Sunday, January 15, 2012

1 Jan 2012: Eighth witness statement

After the cross examination of the seventh witness was completed, the afternoon session started with the examination-in-chief of the eighth prosecution witness Mostafa Hawlader. Haider Ali asked the questions on behalf of the prosecution. The beginning of the cross examination is dealt with in the next post.

Below is an unofficial translation of the evidence in chief. (Notes and translation undertaken by Fazle Elahi. Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, but there may be some small omissions.)  
Prosecution: What is your name?

Witness: My name is Mostafa Hawlader.

Prosecution: How old are you?

Witness: I am 56 years old.

Prosecution: Where were you in the May of 1971?

Witness: I was at Parerhat. I had a business of selling chola muri (one kind of local food).

Prosecution: Can please tell us what did freedom fighters and rajakars do during the war? Can you remember 1/2 incidents of your area?

Witness: Yes. Delwar Hossain Shikder, Danesh Molla, Sekender Shikder, Kalil Moulovi, Moslem Maulana, Mojahar Mollik were the member of peace committee. They along with other rajakars were waiting at north side of Parerhat marketplace. After a while 52 Pakistani Armies came riding 26 cars (rickshaws). Delwar Hossain Saidi raising his hand showed them the houses and shops of the Hindus and Awami League supporters. Then they crossed the pool (bridge) near the Parerhat marketplace and ordered to loot the shops and houses. 30-35 shops/houses were looted at that time.

Prosecution: Who ordered to loot the shops/houses?

Witness: Saidi made the order. In fact, the armies made the order after Saidi showed them the houses/shops of Hindu’s and AL supporters.

Prosecution: Who were being involved in the looting?

Witness: Delwar Hossain Saidi, Danesh Molla, Sekender Shikder, Kalil Moulovi and other members of peace committee.

Prosecution: What happened then?

Witness: The looting continued about one and half an hour. Then went to Raj Laxmi School and set up their camp. After that they started looting at full stretch. Delwar Hossain Shikder, Danesh Molla, Sekender Shikder, Kalil Moulovi, Moslem Maulana, Mojahar Mollik were involved in this looting.

Prosecution: What happened then?

Witness: On the next day, they went to the Badura village and arson the house of Noor Khan as he was an activist of the Awami League. I saw smoke and fume from the other side of the river. From there, they went to Roijuddin Company alias Roijuddin Poshari’s place and committed arson on of the homesteads because he helped the AL activists/supporters to cross the border so that they could safely reach at India.

Prosecution: What happened next?

Witness: Then they went to Manik Poshari’s house and set fire to 3 of the homesteads, 1 stock house, 1 guest house. Seeing the fire and smoke Manik Poshari’s servants Mofiz Uddin Poshari (Witness) and Ibrahim alias Kutti ran towards Manik Poshari’s house from grazing field. Saidi grabbed them and took Witness to rajakar camp and armies killed Ibrahim alias Kutti by shooting at Thana’s ghat/on the side of the bridge. He heard the sound of shot. And after that they kicked Ibrahim alais Kutti to the canal.

Prosecution: Is Delwar Hossain Saidi present here? If yes, can you please identify him?

Witness: Yes. Here is he. (He pointed out Delwar Hossain Saidi)

Prosecution: Have you made any statement before CIO?

Witness: Yes.

Justice Zahir: Have you signed in the exhibits 2, 3, 5 and 7?

Witness: Yes. (He confirmed after seeing the exhibits himself)
At this stage, Prosecutor Haidar Ali requested the Tribunal not to allow cross examine the Witness on compassionate grounds. Justice Nassim saidin reply, ‘You cannot request this to us; rather you could ask your learned defence counsel not to do it.’ Prosecution replied the defence counsels will not agree to it. Justice Zahir interrupted and said, ‘It is upto the defence counsels whether they will agree to it or not. You (prosecution) brought the witness and if the defence wants they can definitely cross examine the witness. It is entirely upto you (prosecution) to bring anyone as witness and it is upto the defence whether they would cross examine him or not.

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