Sunday, July 22, 2012

1 July 2011: Azam trial witness 1

Tribunal One

Justice AKM Zaheer Ahmed was absent from this hearing

Misc matters
Tajul Islam: My Lord, I would like to mention three matters. These are follows-
1) The defence has produced the relevant defence documents in the case of Gholam Azam.
2) About the case of Mr. Motiur Rahman Nizami we are praying for submitting another Vokalotnama.
3) And three applications about the case of Mr. Sayedee have been submitted. Then he has handed over the petitions and documents.

Azam first witness
The Examination in Chief of Muntassir Mamum, the first witness against Golam Azam was conducted by Zead al Malum [The indictment order can be found here, and the order following application for review of the order can be found here]
Prosecutor: Please introduce yourself.

Witness: My name is Muntassir Uddin Khan Mamun; shortly named as Muntassir Mamun, aged-65. Right now I’m the Professor of the faculty of History of the University of Dhaka. I have passed SSC from the Chittagong Bondor High School on 1966 and I have passed HSC from the Chittagong College on 1968. Afterwards I got my Honors and Masters Degrees from the faculty of History from the University of Dhaka. I have got myself admitted on the Faculty of History on 1968. Because of the Liberation War our Masters examination was held at 1974 though the year of issuing the certificate of passing the same was on 1972. On 1974 I have joined at the faculty of History of the University of Dhaka as a Lecturer. As far as I can remember I have got the PhD degree on 1983. The topic of my research and writing mostly consists of the issues of East Bengal (presently known as Bangladesh) and the society, culture, politics, capitalism and liberation war.

Prosecutor: Have you received any kinds of awards for your excellence?

Witness: I have received the Presidential award as a best teen Writer on 1963. As far as I can remember on 1993 I have received Bangla Academy Award for my excellence on the Bangla Literature. I have received the Ekushey Award on 2010. And I have received Markentile Bank Award for my excellence on the research for Liberation. There are some other accolade which I don’t want to mention for more.

Zeyad Al Malum: During the timeframe of 1968 to 1972 you were the student of Dhaka University and observed the liberation war movement there.

Witness: 1968 to 1971 is one of the most valuable and crucial moments for the people of Bangladesh. We, who were then the student of Dhaka University were somehow in any way were involved with the activities. The Agortola Case has made us furious at that time. This anger and hatred has led us to participate in the 1969 people’s movement. We know the history afterwards, so I will not go for the details. But we got to understand after the general election of 1970 that, our long cherished demands are going to be fulfilled. But after 1st March, 1971 we assumed that we might be debased this time. Almost all the people of our generation were very much annoyed about these types of activities of the Pakistan Government. On March, 1971 I have stayed at Dhaka.

Prosecutor: Please mention about the March, 1971.

Witness: Still I got so depressed by remembering the events of March, 1971. It is so tough for anyone of our age to describe the pitiful moments of that time. Since 25th March, 1971 to 29th March, 1971 I have stayed at Pollobi, Mirpur. By hearing the sound s of bullets and fire on 25th March, 1971 we became anxious. Pollobi was the calm and quiet place at that time and mostly the population of Mirpur consists of non Bengali people. Anyway, we went to the rooftop to watch what is happening actually. We were hearing the sounds of bullets and watching the sparks of fires from the distance. After some time we have watched that the Pakistan Army is coming from the front road. Before sometime Mr. Ahmed Sofa has called us to let us know that the Pakistan Army has started moving and firing. On the next day we have heard from the Radio Akash bani in their language that war has already started in East Pakistan. After that we have heard the song ‘Amar Sonar Bangla Ami Tomai Valobashi’ repeatedly from the same station. We got to understand that the Pakistan Army would like to destroy us fully by using their guns. Till 29th March, 1971 the Pakistan Army has looted and killed several people from almost every houses of Mirpur with the assistance of the non- Bengalis. Our family got saved by the cooperation of some non-Bengalis. On 29th March I reached Dhaka from Mirpur. After reaching Dhaka I have started searching for some of my friends who were residing at the Dhaka University area and the Old Dhaka area; then I have watched how brutal acts the Pakistan Army has done on those areas. It becomes very easy to understand that people become so anxious, because they were leaving Dhaka with great anxiety. It is a small report about the situation of Dhaka in March, 1971. As far as I can remember that- I was there in Dhaka till October, 1971.

