Wednesday, November 21, 2012

26 Sep 2012: Azam 15th witness testimony

After the 14th witness gave evidence, Shofiuddin Ahmed, the fifteenth witness in the case of Golam Azam then gave came to give evidence
My name is Shofiuddin Ahmed, Father- Late Somondor Ali, Mother- Amina Begum, Aged- 58 years. Address: village- Ramnogor, Police Station- Homna, District- Comilla.

I have passed the SSC examination on 1969 from the Ramkrishno KKRK High School of our village. On 1970 I have been admitted at the Government Bangla College of Karachi, Pakistan. On June, 1971 I have returned to the then East Pakistan. Then I have gone to my village. There was a temporary freedom fighters Camp at the house of Siru Mia Daroga which was situated beside our village. I have communicated to the Camp and started working on behalf of the freedom fighting movement. Noteworthy was that- we have sent Johra Tajuddin, the wife of Tajuddin Ahmed, the temporary Prime Minister of the Mujibnagar Government to India.

After some days- we have sent the former President Badrujjoda Chowdhury to India with his family members. On 25th October, 1971 I along with Siru Mia and 6 others have started towards India. Among those other people there were- the son of Siru Mia named Anwar Kamal, Najrul Islam- Mujibnagar Commander of Daudkandi Police Station, Abul Kashem- Deputy Commander and Jahangir Selim. We have started towards India by boat. At first we have reached at the Chotra village near the borderline and stayed there on 26th October. On 27th October we have started towards the border. Our guide was Mr. Taleb. He has informed us that the road is clear. Then we have started towards that road. Before the starting Siru Mia Daroga has written a letter to his wife and gave the letter to Mr. Taleb to pass it to his wife. After sometime we have reached the Razakar check post at Tontor. Suddenly 20 to 25 Razakars have confronted us and tied us up. They have tied up Siru Mia and his son together, Najrul and Jahangir Selim together and tied me up with Abul Kashem. After 5 to 7 minutes a Pakistan Army Jeep has come from the side of Comilla then 5 to 7 soliders have arrived.

There were two revolvers with Siru Mia and his son; the soliders have removed them. Then they have put all of us on to a Truck of Rice and set up 5 to 7 razakars for our guard. They have dropped us at the first point of Brahmanbaria then they have moved us by walking towards the Court Building. They have put us in a field and many people have come to see us. A man wearing white Panjabi had come with a stick on his hand and started admonishing us. By asking his name we came to knew that- his name was Peyara Mia. There were 5 to 6 young people who have come with Peyara Mia. They have taken away our wrist watches and rings. Then they have moved us to the Razakar Manjil at Brahmonbaria which was then known as the Kali Bari and was located near the Onnoda School. Then they have announced by the hand-mike over the whole road that the 6 members of the Special troops have been caught with arms. So many people have gathered to visit us. We have stayed at Razakar Manjil on that night.

On the next morning they have moved us towards the house of Dana Mia by walking. That was a Torture Camp of the Army. Then we have been taken in a room. Pakistan Captain Ali Reza, Brigadier Sadat Ullah, Habildar Bashir Uddin had come and started torturing us; when we became unconscious after the torture they have left the room by locking that from outside. Then at the evening we have been sent to the Prison by the Army vehicle. Then on the next day we have again been taken to the house of Dana Mia and we have been tortured for 2 or 3 consecutive days by this manner. Then my other 5 fellows have been sent to the Brahmanbaria Prison.

After two days I have also been sent to the Brahmonbaria Prison. Suddenly a vehicle of solider has come one day and the gate of the prison has been opened up. I along with 30 to 35 other supporters of freedom fighting movements were taken to the Medda Hospital. Then they have taken blood from our body by syringe. Then we have again been sent to the Prison. Then on the night of Eid Ul Fitr on 21st November, 1971 after the arrival of the vehicle of Pakistan soliders, the gate of the Prison has been opened up. After calling up our names they have tied all of us by rope and been taken to the Army vehicle. Suddenly Brigadier Sadat Ullah has sen me and directed the other soliders by saying—‘Let the angel be set free.’ Then I have been taken to the number-4 cell. I have seen a man there and when I have asked what his name was, he has replied that his name was Ananta Singh and he is a member of Indian Army and he has been arrested from the border.

On the next day I have heard that- all the other 39 fellows who have been taken by the Army vehicle on last night have been killed. After Brahmanbaria became liberated I got freed. I was very sick then one of my fellow freedom fighter has sent me to Nabinagar, then I have gone to my village from that place. I have heard that among those 39 people who have been taken to be killed; among them one is alive whose name is Chinu. I have met him after 5 or 6 months of my getting freed from the Jail. He has showed me his sign of injury of the bullet at his left chest. He has told me the story how he has been saved. He has told me that- the 38 corpses of his fellows had been grounded on the soil of Koirotola. Among those 38 bodies there were his 4 fellows who were- Siru Mia, Anwar Kamal, Najrul Islam and Abul Kashem.

The abovementioned Peyara Mia’s house is at Brahmonbaria. I came to know that- Peyara Mia was a supporter of Peace Committee. After the liberation I came to know from the wife of Siru Mia that she has collected a letter from Professor Ghulam Azam to save the life of her husband.

I have seen the photograph of Ghulam Azam at the newspapers. I have seen him today at this Tribunal. And I have given my statements to the IO.

This is all about my statements.
Cross Examination of witness by Mizanul Islam
Defence: You said that you have studied in Comilla. In which college?

Witness: Government Bangle College.

Defence: Did you ever go in Brahmanbaria (a district of Bangladesh) in 1971 or before?

Shofiuddin ahmad: No, I didn’t.

Defence: From where you were arrested did you ever go there before?

Witness: No, I didn’t.

Defence: Did you ever go in Brahmanbaria before joining in freedom fight?

Witness: No, I didn’t.

Defence: Did you have any contact with the political activities or with the political leaders of Brahmanbaria before 1971?

Witness: No, I didn’t have any contact with them.

Defence: You told that, ‘after independence of our country, you heard from the wife of an police officer that she brought a letter from Golam Azam for saving the lives of her husband and son.’ This portion of your speech you didn’t tell to the Investigation Officer. This portion is not true.

Witness: The investigation officer didn’t ask me this, that’s why I didn’t tell him. But today whatever I have told everything is true.

Defence: Today you made above mentioned portion of your deposition in pressure of prosecution.

Witness: This is not true.
That is the end of his cross examination.

After finishing his cross examination seeking permission of the Tribunal, the witness said that he wanted to say something person. He asked the present lawyers both prosecution and defense, journalists, visitors that after hearing his deposition did anyone have any doubt that he is not a freedom fighter. Some defense lawyers said that they never doubted him being a freedom fighter. Then he said that 40 years has been passed but still he doesn’t get a freedom fighter certificate. His commander wrote a letter that he fought under him and he submitted it to the related ministry but he couldn’t get his certificate. So he asked to the Tribunal that if they had any scope to help him having the certificate and if they do then he will be very much obliged.

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