Sunday, July 29, 2012

10 Jul 2012: Molla 2nd witness testimony

Tribunal 2
The examination in chief of Sayed Shahidul Haque Mama who was giving evidence in the case against Abdul Quader Mollah took place. The questions were asked by Mohammad Ali. This follows on the from the first witness's cross examination which took place the day before.
Prosecutor: What is your name?

Witness: My name is Sayed Shahidul Haque Mama

Prosecutor: Are your parents alive?

Witness: No, they are not alive. My father was a famous Lawyer, Sayed Atharul Haque.

Prosecutor: Will you give the short historical background of your grandfather?

Witness: My grandfather is late Kaji Abdul Haque. He was a Judge under British Government.

Prosecutor: What is your mother’s name?

Witness: Late Sayeda Kashmiri Begum. My grandfather’s immediate younger brother was Khan Bahadur Ajijul Haque. He was an SP in British period. He was the inventor of the finger print. As a result, the British Govt gave him the ‘Khan Bahadur’ rank. My father in law was also a famous Lawyer named late Mir Md. Khijir Ali belonging to a renowned family.

Prosecutor: Before 1960, where was your paternal residence?

Witness: At Sayed Awlad Hossain Lane.

Prosecutor: Where did you start to live from 1960?

Witness: In the decade of the 1960’s, my father became the resident of Mirpur, Dhaka.

Prosecutor: State about your school life before 1960?

Witness: I started my school life from San Francisco School which was opposite to Lakshmibazar.

Prosecutor: After coming to Mirpur?

Witness: I was admitted to Mirpur Junior High School. It became known as Bengali Medium School subsequently. Many remembrances are connected with this school as here Bangla language was practiced.

Prosecutor: Did you participate in any movement in 1962?

Witness: Yes, I participated in the movement to cancel the notorious Hamidur Rahman Education Commission on 1962.

Prosecutor: State about the movement of 1966.

Witness: There was a movement in 1966 for the demand of 6 items. I participated in that movement. That movement was Bangalies’ demand for life.
Defense Counsel (Ekramul Haque): It seems that, the prosecutor friend is deriving information by licking the witness.
Prosecutor: What was the background of this movement?

Witness: At first the movement demanded 6 items, then the students’ movement demanded 11 items – the main sight behind both these movements were the confinement of the hero of history under the conspiracy case of Agartala.
Defense Counsel (Ekramul Haque): My Lord, I am sorry. My learned friend is thinking that I understand nothing. His way of questioning is not correct.

Prosecution Witness (Sayed Shahidul Haque Mama) told angrily, you have come as the agent of Rajakars of 1971, but I have come here in response of my conscience.

Prosecutor (Mohammad Ali) cooled down and told to say his statement.

Witness: By keeping 6 items’ and 11 items’ in front, we participated in movements. We went in front of Beauty Cinema Hall of Mirpur with procession. Then the leader of Muslim League S.A Khaleque and the sun of Monem Khan Md. Khoshru attacked and fired at the procession with their team.

Prosecutor: Then, what happened?

Witness: Then Quader Mollah of Jamaat-e-Islami, Dr. T. Ali, Hakka Gunda, Akhter Gunda, Nehal, Hasib Hashmi, Abbas Chairmen, Kana Hafez along with their followers invited Muslim League leader Khan Abdul Kaiyum who was known as Tiger of Border to defend 6 items’ and 11 items’ movement.

Prosecutor: Who was the pioneer?

Witness: Anjuman Mahzarin was the pioneer and Jamaat-e-Islami was the abettor.

Prosecutor: Then, what happened?

Witness: The present Mirpur Stadium was an open field in that time. The meeting of Kaiyum Khan held there. He was the chief guest of that meeting. That meeting was filled with the supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami and Biharies. Kaiyum Khan announced taking microphone, “Sheikh Mujib gaddar hai, Pakistan ka dushman hai”.

Prosecutor: Then?

Witness: Hearing that announcement we attacked the stage and took away the microphone.
Prosecutor: Then what was the reaction?

Witness: Me along with my companions was beaten severely. My comrade Amir was thrown to nearest dustbin after beating. Then I was carried to Mirpur Thana, they beat me and told, “Say, Joy Bangla!” I also told, “Joy Bangla!”. Their torture was getting harder. Again they told, “Will say Joy Bangla?”. Yet I told, “Joy Bangla!”.

Prosecutor: Say about fall of Ayub Khan.