Zeyad Al Malum: Mention the names of the Papers which were in their circulation on that time.

Witness: Daily Observer, Daily Pakistan, Daily Sangram, Purbodesh etc.

Zeyad Al Malum: Mention about the contents of the newspapers which were involving the news of liberation war.

Witness: I can say about the newspapers that no newspaper was authorized to publish any news without the approval of the then Government. We were reading and observing the newspapers only because of knowing what the Government and the relevant people are thinking, doing and planning. Another reason to read the Newspapers was to get ourselves known what the ‘evil doers’ [according to the term of Government and the politicians] are doing actually. Because the freedom fighters were known as ‘evil doers’ in their terms. And to get the news we were dependent upon the news of BBC, Radio Australia, Akashbani and Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendro.

Zeyad Al Malum: You have mentioned something about the politicians- say about them.

Witness: After the March, 1971, the political parties which have assisted the Pakistan Government were consisting of Jamaat-e-Islami, several parts of Muslim League, PDP and several other parts of some parties. But the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim League was taking the main role as the main political parties. After 25th March the parties have assisted Pakistan Government and the then Military dictator. Their first step was to meet General Tikka Khan and they have met at the first week of April when the Pakistan Army was involved with the brutal killing, looting, arson, rape at the distant parts of Bangla. Among the political leaders famous were the names of Mr. Nurul Amin and Mr. Gholam Azam. We have observed the Peace Committee was formed in April by their advice and supports. Though the peace committee was divided afterwards, but Mr. Khaja Khoyeruddin has cooperated the Peace Committee, which was being leaded by Gholam Azam. We have watched the Peace Committee has been from the grassroots to central level. After that the Razakar, Al-Badr, Al-Shams committee have been formed off. It is mentionable that- the Jamaat-e-Islami was taking the leading parts in these committees. If one turns the pages of the newspapers of that time- it will be found that- the speeches of Gholam Azam is getting more attention there. The Razakar Committee has been formed by the Jamaat leaders. After that the Pakistan Government has made a legal structure. The Jamaat leaders were also in the leadership of Al-Badar. As the Jamaat-e-Islami was the large political group which was assisting the Pakistan Government, so it has spread its leadership among the above mentioned groups and committees and its workers were involved in these groups. And the other groups as I have mentioned earlier has joined the Peace Committee and Razakar Committee. The leaders of these groups have always inspired their workers by delivering instigating speeches. I have already mentioned that- Mr. Gholam Azam has taken the main role among the political leaders for assisting the Pakistan Military Dictator. When I remember the brutal activities of Razakar, Al-Badar, Al-Shams suddenly I can’t but tremble. It seems to us that if the associates of Pakistan Armies were not there, in that case there might be some reduction of destructions and we might have got the victory before so long.

Tajul Islam: My Lord, the petitioner is feeling sick. So, we would like to pray for the permission to continue the examination in chief in his absence.

Zeyad Al Malum: My Lord, I think the examination in chief must be done before the petitioner.

Justice Nizamul Huq: The counsel for the accused petitioner might represent him. So, we allow him to take away from this room. And give tomorrows date on the custody warrant.

[Then the accused petitioner has been taken away from the Court Room]

Zeyad Al Malum: Mention about the books which have been written by you.

Witness: I have written some books on the liberation war. In fact I have mainly researched on the opposite party against the liberation war movement. Another topic of my research was about the mind setup of the Associates of the Pakistan Armies. I could not understand- how could the people from the same region and religion can attack the people of the same origin just because of associating a party. Among my books noteworthy are as follows- ‘Razakarer Mon (Two Parts)’, ‘Pakistani General der Mon’, ‘Shei shob Pakistani’, ‘Shanti Committee’, etc. And I have edited the Muktijuddho Kosh [in 5 volumes], Muktijuddher Chinno Dolil Potro, 13 Number Sector etc. I can’t mention the exact number of my books, but it might be around 225 in number.

