Friday, July 13, 2012

10 Jun 2012: Azam trial opening statement

After dealing with the book issue, Golam Arif Tipu the Chief Prosecutor then started reading the opening statement in relation to the trial of Golam Azam. The contents were very similar to the charge framing document which can be read here.
The person who is standing at the accused dock is Professor Golam Azam who is a self confessed collaborator; as per his verse given before the tribunal on 13th May, 2012, after the order of framing charge. Almost 30 lakhs people have been killed during the liberation war and near about 4 lakhs women have been raped and a huge numbers of people have taken refuge at the border country India. There is no crime which has not been committed by the accused; as has been described under the ICT Act-1973. The charges against him include involvement in murder and torture on unarmed people, conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.  
He then started reading out the historical background of the formation of Bangladesh and at 11: 20 A.M. another Prosecutor Mr. Mir Ikbal has started reading out more of the historical background.  
At this time Senior Counsel Mr. Mizanul Islam has informed the Tribunal that-the accused is feeling very sick and can’t stay any more at the dock sitting. So, he would like to leave with the permission of the Tribunal.

Then the Chairman has stopped the Prosecutor reading out the Opening Statement and passed an Order.

Justice Nizamul Huq: [Passing an Order]
The accused Golam Azam has been produced before the Tribunal by the Prison Authority. The Opening Statement has been started. During the proceeding it has been urged by the defence counsel Mr. Mizanul Islam that the accused is feeling very uneasy in the dock. The counsel submits that he may be sent to the Jail. It was further submitted that before the deposition of the witnesses has started; he need not be presented before the tribunal. 
After considering the matter we are in the view that let the accused be sent back to the Prison and he need not to be brought back before the Tribunal during the recording of the statement. During this time he will be represented by his counsel. 
Prosecutor Sultan Mahmood continued reading the opening statement about the formation of Al Badar, Razakar, Islamic Chatro Sangha

Adjournment for lunch

Justice Nizam asked the investigation officer when the witnesses who have been recalled will come to the tribunal. The officer said that he had spoken to them. The chairman said that they must come before the 15th.

The opening statement by the prosecution relating to the trial of Golam Azam continued