Witness: Fire of aggression was lighted all over the country and the autocracy of Aiyub Khan was fallen down.
Defense Counsel (Ekramul Haque): I am feeling helpless, My Lord. My learned friend is violating rules again and again.
Prosecutor: Then who came as the ruler?

Witness: After falling down the autocracy of Aiyub Khan, came another autocrat ruler Yahya Khan.

Prosecutor: At that autocrat ruling what was done against you?

Witness: After beating me, a false case was brought against me at Thana.

Prosecutor: Then what happened with you at that case?

Witness: I was released without any charge. And, the people who gave evidence in favor of me, almost all of them were killed at the horrible night of 25th March. Quader Mollah of Jamaat-e- Islami, Dr. T. Ali, Hakka Gunda, Akhter Gunda, Nehal, Hasib Hashmi, Abbas Chairmen, Kana Hafez and their Bihari and Jamaat-e-Islami followers, who were the sons of same mother, confined and killed them.

Prosecutor: Say about the election of 1970.

Witness: At the election of 1970, Bangabandhu nominated his favourite Mr. Advocate Jahir Uddin as a candidate of National assembly and Dr. Mosharaf Hossain as a candidate of provincial assembly. I begged him to vote before door to door in favor of these leaders selected by Bangabondhu.

Prosecutor: Who was the opposition of that election?

Witness: The notorious leader of Jamaat-e-Islam, Golam Azam was the opposition containing the symbol of ‘Dari-Palla’.

Prosecutor: Was there any other candidate?

Witness: In favor of Anjuman Mahzarin of Mohammadpur mirpur area – Dewan Bara Chand was the candidate containing Elephant symbol.

Prosecutor: Did he participate at last?

Witness: He canvassed for the election, but at last he rejected his nomination paper and worked in favor of Golam Azam.

Prosecutor: In favor of Golam Azam, who took part in canvas?

Witness: Beharies and Quader Mollah of Jamaat-e-Islami , Dr. T. Ali, Hakka Gunda, Akhter Gunda, Nehal, Hasib Hashmi, Abbas Chairmen, Kana Hafez and many others.

Prosecutor: What was their ‘Slogan’?

Witness: “Pakistan Zindabad”, “Naraye Taqdir, Allahu Akber”, “Pakistan Hamara Mulk Hai”, “Joy Bangla Joy Hind, Lungi chorkar dhuti pind” , “Gali gali main shor hain, Sheikh Mujib Pakistan ka dushman hain, gaddar hain”.

Prosecutor: What happened after that?

Witness: My Lord, the name what I am pronouncing again and again, Kader Mollah along with the followers of Jamaat and Biharies, declared those slogans with cheer.

Prosecutor: What was your slogan?

Witness: Our Slogan was only one - “Tomar desh amar desh, Bangladesh, Bangladesh. Joy Bangla!” Oh! There was another Slogan of Kader Mollah and his followers – “Kaha tera Bangladesh? Tamasha dekh, Dhamaka dekh!” Actually they had a plan, after the genocide of the night of 25th March, they gave this Slogan.

Prosecutor: Say about the speech of 7th March of Bangabondhu.

Then the Defense Counsels objected loudly that the Prosecutor is bringing the information by licking. He is referring every first word of every sentence. The tempered witness better know than him.

Witness: Through the way of the ‘Osohojog (non-co-operation) movement’, the birth of historical 7th March occurred.

Prosecutor: Then, what happened?

Witness: In the presence of millions of people, Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibar Rahman gave us the direction.

Prosecutor: What was the direction?

Witness: Bangabondhu declared, “the struggle this time is for our freedom! The struggle this time is for our independence! Remember, since we have learnt to giveblood, we shall give more of it- we shall free the people of this land by the grace of Allah. At that day, it was fixed who were the friends and who were the enemies.

Prosecutor: Then, what did you do?

Witness: By getting the clear instruction from Bangabondhu, to prepare for the participation of the Liberation war, we started to collect arms and arranged meetings. We arranged meetings at the ‘Avijatrik Drug House’ of Dr. Sheikh Haidar Ali, who was the Senior Vice Chairmen of Awami Jubo League.

Prosecutor: Then?

Witness: 23rd March was the Republican day of Pakistan. The Pakistanis and their followers were making cheers by flying moon and star marked national flag of Pakistan. Quader Mollah was present physically in that celebration. We the Bengalis tried our best to fly the flag marking map of Bangladesh. At the highest pick of water Tank of Mirpur, I climbed by stair and flew the flag of Bangladesh by removing Pakistani flag.

