News of jubilation also poured in from various parts of the country as the families suffering during the Independence War of 1971 celebrated the long-awaited day. They also demanded that the fugitive convicted war criminal be brought back and executed at the earliest.
The second International Crimes Tribunal on Monday ordered that Abul Kalam Azad be hanged until death for committing crimes against humanity in 1971.
Hailing from Borokhardia village of Nagarkanda upazila in Faridpur, Azad is locally known as Bachchu Razakar for his war-time role, and the court found him guilty on seven counts.
He lead the Pakistan occupation Army’s collaborative force Razakar Bahini in unleashing a reign of terror at Nagarkanda and Salkha upazilas in the district to thwart the Independence War.
The court said it was proved beyond doubt that Bachchu had killed Chittaranjan Das, a man belonging to Hindu minority community, of Fulbaria during the war.
Das’s wife Jyostna Rani Das could not find the appropriate words to express how she felt after she learned about the verdict.
She only said, “I will be happy to see that the killer of my husband is hanged.”
“Abul Kalam Azad shot my father dead with his own hands. I was born an orphan,” said Das’s son Gopal Chandra Das.
He could not hold back his tears as his wait for justice took 41 years of his life.
“I demand of the government that the absconding Abul Kalam Azad be arrested and the verdict be executed. The soul of my father may then find some peace.”
A group of 10-12 members of Razakar Bahini lead by Bachchu shot Chittaranjan Das dead as they carried out atrocities at Hindupara on Jun 3 of 1971.
Madhab Chandra Biswas of Purura village at Salkha was also killed by Azad during another attack.
“We got the verdict as we had expected. Now we demand that the government implement the verdict without any delay.”
A local freedom fighter Moulana Fayezur Rahman was also happy like others.
“Abul Kalam Azad was involved in rape and killing during the Independence War. Although late, justice has finally been served. But the verdict has to be carried out.”
Awami League took out processions in Faridpur, Nagarkanda and Salkha cities immediately after the verdict was delivered. A bounty of Tk 1 million was announced from one of the rallies for information leading to Bachchu’s capture.
The ICT had ordered Azad’s trial in his absence as he did not turn up despite several notices by the court.