9 war crimes charges proven against SQ Chy

The first war crimes tribunal of Bangladesh has found Salauddin Quader Chowdhury guilty of nine charges of horrendous war crimes -- including murder and genocide-perpetrated during the nation's War of Independence in 1971.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 1 Oct 2013, 07:16 AM
Updated : 1 Oct 2013, 07:16 AM

Reading out the first part of the 172-page summary verdict, Justice Anwarul Haque on Tuesday said the prosecution had failed to prove the first charge against the BNP leader.

Justice Jahangir Hossain took over from Justice Haque and started reading the second part of the judgment.

Salauddin Quader's war-time atrocities were reported from Chittagong during the Liberation War.

The first charge accused Salauddin Quader of genocide.

However, the tribunal, formed to try crimes committed during the nation's struggle for freedom, found him guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, planning, complicity, loot, arson and deportation in other cases.

According to the second charge, on Apr 13, 1971 he accompanied the Pakistani army that raided Maddhya Gohira Hindu Parha in Raozan and killed Poncha Bala Sharma, Sunil Sharma, Jyoti Lal Sharma, and Dulal Sharma on the spot.

Another victim, Dr Makhon Lal Sharma, died after several days from wounds sustained during the attacks. Another victim, Jayanta Kumar Sharma, was alive for some years, but crippled.

The third charge accused the BNP MP of killing Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya owner and social worker Natun Chandra Singha of Raozan’s Gohira on Apr 13.

Killing of the unarmed Singha has been termed a crime against humanity.

The fourth charge accuses him of planning, complicity, genocide, loot, arson, and deportation.

He had led a group of collaborators along with Pakistan army and raided Jogot Mollo Parha on April 13, 1971.

Two of his accomplices had gone to the Hindus and asked them to attend a peace meeting. As many as 32 people were killed while three others survived with injuries. Later, the house of Kiron Bikash Chowdhury was looted and set afire. The survivors of the attack later fled to India.

The fifth charge levelled against him accuses Salauddin Quader of genocide and arson. He had led the Pakistani army to Banik Parha at Sultanpur village at Raozan at noon on Apr 13, 1971 where they had opened fire on the unarmed civilian Hindus and killed four.

The sixth charge accuses him of genocide and deportation. He led the Pakistani troops to attack Unsattar Parha at Raozan on Apr 13 and gathered the Hindus of the locality for a peace meeting and following a pre-arranged plan to open fire on the people. Altogether 70 were murdered, of whom 50 people were identified and the rest were unknown.

Charge number seven accuses Salauddin Quader of crimes against humanity which includes complicity in murder of Satish Chandra Palit on Apr 14, burning his house and deportation of his family.

According to the eighth charge, he had direct complicity in abduction and murder of Awami League leader Sheikh Mozaffar Ahmed and his son Sheikh Alamgir on Apr 17.

The 17th charge accuses him of abduction, confinement and torture. On Jul 5, 1971 he had abducted Nizamuddin Ahmed, Shiraj and Wahid alias Junu Pagla and took them to Goods Hill. Junu was released while Ahmed and Shiraj were confined until Bangladesh won freedom.

Charge number 18 accuses him of confinement, abduction and torture of Md Salahuddin at his Goods Hill residence in the third week of July, 1971.

Salauddin Quader has been elected MP six times from the city.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, gave opening statements at around 10:43am.

He would announce the punishment for Salauddin Quader after Justice Jahangir Hossain is done with the second part of the judgement.

The BNP Standing Committee member was indicted for 23 war crimes charges including murder, genocide, abduction, and torture.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher