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War Crime Trial Eyewitness testifies against Jabbar Eng

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Court Correspondent
A prosecution witness (PW) on Wednesday testified against fugitive war crimes accused A Jabbar Engineer, corroborating the evidence of other PWs over the atrocities perpetrated by the accused in collaboration with Pakistan occupation army and its auxiliary force Razakar in the villages of Mathbaria, Pirojpur during the 1971 Liberation War.
Claiming himself as an eyewitness to the May 16, 1971 dreadful incident at village Fuljhuri, PW 12 advocate Dilip K Paik, now 60, told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that a group of Razakar led by its commander Iskander Ali Mridha had killed freedom fighters A Razzaq Biswas and Motleb Sharif after hunting them down. The perpetrators had also set fire to their houses before they left the scene, he recalled.
Earlier, on the same day, the PW said, accused Jabbar at a Tushkhali High School public meeting had in-structed Razakar commander Iskander to produce the two freedom fighters before him dead or alive.
Hailing from village Fuljhuri in Mathbaria upazila, Pirojpur, Dilip told the tribunal that then Pakistan Muslim League leader Abdul Jabbar had formed Mathbaria Peace Committee (collaborator) declaring himself as its chairman and appointed Iskander as Razakar commander during the Liberation War in 1971.
The PW further said Razakars and members of the Peace Committee had converted him along with his father and nearly 200 Hindus into Muslim under duress, renaming him as Delwar Hossain Khan while his father as Qayuum Khan.
The deposition over, PW Dilip was cross-examined by state defence counsel MA Hasan.
On August 14, the three-member tribunal indicted Abdul Jabbar for his involvement in crimes against human-ity during the 1971 Liberation War, after fulfilling the legal requirements of law for trying a fugitive accused, including the appointment of state defence counsel.
On May 11, the prosecution submitted to the ICT Registrar the proposed charges accusing Engineer Jabbar of perpetrating the crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
The prosecution pressed five counts of war crimes charges against the former Jatiya Party MP, believed to have been 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 on April 29.
The prosecution submitted a list of 44 witnesses (PWs) to prove the charges as proposed against Jabbar.
The investigator ‘found’ Jabbar’s involvement in crimes like killing, genocide, arson, looting and forcefully converting many Hindus to Muslims in the then Mathbaria thana of Pirojpur during the war. Jabbar had been made chairman of local thana Peace Committee (collaborator) and he then organised Razakar outfit in Mathbaria, according to an 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.