Friday, February 3, 2012

16 Jan 2012: Shaha cross examination

After Gauranga Chandra Shaha, the 13th witness in the trial of Delwar Hossain Sayedee gave evidence, the defence lawyer Mizanul Islam undertook his cross examination. (See other posts for application for investigation report and Alim's bail which also took place on same day)
Defence: Do you know Mahabubul Alam Hawlader of Tengrakhali?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you know him for long?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Please tell us since when you know him? (before/after the independence war)

Witness: Since he was studying at school i.e. before the independence war of 1971 I got to know him.

Defence: At which school he was a student then?

Witness: At Parerhat Raj Laxmi High School.

Defence: Did you meet him during the war?

Witness: No. Everyone was hiding here and there then.

Defence: When did you got to know him very well I mean when since when you are in a good terms?

Witness: After the war of independence. His father was a regular customer of our shop.

Defence: They incident (of raping your sisters) you have told before the Tribunal today, did you tell to Mahabub Alam about that?

Witness: Why should I tell him the same? This is not something to tell everyone. I did not tell the incident to him.

Defence: Can please just confirm us, whether he had come to know about that incident from any other person/source?

Witness: Yes, he came to know that.

Defence: Do you know whether your local Member of the Parliament AKMA Awal was aware that incident?

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: Do you know Ruhul Amin Nabin?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: What did he do before 1971?

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: Did Ruhul Amin Nabin know the facts that your sisters were taken by Delwar Hossain Saidee to the Pakistani Army’s camp in Pirojpur, they were raped over there and the again sent back to home by them?

Witness: I do not know that.

Defence: Do you know the ‘chola-muri’ seller Mostafa Hawlader of Parerhat?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Did he know about that incident (of raping of your sisters)?

Witness: I do not know that. How do I know whether he knew about that or not?

Defence: Well, do you know Sultan Ahmed Hawlader who is also a witness in this case?

Witness: Yes, I know him. However, during the war in 1971 I was busy in hiding myself here and there. Thus, I cannot even remember whether I met him then or not.

Defence: Now, can you please confirm us whether he knew about the incident of raping and persecution?

Witness: I do not know that.

Defence: Do you know Mizanur Rahman Talukder?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you used to know him before 1971?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Did he know about that incident?

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: Do you know Mahtab Ali Hawlader?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you know Manik Poshari s/o Shohid Uddin Poshari, Basu Deb Mistri & Jalil Sheikh from the village Chithulia?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Did they know about that incident?

Witness: I do not know.
Hearing adjourned for lunch
Defence: Mr. Gourango, we will be checking some names… Do you know Altaf Hossain Hawlader?

Witness: I have known him for a long time.

Defence: Does he know anything about your conversion and the rape of your sisters?

Witness: Not that I know of.

Defence: We have discussed some names earlier. Mahbub Alam Hawlader and Manik Posari are known to you. Did they communicate with you before they file the case?

Witness: no.

Defence: Do you know the Investigation Officer Helaluddin?

Witness: He picked me from my shop to Razlaxmi High School to testify.

Defence: Who else were with you on the way to the school?

Witness: I cannot recall them now.

Defence: Was that a market day on that day?

Witness: Yes

Defence: What was the day? Was it Thursday or Sunday?

Witness: I don’t remember.

Defence: Is the house of Ruhul Amin is situated by the path leads to the school from the market place?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Can you remember the date?

Witness: No. I cannot.

Defence: Can you remember about how many days ago you testified?

Witness: I think, I did that more than a year ago.

Defence: Where did you give your certification?
Witness: In a classroom of Razlaxmi High School.

Defence: Was that a school day?

Witness: I didn’t check that.

Defence: who else were there?

Witness: I didn’t know.

Defence: Was Mahbub Alam Howlader present?

Witness: I didn’t know.

Defence: do you know about the Mass court (gono-adalat) which started in 1992?

Witness: I do not remember.

Defence: Did you testify on that court?

Witness: I have only come to this tribunal to testify. Beside this one, I have never appeared in any sort of court to testify.

Defence: Did anyone from the Mass Enquiry Commission (which started its proceedings in 1994) ever question you? Like poet Sufia Kamal?

Witness: No.

Defence: In between 2001 and 2007, the district council of Pirozpur issued a public notice about the publication of a book on the liberation war. Do you know about that issue?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did anyone interview you on behalf of Pirozpur District Council about the book?