Prosecutor: Where were you on the night of 25th March?

Witness: They were waiting to take revenge after the incidence of 23rd March. At the Operation Search Light of the night of 25th March, Jamaat-e-Islami and the Biharis actively took part.

At that night, I along with my friend took shelter at the club room of Bangalis beside the Mazar of Shah Ali, Mirpur. Their genocide crossed the grievance of the genocide of Rwanda. They killed people without any mercy.

At 8 am of 26th March I got out from that shelter and saw that there was fire and fire all around Mirpur. Then I thought that, at first I would go home to freshen up and then I would leave. After reaching D block of Mirpur – 1, I watched crowd of Biharis and they were celebrating. After watching us, they shouted “Pakraw, pakraw”. When I was near to them, Kader Mollah and his companions, the name of whom I stated earlier, louded “Shahid Agaya, Shahid agaya!”.

Prosecutor: Is your name Shahid?

Witness: Yes. Then I was running away and they ran after me. Then, after passing Nalbagh, I crossed the small river Turag by swimming which was near to my home and reached the other side. On that side, I reached Sadullapur crossing Kakulia. On the way, I came to know that, my father, grandmother and cousin brother were sitting under a tree.

Prosecutor: Then what did you do?

Witness: All persons were fleeing away. There were people all around. At the time of passing river I watched the dead bodies floating on the water.

Prosecutor: Then?

Witness: Then I met my father and grandmother. The members of a famous family took shelter under a tree! I was a student leader at that time. Through my identity the local people gave them shelter at the ‘Ghutnighar’.

Prosecutor: What is ‘Ghutnighar’?

Witness: This was a place where weekly bazaar was placed.

Prosecutor: Then?

Witness: I took shelter at ‘Banga’ with Dr. Zakaria, Ratan and famous TV and film actress Shahara Banu.

Prosecutor: What did you see on 27th March?
Defense Counsel (Ekramul Haque): Why he is asking mentioning date? This is not fair.
Witness: Two incidents are memorable to me specially. The first is, at 11am of 27th March, I got information that, the famous poet Meherunnesa and his two brothers were killed brutally and their dead bodies were cut into pieces.

Prosecutor: Who killed them?

Witness: I have already stated their names. Quader Mollah of Jamaat-e-Islami , Dr. T. Ali, Hakka Gunda, Akhter Gunda, Nehal, Hasib Hashmi, Abbas Chairmen, Kana Hafez and many others.
Justice (Chairmen): What is the other incident?

Witness: Thataribazar of former Pakistan was the center of Hakka Gunda. Akhter Gunda and his followers took Pallab, in other word, Tuntuni, from that place and brought him to Muslim Bazar, Mirpur.
Prosecutor: Where was he brought?

Witness: At Muslim Bazar, Mirpur 12.

Prosecutor: Then?

Witness: His fingers were cut at that place.
Defense Cunsel (Tajul Islam): Mohammad Ali Bhai, you don’t go near to the witness. My Lord, he can’t be stopped in any way. Mind you business.

Prosecutor: I know my conduct.
Witness: Then he was hanged in a tree and after crossing all limits of brutality they killed him. Most probably it was the incident of 5th April, 1971

Prosecutor: Who occurred this incident?

Witness: Biharis and Quader Mollah with his followers.

Prosecutor: Then where did you go and what did you do?

Witness: My elder brother came to ‘Banga’ of Savar Thana tracing me. He took me and my father in a boat of wooden materials and started for Dhaka secretly. On the way I got down with my elder brother at Rayer Bazar. From there I returned at Nazira Bazar at my auntie’s home which was situated beside the home of former parliament membe, Mr. Hanif.

Prosecutor: After that, when did you reach the main place?
Justice: Why are you mentioning the key points of questions again and again?
Witness: As that place was not safe, my grandmother took me to the home of Mr. Fazlur Rahman at Gopibagh. After staying some days there, I started to India with Mulluk Chand, Bodi and others. And reached to Agartala passing Ramchandrapur and many other villages. After staying there some days, we started to Melaghar to take training. Melaghar was the Head Office of 2 no. sector, the leader of which was General Khaled Mosaraf and Majod Haydar. It was the guerilla training to participate in the Liberation War.

Prosecutor: What did you do at Melaghar?