Zeyad Al Malum: Mention about the brutal activities of these groups.

Witness: We- who were there in the country on that time we have observed the brutal activities of the Razakar, Al-Badar, Al-Shams, Peace Committee and going to work for research we gathered more knowledge about the activities. The main aims of these committees were to be associated with the main Power of the Government, to collect assets by looting and to obstruct people by raping and killing. If we think about the Peace Committee we will find that- it was spread towards the grass root level. The Peace Committee has shown the pathways to the Pakistan Armies thus taken them to several places, have assisted the Pakistan Army to rape the women of these area, have assisted them in looting- especially these have been done against the worker of Awami League and the Hindu Communities. The leaders of Peace Committee have inspired, instigated and provoked them- among them Golam Azam was one of the leading players- the example of his involvement is being apparent from the several reports of newspapers. If we start comparative discussion in that case we will also find that- the speeches of Gholam Azam has been discussed of mostly. His speeches were mostly consisted of several types of words as follows- 1) to destroy the freedom fighters. 2) To assist the Pakistan supporters and associates. 3) To supply the associates with armors if needed. By inspiring them in public, in fact he has cooperated them in killing, looting, raping and destructions. They don’t hold the responsibilities for these types of activities.

If we come to Razakar Committee- then we could see, at first it has been started with Jamaat workers afterwards the Pakistan Government has taken them under a legal framework. They have also associated with the Pakistan Army to find out the pathways to go to the distant places of this country, have assisted to find out the freedom fighters, also assisted on looting-killing-arson-rape-destruction and so on. They have directed the activities on their own motion. The aim was alike the previous- to be associated with the main power, to destroy the people who are the believers of Bangali nationality and freedom fighters. If we turn over the pages of the reports of that time- especially the reports about the raped women, then we will certainly be astonished that how a human being could can do so brutal activities. Some books have been published on the matter about the matters; you will find the brutal description there; it is hard to describe. Mr. Golam Azam was on the leading role among those political leaders for committing those above brutal activities by giving inspiring and provocative speeches and thus assisting the perpetrators. The then newspapers are the perfect example of his involvements. The role of AL-Badar was very specific, the Peace Committee and the Razakars have directed the brutal genocide, looting and rape. But the Al-badar was mainly involved in killing the intellectuals. The main reason was to make a big hollow among the believers of Liberation war. The Al-Badar Committee was mainly formed of the Jamaat workers and Motiur Rahman Nizami was the Chief of the team. So, one thing is apparent that- those who have associated the Pakistan Army was consisted of both the persons and groups. They are liable directly and indirectly for the above activities; because in a word it could be said that they have got the license to kill. I am saying so because the groups and persons have been inspired by the political leaders’ provocative speeches and they have been assured that for these activities they will not be punished, because no one have been even seen to be punished. So the people who have inspired and took part- all of them are culpable for the brutal activities.

Zeyad Al Malum: Please mention about the killing at the University of Dhaka.

Witness: When I have mentioned about the Al-Badar, I have already told that they were especially involved with killing the intellectuals and professionals. As the University of Dhaka was the centre of movements for democracy and liberation, so the students and faculties of the University were being targeted by the Pakistan Army and their associates. And especially the following political parties possessed a special hatred towards the students and faculties. Even General Rao Forman Ali has mentioned it to me in an interview. Pakistan Army has killed many of my teachers. The killings have been started on 25th March, 1971 and afterwards the Al-Badar has continued killing the teachers who were somehow involved with freedom fights. I can remember here the name of my teacher Giyasuddin Ahmed today. Almost all the workers of Al-Badar consisted of the members of Chatro Shibir [a student wing]. I have not even found in any history that- students could kill their teachers. For almost 4 decades I am involved with teaching. There are so many students of mine- who are believers of several political groups, but they have not disgraced me any day. And I have also treated them equally irrespective of their political groups.

