A prosecution witness on Monday said fugitive Razakar commander Zahid Hossain Khokon had gunned down his uncle while helping a cow to take water from a pond on May 31 during the 1971 Liberation War.
“I had witnessed the tragic incident from where I was hiding in a jute field nearby our house at village Purapara of Nagarkanda in Faridpur,” recalled PW-18 Chunnu Sheikh while testifying against the accused, also a local BNP leader.
PW Chunnu, now 57, told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that on that day Khokon and his Razakar associates in association with a group of occupation Pakistan army had also carried out atrocities in their village.
“The armed perpetrators had looted and burned down the houses, including ours,” he said, adding that Khokon alone had killed six people, including Barek Mollah, Safez Uddin, Manik Sarker and Chhotu Khatun.
The PW-18 further said that Khokon and his Razakar members in association with the Pakistan occupation forces had swooped on their house and started plundering. The perpetrators also burned the houses before they had left the village.
“After their departure, I rushed to the house, but again left the scene fearing the army attack. The following morning, I returned home and dumped the body of my uncle Ratan Sheikh after digging the earth beside our burnt house,” said PW Chunnu.
He prayed for justice of his uncle’s killing before closing his testimony.
His testimony over, Chunnu was cross-examined by the state-appointed defence counsel Abdus Shukur Khan.
Earlier, another eyewitness (PW-17) Yakub Mollah of the same village testified against accused Khokon narrating his atrocious acts in association with his Razaker cohorts and Pakistan troops during the 1971 Liberation War which was almost similar to PW Chunnu.
PW Yakub was also cross-examined by the state-appointed defence counsel.
The tribunal adjourned the proceedings till tomorrow (Tuesday).
Accused Khokon is being tried in absentia as he has been on the run since the case was initiated against him for crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
Responding to a prosecution plea on July 18, the tribunal took cognizance of the charge of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War against Zahid Hossain Khokon.
Earlier, on June 23, the prosecution submitted formal war crimes charges against the incumbent Nagarkanda municipality mayor to the tribunal.
On October 9, the tribunal indicted Khokon for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War in absentia.
Septuagenarian Khokon faces 11 counts of charges that include loot, arson, repression, forcible conversion to Islam, shooting to death, rape, killing and mass killing in his area during the 1971 Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army.
The ICT investigation agency completed its report after carrying out investigation for more than a year.
Khokon Razakar killed my uncle in ’71: PW