Witness: We took special Guerilla training. Then Major Haydar was the second man of Pakistan Commando Battalion.

Prosecutor: Then what did you do?

Witness: The type of our operation was ‘Hit and Run’. We were directed to attack our enemies.

Prosecutor: Then where did you return?

Witness: To participate in front war against the Pakistani Army with the direction of Mr. Haydar, along with 12, 13 & 14 no. Platoon, we reached Dhaka and made our operation. After reaching Dhaka, I came to know that, my immediate brother was arrested and they gave the condition that, “Give us Shahid, then you will be released”.

Prosecutor: Who are ‘They’?

Witness: They are the Pakistani Army and Rajakars. On the other side, my elder brother was also taken to Dhaka cantonment. Then, Mr. Advocate Jahir Uddin, in whose favor I worked at the time of election of 1970 and who was my father’s close friend, went to Dhaka cantonment and released my brother.

Prosecutor: After that, what did you do at Dhaka?

Witness: When we were participating in front fight, most probably it was the end of October, in accordance with the direction of Major Hayder, we placed our centre at Mohammadpur and Mirpur along with the ‘Mama Group’ (I was the leader of ‘Mama Group’). And we had hidden at different places including Nosina, Ati and so on. We sought opportunities to attack the vehicles of Pakistani Army.

Prosecutor: Tell about your next activities.

Witness: On 16 December, 1971, along with approximately 93 thousand army members, the Pakistani authority surrendered.

The Graphic Arts Institute was the Head Quarter of Pakistani Armi. It and the Physical Training Institute of Mohammadpur, which were located on the way to Sat Masjid Road, Rayerbazar and were used as the torture centre of Pakistani Armi. We attacked there.

Prosecutor: When?

Witness: During afternoon to dusk. At the evening, when we attacked the Graphic Arts Institute, the Khansenas left that centre and mixed with the Biharies of Mohammadpur. The remaining members went away to Mirpur.

Justice (Obaydul Hassan): You’ve stated earlier that they surrendered already.

Witness: Though they surrendered on 16 December, 1971, but the Mirpur area became free on 31st January, 1972.

The Biharis, Khansenas and Rajakars were motivated and along with Islami Chhatra Sangha, they created the wall of prevention. They also flew the flag of Pakistan. They declared, “You brought Bangladesh within 9 months, we again turn it into Pakistan.”

Prosecutor: Who are ‘they’?

Witness: They are Quader Mollah, Biharies and Rajakars. They are Nijami, Ashraf, Golam Azam.

Defense Counsel (Tajul Islam): My learned friend is insisting to utter the name.

Witness: At the wall of the Graphic Arts institute, there were marks of blood.

Justice (Chairman): You have many memories. Please tell those, which are relevant to our current case.

Prosecutor: What happened at Mirpur then?

Witness: On 14 December, the intellectuals of our country were killed brutally. On 17 December, I saw their dead bodies at slaughter-house of Rayerbazar. There were eyes of men packed in sacks.

We dag soil and interred those eyes. Then, were searching for the assailants. The Biharis confessed subsequently. We arrested many of those assailants, who were hiding at Mohammadpur. According to their confession, we identified thousands of dead bodies within the bricks of slaughter-house of Rayerbazar. They were the best sons of the nation. And, there was the symbol of inhumanity of the Rajakars and Al-Badars. Subsequently we asked their relatives about that inhumanity. They replied, the Al-Badar took them bending their eyes.

I couldn’t be normal listening and hearing those miseries, those cruelties. Then I went to action at Mirpur. I saw dead bodies fallen scattered in the field of Bangla College.

Justice: was this incident of 17 December, 1971?

Witness: Yes.

Then I went to my home. There was a lake beside our home. I saw dead bodies all through the lake and stink spread from those dead bodies. In my home, there were no doors or windows. All elements were looted.

I can’t finish telling this story of brutality. The continuity of this brutality ran till 1975 when Bangabandhu was killed with his whole family, till the murder of 4 national leaders, till the attack to Sheikh Hasina on 21st August. I expect the exemplary punishment of the concerned assailants.
[At the moment of telling these, the witness cried for a while.]
Prosecutor: Could you identify Quader Mollah if he were in the dock?

Witness: (seeing to the dock) I am watching nobody there! Off course I could identify.
After that, the Defense Counsels prayed for 2 days to prepare for cross examination. The Tribunal, prosecutors and witness himself wanted to continue the issue today. The Tribunal was adjourned till 3.00 pm.

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