So that- I have said how merciless the people could be, so that by presenting the false words they could take the teachers to the cars thus kill them. It is so difficult to find similar brutal incidents in the history.
Justice Nizamul Huq: Okay the Court is adjourned till 2 P.M. After lunch, the  examination in chief continued.
Witness: At this moment I want to mention a book, the name of the book is “Jokhon Kritodash” (When slave) written by register of the Rajshahi University whose name may be Nazimuddin. From the name of the book it is very clear to understand the condition of the Bengali people during the Liberation war.  
That means the people who want independence were considered as slave. They were forced to be a slave. Killing, abduction, torture, loot, and arson everything was related to this. For that reason Bengali people has no opinion to express and they were not able to work according to their own will.  
I want to refer a document of General Niazi which has been mentioned in my book “Muktijuddhe Sinno Dalil Patro” In his document it was clearly mentioned that they wanted to convert Bengali people as minority group. Their target was to abolish all groups other than Muslim people. And for that reason they worked systematically. This proof has been found from the killing of innocent people by the Pakistan army and their associated (Razakaar, Albadr, Alshams) groups and also be found from the people who left for India to secure themselves.  
It is impossible to think how many people were killed and how many people were tortured. It has been said that 3 lac people were killed basically from my research; it is my idea that number of death people is more than that. In most of the cases where there is a bridge over the river, in that case people after killing were thrown into the river from the bridge.
For an example, I can refer an incident of a village, this village situated under Uzirpur in Barisal District. People of that village used to cultivate Battle leaf. Pakistan Army went to that village and committed genocide according to the direction of auxiliary forces.
Just I want to explain the way of committing genocide at the root level during 1971. Even there was no mass-grave of that death people also. People were forced to leave the country so that they took the whole property of those people.  
I have added some documents with this book. From that document it has been seen that house of the people who were refugee and were killed had been given to the member of the Peace Committee. Basically not only by the Pakistan Army but also by their auxiliary forces “that means “political party” were also the responsible for this heinous activity and these forces were formed by the planning of that political party.  
Jamaat-i-islam was one of those political parties, so Jamaat-i-islam basically ameer of Jamaat-i-islam Ghulam Azam is responsible for these heinous activities. Since it was seen that Ghulam Azam met with Tikka khan at the month of April for two times. After that he met with President Yahya.  
He supported again and again to those people who were against the independence of Bangladesh and supported genocide. In various newspapers his statement was published again and again then.  
Most importantly I want to say about the rape of young girls. From the analysis of different documents and from other materials it has been seen that most of the girls who were raped were the 13 to 20 years old. Pakistan militia went to different villages according to their wish and then raped women by surrounding that house by the Pakistan army. From different analysis it has been seen that Razakaar forces helped the Pakistan army to identify the houses. Thus the way women were abducted and raped at least 4 or 5 times per day. We say that number of the tortured and raped women are 4 lach basically they are more that that.  
We cannot deny never forget that basically these Bengali people assisted Pakistan Army to commit these heinous activities. It was really very unfortunate for a nation.
In fact, they did these heinous activities for creating slave among the Bengali People.
How many people died in refugee camp we did not mention it. In fact, these should be considered as genocide also.  
After the Libaration war also Professor Ghulam Azam formed East Pakistan Restoration committee. All over the world there is no ideology of killing, rape, arson, loot, persecution etc. These activities never fall within the Political activities.  
Mr. Md. Azraf writes that “nowhere over the world there is killing of people by the name of Allah and the Quran”  
I never saw, never heard like an incident all over the world. All of my documents are relates to Liberation War and everywhere I want trial of war criminal.  
Every question will have the same answer that the incident was occurred during the 1971. Everything will be repetition whatever I say.  
Zead-al-malum: Today Ghulam Azam is present here?  
Witness : Yes 
Zead-al-Malum: My lord in case of reading out formal there was very much urgency of presence Mr. Ghulam Azam but now when PW 1 is going on he is not present at the afternoon session, why?

Justice Nizam: We have allowed it; if you are prejudiced you can file an application.

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