they said you had become a Hindu, we will not give you even water.”

In the book, the writer also writes, "Principal Nutan Chandra Singha was murdered in the Kundeshwari Bhaban on April 13.

“Two jeeps followed by four tanks had driven to Kundeshwari Bhaban. Salauddin was accompanying the Pakistani soldiers.”

On page 254-255, the author mentions, “The principal made the soldiers understand what he had done for the people of that area and what his future plan was. The military went back. But Salauddin again brought them back saying this Malaun (infidel) should be killed as per his father's orders.

“They fired three gunshots, the principal fell to the ground near the temple and died praying. Both the Muslims and Hindus were shocked at the killing, but Salauddin asked the Muslims not to deplore the death of a Malaun. Then Salauddin gang killed two more people, including one college student Dayal Hari Biswas in Gahira."

Sheikh Muhammad Jahangir of Chittagong told the commission that Salauddin in association with Pakistan army killed his father Sheikh Muzaffar Ahmed, a freedom fighter, and brother Sheikh Alamgir near Hathazari military camp on April 17, 1971.

After the independence, Jahangir filed a case against Salauddin and his gang.'

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