Witness: Nobody has ever come to me and I never talked about this anywhere else.

Defence: Was the accused only a tenant of a house situated in Parerhat? Did he move to his then house on July?

Witness: The house belongs to his brother in law. I can’t remember the month. I am clueless about the Gregorian calendar.

Defence: What is your educational background?

Witness: I have studied to class three.

Defence: In which school?

Witness: Pre-primary Model School.

Defence: Your all three sisters are younger than you?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Have you heard about the arms robbery of Pirozpur treasury in 1971?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: When?

Witness: After a few days.

Defence: How many days?

Witness: Approximately about a month later.

Defence: Did the razakar and the peace committee members start torture and suppression just after they got formed?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Was there any mugging before the occupied forces entered Parerhat?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Whose houses were broken-into?

Witness: In market places.

Defence: Name them?

Witness: Our house, Bimol Saha’s house and many more.

Defence: Have you submitted any list of robbed items?

Witness: What list! They even took our broomsticks.

Defence: Were your sisters abducted from your home after three or four days after the Pakistani forces camped in Parerhat?

Witness: Approximately 10/15 days later.

Defence: Were you forced to convert to Islam; before or after the Pakistani army entered Parerhat?

Witness: Two months after they entered in the locality.

Defence: Can you recall the names of the Imam and the muajjin of the mosque where you forced to pray (the namaz)?

Witness: I don’t remember.

Defence: Did you later repent (Prayshchitta) for converting back to your previous religion?

Witness: Why should I repent? I had to convert to save my life.

Defence: Do you know Pir Yasin Mawlana of Charkhali? His khankah was situated in Parerhat?

Witness: Yes. I knew him.

Defence: Were you married in 1971?

Witness: I got married just after the liberation.

Defence: What was your occupation during the liberation war?

Witness: I was a shop-keeper. It is my ancestral profession.

Defence: What do you do now?

Witness: I am still a shopkeeper.

Defence: Do you have a shop? Or you do your trading on footpath?

Witness: I had a shop once but now I trade on the footpath.

Defence: Do you have any assistant?

Witness: No.

Defence: Do you keep your books by yourself?

Witness: Who else will?

Defence: How many offspring do you have?

Witness: Three daughters and a son.

Defence: What is your son?

Witness: Over the last ten years, he has been living in Chittagong and I do not know anything about his profession.

Defence: According to your testimony, the rest of your family took refuge in India during the liberation war. When did they go?

Witness: Some days after their forced conversion to Islam.

Defence: Do you know Laxmikant Poddar, the son of Atul Poddar from Parerhat market?

Witness: No.

Defence: In this case, any one of your sisters was married in 1971?

Witness: No.

Defence: I am talking about your sisters who reside in India now. Are they married now?

Witness: I don’t know their whereabouts.

Defence: Where are your parents?

Witness: Both of them are passed away. I got the information through telegram.

Defence: Who sent you the telegram?

Witness: My elder brother.

Defence: Who transported them to India?

Witness: Through Roizuddin Naiar (Boatman).

Defence: Do you have any other correspondence with them apart the death telegram?

Witness: No. I do not have any other news.

Defence: Was Roizuddin Posari (Naiar) in the trade of bidi (handmade cigarette )?

Witness: He was.

Defence: Many years after the liberation, one of your sisters were married to Laxmikant Poddar (son of Atul Poddar) in Parerhat market?

Witness: Certainly not.

Defence: Do you know Narayan Saha, Uttam Paal,Delwar Hossain Fakir from Parerhat?

Witness: Yes

Defence: You bought the goods you trade in loan from these three businessmen and didn’t pay them off?

Witness: No. My boat wrecked and later I was looted. I gave up my shop because of the loot I had to face in Chillahari.

Defence: You told us about Danesh Mollah and the accused name as the member of Razakar troops. Can you recall any one else from that troops?

Witness: No. I don’t know.

Defence: Do you know the names of the president, secretary or any other member of the peace committee?

Witness: I do not remember. I can recall one. His name was Razzaque and he was killed later.

Defence: Do you know Moslem Moulana?

Witness: Maybe I know him by face. I cannot remember his name.

Defence: You knew the accused how many years prior the liberation war?

Witness: More than a year.

