Corroborating the evidence of DW-1, a war-wounded freedom fighter on Tuesday said that during the whole nine month of the Liberation War he did not receive any allegation about Motiur Rahman Nizmai committing any crimes against humanity or collaborating with the Pakistan occupation forces to carry out atrocities.
“We received hundreds of complaints, both verbal and in writing, from Sujanagar, Sathia and Bera thanas of Pabna against the persons who had committed crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971 and accordingly handed down punishment to the perpetrators, but we didn’t receive any such single allegation against accused Nizami,” recalled M Shamsul Alam while making his deposition as DW-2 before the International Crimes Tribunal-1. He said: “During the wartime and even after the independence of Bangladesh, I didn’t hear the name of Nizami, then president of Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS) and chief of Al Badr, a vigilante group of Jamaat-e-Islami.”
In his deposition, Shamsul Alam told the tribunal that during the Liberation War most of the freedom fighters (80-90%) of Pabna district were martyred in the hands of Naxalites as claimed by the victims’ family. The freedom fighter defence witness said Tipu Biswas was one of the top leaders of Naxalites in 1971 and it had control over the Razakars and helped Pakistan occupation army in carrying out any operation. After concluding his 45-minute deposition, the 62-year-old war hero, DW Shamsul Alam, faced cross-examination by the designated prosecutor Mohammad Ali.
Replying to a prosecution question, Shamsul Alam said that during the Liberation War a party named Biplabi Naxal Bahini, a faction of Students Union, was in operation. Asked whether the Biplabi Naxal Bahini was an authorized political party, he replied that he had no idea in this regard. The DW denied the prosecution suggestion that he being financially benefited gave the evidence before the tribunal in favour of accused Nizami.
Shamsul Alam said that without getting any summons issued by the tribunal he had appeared before it to make his deposition in favour of accused Nizami, now in custody, The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, adjourned the proceedings for Wednesday for deposition by the two remaining defence witnesses. A former minister during the past BNP-Jamaat rule, Nizami is being tried on charges of involvement in murders and torture of unarmed people along with hatching conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army.
Also the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971, Nizami faces 16 counts of charges based on 16 separate incidents of crimes against humanity, in which at least 600 unarmed people were killed and 31 women raped during the Liberation War. On May 28, 2012, the tribunal indicted the Jamaat ameer for committing the 1971 crimes against humanity.
On June 29, 2010, Nizami was arrested in front of the National Press Club after a magistrate court in Dhaka issued warrant of arrest in connection with a criminal case over hurting religious sentiment of Muslims. Later, he was shown arrested in connection with the war crimes case. – UNB