After providing a short course arms training to the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League and other political parties loyal to Pakistan, Maulana AKM Yusuf of Jamaat-e-Islami had established Razakar outfit in Khulna during the Liberation War in May 1971.
This was stated by designated investigation officer (IO) senior ASP M Helal Uddin on Monday before the International Crimes Tribunal-2 while making his deposition as the last prosecution witness (PW-27).
After a seven-month long series of spot inquiries into the allegations of crimes against humanity perpetrated by Maulana AKM Yusuf during the 1971 Liberation War, the IO told the tribunal that he had found prima facie case under sections 3 (2), 4 (1) and (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 against the Jamaat leader and submitted the investigation report to the prosecution for bringing the accused to justice.
“I also had submitted to the prosecution the relevant papers, official documents, newspaper clippings, books on Liberation War, and TV news reel CDs to prove the charges made against accused Maulana Yusuf,” he said.
IO Helal Uddin told the three-member tribunal headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan that accused Yusuf had himself named the ‘Razakar’ outfit he founded as an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army.
“After visiting the spots in different parts of Khulna and Bagerhat districts in connection with the case, I had recorded the statements of the prosecution witnesses following interrogations,” he said.
The IO said that after scrutinizing the statements by the prosecution witnesses and conducting secret investigation over the case, it appeared that during the Liberation War Maulana Yusuf made himself chairman of the Central Peace Committee (army collaborators) in Khulna.
Accused Yusuf had also formed local Peace Committees at union and thana levels after he held meetings, IO Helal added.
After his deposition was over, the IO was cross-examined by defence counsel Mizanul Islam, which, however, remained inconclusive.
Asked by the defence counsel whether the investigation started on the basis of any written complaint against Maulana Yusuf in connection with the war crimes, IO Helal Uddin replied in the negative. He said: “I had started the investigation at the behest of the investigation agency coordinator asking me to go by the complaint register.”
On August 1 last year, the tribunal indicted Yusuf, senior nayeb-e-ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
The tribunal considered 13 out of 15 charges of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War as proposed by the prosecution on May 8 last year which fall under sections 3(2), 4 (1) and 4 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
Founder of the notorious Razakar outfit during the 1971 Liberation War, Yusuf, also the second man in the hierarchy of Jamaat leadership, faces charges, including genocide, killing, loot, arson, deportation of people and religious conversion.
According to the prosecution, Jamaat leader Yusuf, a member of the infamous Malek cabinet in occupied Bangladesh, a rubberstamp government backed by the Pakistan junta, had formed for the first time in Khulna in 1971 the vigilante group Razakar with the members of Jamaat-e-Islami that acted as an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army to actively thwart the Bangladesh liberation forces.
Yusuf had also acted as the chairman of the Peace Committee (Collaborator) in Bagerhat, Satkhira and Khulna districts during the Liberation War.