Defence: Did he have any offspring on that time?

Witness: I don’t remember anything about his children.

Defence: What was the distance between your house and the accused rented house?

Witness: Not much. There were a few houses in the middle.

Defence: Can you recall the patriarchs of your common neighborhood?

Witness: The households were respectively, Bindu Babu’s ,Sadhu Charan’s, Keshto Saha’s and finally Mozahar Mollick’s.

Defence: Can you tell us when was the accused got married?

Witness: Two years prior the Liberation war.

Defence: What was his profession prior the liberation war?

Witness: He sold goods on the pavement.

Defence: What sort of goods?

Witness: Onions, Gerlics and other staffs.

Defence: Hence you keep your own books, did you became a voter?

Witness: Yes

Defence: Did you receive your national identification card?

Witness: Yes. I did.

Defence: They asked you a few questions about yourself on that time. Didn’t they?

Witness: I do not remember about the questioning.

Defence: You wrote your date of birth on that form as 8th July, 1963. Did you write that?

Witness: I may have wronged or they might put it wrong.

Defence: Have you applied for the correction of your national identification card?

Witness: No, I haven’t.

Defence: All three of your sisters were children during the liberation war. Were they not?

Witness: No. This is not true.

Defence: Is your home located in Zianagar Upazilla?

Witness: Yes, it is.

Defence: During the war, no women of Zianagar Upazilla got raped including your three sisters?

Witness: My three sisters were raped.
Defense counsel Adv. Ansari then took over the cross examination.
Adv. Ansari: Do you still live in the Parerhat Market?

Witness: Yes. I do.

Defence: Do you know Doctor Satindra Babu Alias Satish Babu?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you know his two sons? Dr. Shubhash Chandra Roy and Dilip Kumar Roy Alias dulal who is a banker?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Is the wife of Satish Babu still alive?

Witness: I do not know that.

Defence: Is Satish Babu’s house situated in Parerhaat Port?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you know Majid Member (Majid Talukder) of Parerhaat Port?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: How old is he? Seventy?

Witness: Yes, Maybe.

Defence: Do you know Late Abdur Rahman Khalifa and his three sons (they are Mujtaba Khalifa, Muhsin Khalifa and Mahbub Khalifa)?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you know Narayan Bhushon Shil who is a teacher of Razlaxmi School?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you know Motiur Rahman Hawlader (son of Forman Ali Hawlader)?

Witness: Maybe I know him by face.

Defence: Do you know Badsha (son of Late Abdul Hamid Shikder)?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Do you know Akhter Hossain Khan (son of Ataf Hossain Khan) of Badura?

Witness: No.

Defence: You testified to the Investigation Officer Helaluddin?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: You told him about the lootings?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: You testified that your family was forced to convert to Islam after your sisters came back from the camp?

Witness: It is not true.

Defence: You told the court that 100/150 Hindu were forced to convert. You named a few but you didn’t named them in your testimony such as Nitin Paul,Gourango Paul, Sunil Paul & Haran Bhowmik. Is it true?

Witness: It is not true.

Defence: Did you got a house in Parerhaat Asroyon Prokolpo? How many years ago?

Witness: Yes. Three years ago.

Defence: In 1971, the looting of your house by the accused and his troops and afterward the abduction of my three sisters by the razakars, followed by their in captivity planned by the accused and getting raped by the Pakistan army and finally sending them back to home after three days. It is not true, is it?

Witness: It is true.

Defence: What you said, ‘After the previous incidents, the accused forced us to convert into Islam. The accused made us to follow the customs of a Muslim (such as praying in a mosque, reciting qualima and others) ,taking refuge in India, changing your name to Abdul Gani and also converting other hundred and maybe more people and returning home after the liberation’ is not true?

Witness: It is true.

Defence: Pir Yasin Mawlana of Charkhali converted a lot of people in Parerhaat Market. Is it true?

Witness: It is not true.

Defence: You are harassing your money owners in the name of police and the ruling party to continue your debt schemes after becoming a witness of this case?

Witness: That is not true

Defence: You came to testify against the accused on the charge of putting your three sisters in the hand of the Pakistani army in order to achieve future benefits and present supports facilitated by the ruling party?

Witness: It is not true.

Defence: The accused was not present in Pirozpur before July, 1971?

Witness: He was present in Pirozpur.

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