The prosecutor Nurunnahar Mukta started to read out from page 64 of the opening statement, followed by Sultan Mahmud, Saiful Islam Tareq and Zead-al-malum (summary below)
Connection of Peace Committee with Jamaat-i-islam: Jamaat-i-islam was organizer of Peace committee and Ghulam Azam was Ameer of Jamaat-i-islam that time. Basically the Peace committee served as an agent of Jamaat-i-islam. Jamaat-i-islam had a deep relation with the Razakaar force also. 
In Urdu meaning of the Razakaar was volunteers but in our country the term Razakaar is known as deceiver. Basically Razaakar was such a force which worked to identify the Guerrillas. 
Accused Ghulam Azam said that activists of jamaat should join at razakaar force for the protection of our country. Victims of razakaar forces were those people who supported or sympathized with the liberation of Bangladesh, individuals belonging to minority religious groups especially the Hindus, political groups belonging to Awami League and other pro-Independence political parties, Bengali intellectuals and civilian population of Bangladesh.
Formation of Rzakaar force: Mawlana Yusuf formed Razakaar bahini having 96 members of the Jamaat-i-islam. East Pakistan Razakaar Ordinance1971 was signed by the Tikka Khan. Razakaar force were trained at Dhaka University gymnasium field and Mirpur physical training centre. 
Offence Committed by Razakaar Force: They committed crime against humanity, genocide and others offences under section 3(2) of the Act. It was clear from the statement of the PDP’s (Pakistan democratic Party) secretary Nurul amin while meeting with Tikka khan on 4th April, 1971 that, “Razakaar force is working to eliminate miscreant or “Pancham bahini”. Miscreants are getting helpless by the activities of Razkaar Bahini. But In which area Razakaar force are not available they are seen very much active at that particular area. So, number of razakaar should be increased and they should be given arms to fight” 
Operation search light had been continuing for 9 days (25th march to 4th april), when he (Golam Azam) along with Nuruzzaman, Hamidul Huq Chowdhury, Advocate A.T Sadi on 4th April 1971 met with Lieutenant General Tikka khan. In fact, he was the full supporter of crime committed during 25th march to 4th April. He ensured Pakistan Army to give them full assistance. 
He took oath to give full support to the Pakistan military force. (Source: Daily Azad, Daily Purbadesh, dated 7th April 1971) 
For obstructing Liberation war they had formed a Peace Committee on 9th April 1971. There were 141 members in Peace committee. Accused petitioner was the member of that peace committee. His name was in third position. Khaza Khirullah was the convener of the peace committee. Therefore, accused was the top leader of the peace committee. Central peace committee was formed in15.4.1971. From then they started to spread out their activities. (Source: Daily Azad,Daily Pakistan, dated 11th April 1971) 
Peace committee was formed in district and thana level under the leadership of Ghulam Azam. (Source: Daily Azad, Daily Pakistan, dated 17th April 1971) . Razakkar would be recruited and trained by the peace committee and salary has been paid to them properly or not was also decided by the peace committee. 
Formation of Al badrs and Al shams: These two wings were formed because numbers of razakkar were inadequate to protect the country. Then on 16th May 1971, al badrs force were formed with the 47 members Islamic student association in sherpur, Mymensingh. Name of the first leader of Al Badr force was Kamran. From the book of Hossain Hakkani it is clear that Al Badrs force worked for creating brotherhood among the people of east Pakistan and west Pakistan , assisting the Pakistan army to protect the Pakistan. They were basically trained by the Pakistani army. They were the main planner of killing intellectuals on 14th December 1971. 
Matiur Rahman Nizami was the Supreme head of the Al Shams forces. It worked like a para-military force of Pakistan army. 
Accused-petitioner was the master planner to all heinous crime committed during the liberation war. From 25 March to 16th December he holds the superior status and responsibility that is the reason he was accused under section 4(2) of the ICT Act. He incited those acting under his authority, followers and others, to commit further crimes.
He went to Jessore, Thataribazar and Laalbagh in Dhaka to meet with other members and said ‘right now this country is protected by Pakistan Army’ (Source:Daily Paigaam dated: 22nd may 1971) 
He supported Pakistan Army in a meeting at Lahore on18.6.1971. Accused told tthe journalist that: People who are against the liberation of Pakistan they are not Pakistani. He declared the people of East bangle as Separatist. He requested to give arms to the auxiliary force. So that they are able to protect the peaceful people. (Here peaceful people means albadr, alshams and rajaakar). 
He said on 21st June 1971 Pakistan army is very much essential in our country to destroy the Separatist movement otherwise this country cannot be saved. (Source: Daily Azad, Daily Pakistan, dated 22nd June 1971) 
He said at Hotel in Karachi on 22.6.1971 that: We have to work with West Pakistan for the survival of East Pakistan. 6 points programme which are raised by Awami league should be prohibited. He said to his followers that we should give full support to the Pakistani Military Force.(Source: Daily Shongram, dated 23rd June 1971) 
He declared Awami league as the spy of India and said ‘they destroy the peace of general people’ (here general people means Albadr, Alshms, Razakar). He prayed for undivided Pakistan. (Source: Daily Shongram, Daily Pakistan dated 8 August 1971, Daily Azad dated 9 August 1971) 
On 26 August 1971, at a meeting with journalist at Peshwar, Ghulam Azam termed the people against Pakistan as Mirjafar (a notorious figure in the history of Indian sub-continent, due to his betrayal the last independent Nawab (King) was defeated by British and was ruled by them for 190 years). He further termed Awami League as Fascist. (Source: Daily Shangram, Daily Purbodesh, Daily Azad, Daily Ittefaq dated 27 August, 1971) 
On the same day, at Town Hall in Peshwar, in a meeting with the Jamat-e-Islami activist, he prayed for undivided Pakistan and he discussed the losses occurred by the separatist. He further added, “The losses will not be repaid by delivering speeches.” 
On 30 August 1971, Islami Jamat-e-Talaba (IJT) and Peace Committee expressed their satisfaction to their activism 
On 31 August 1971, Press conference at Karachi, he declared separatist as non-muslim and praised the works of Razakar. 
He further praised the Razakkar for their activities at a meeting in Rawalpindi. (Source: Daily Purbadesh 27th November 1971) 
He invited Yahya khan to visit West Pakistan at a meeting of combined Qualition party at Rawalpindi. He added that he and his force were trying their best to help Pakistan Government. 
Other this above-mentioned offences accused-petitioner is personally involved to the killing of Shuru mia on 21.11.71. 
Therefore, Accused-petitioner was either jointly or individually liable for criminal activities. 
Killing, looting, arson and meeting with Pakistani military force etc, everything is done by this top member of jamaat-i-islam.

Member of the central peace committee was selected from the Jamaat-i-islam.

Role played by the accused in case conspiracy:
- He would meet with Pakistan leader Yahya ,Tikka Khan and did conspiracy.
- He provided arms to the Auxiliary force.
- He spread out his auxiliary force each and every ward, area, districts. Everywhere he used to say Awami-league, the minority groups and who fight for independent country are the enemy of this country (West Pakistan).

Complicity of the accused: Giving assistance to the Pakistan army and establishing auxiliary forces (peace committee, Razakaar, Al Badr, Al Shams) with a view to supporting Pakistan Army is enough for proving his complicity with the crime. Since accused uphold the top position of auxiliary force so undoubtedly he is liable under this ICT Act.

Therefore, case has been filed under ICT Act 1973. All documents have been submitted to the Tribunal in this regard.

This Tribunal has the jurisdiction to try the case and gives judgement over this matter which appears to the tribunal to be just and proper.

This Tribunal has the power to
(1) Take cognizance of the offence
(2) Take judicial notice under Sec 19(3) of ICT Act 1973
(3) And since Ghulam Azam is involved in killing of many persons, so we pray before the Tribunal to punish him under sec 20 of the ICT Act 1973
(4) Finally, Honourable Tribunal should try the case in such a manner which appears to him just and proper.
Order given by Justice Nizam (summary):
Submission of the opening statement is completed today, the defence was asked to submit their list of witnesses and documents upon which they rely upon. My Order dated 13th may to submit the copy on 5.06.12 but defence wants adjournment because of not taking preparation. Then we have decided, Opening statement will be heard first and defence will get more time so that they can submit their list of witness and documents upon which they rely upon. 
Now considering all those things, we fix 24th June for the prosecution witness and submission of the defence list of witness and documents upon which they rely upon.
 Then the court was adjourned.

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