A prosecution witness (PW) on Wednesday alleged that young people in village Fuljhuri of Pirojpur had been compelled to take refuge in India following random massacre by the occupation army and Razakars at the behest of then Muslim League leader Engineer A Jabbar during the Liberation War in 1971.
Ahmed Mian, a close neighbour of martyred freedom fighters Razzaq Biswas and Motleb Sharif, made the allegation while testifying against the fugitive accused before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 as PW-9.
Corroborating the evidence of the other PWs, he said that during the Liberation War, Engineer Jabbar had appeared as chairman of Mathbaria Peace Committee (collaborator) and formed Razakar militia, an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army, with his close relation Iskander Ali Mridha as its commander. Razakars used Mathbaria thana as its makeshift camp, Ahmed Mian recalled.
The PW told the tribunal that accused Jabbar along with his Razakar militia in collaboration with the Pakistan army had created a reign of terror in Fuljhuri area during the war period amid torching along with plundering of countless houses.
During his deposition, PW Ahmed Mian also mentioned the alleged offence as to how the accused had converted about 200 members of Hindu community to Muslim under duress. “Even accused Jabber had compelled Hindu females to marry Muslim males without their consent.”
The deposition over, the PW was cross-examined by state defence counsel MA Hasan.
Replying to a state defence question, Ahmed Mian said he was a student of class IX at Tushkhali High School in 1971.
The PW also said that after the liberation of Bangladesh, neither he nor any member of his family filed any case with the local police station about the damage of their houses.
Denying a state defence suggestion, the PW said, “It’s not a fact that accused Engineer Jabbar was not present in Mathbaria during the Liberation War in 1971,”
Dismissing another state defence suggestion, Ahmed Mian said, “It’s not true that I gave tutored evidence against accused Jabbar, being influenced by his political opponents.”
The tribunal adjourned the trial for Thursday.
On September 7, after fulfilling the requirement of law, the trial of Engineer A Jabbar began in absentia with recording of evidence of the prosecution witnesses.
The prosecution pressed five counts of war crimes charges against the former Jatiya Party MP, believed living in the USA.
After working for over 11 months, the investigation officer (IO) of the case ASP M Helal Uddin submitted the investigation report to the prosecution.
The prosecution submitted a list of 44 witnesses (PWs) to prove the charges as proposed against war crimes accused Jabbar.
The investigator ‘found’ Jabbar’s involvement in crimes like killing, genocide, arson, looting and forcefully converting many Hindus to Muslim in then Mathbaria thana of Pirojpur during the war. Jabbar was made chairman of local thana Peace Committee (collaborator) and he organised Razakar outfit in Mathbaria, according to the investigation report.
Octogenarian Jabbar of Khetachhira under Mathbaria was the vice-chairman of Jatiya Party. He had joined the then Muslim League through his father-in-law, Arshed Ali, who was an influential Muslim League leader.
Jabbar later joined the Jatiya Party of Gen (retd) HM Ershad and was twice elected Member of Parliament with the party tickets in 1986 and 1988.
War Crimes Trial PW accuses Engr Jabbar of deportation in ’71