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Jabbar perpetrated atrocities in ’71: PW

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Court Correspondent
A Liberation War hero prosecution witness (PW) on Monday accused Engineer A Jabbar of perpetrating atrocities at Noligram village in Mathbaria, of Pirojpur killing 11 unarmed minority people, including his father, in 1971.
“The perpetrators had also burned down 60 houses after plundering,” recalled Birendra Nath Biswas, now 66, while testifying as PW-17 against the fugitive accused before the International Crimes Tribunal-1.
The PW told the tribunal that on May 22 in 1971, armed Jabbar along with his Razakar militia stormed Noligram as the villagers had earlier foiled the operations of Razakar on five-seven occasions.
During his deposition, PW Birendra said that during the Liberation War acused Jabbar, then a prominent leader of Convention Muslim League, had formed Peace Committee (collaborator) in Mathbaria thana and declared himself its chairman.
The accused had also established Razakar militia locally under his command to cooperate with the Pakistan occupation forces, he said.
The deposition over, the PW was cross-examined by state defence counsel MA Hasan.
Replying to a defence question, PW Birendra said that he gets freedom fighter allowance from the government.
Denying a defence suggestion, the PW said: “It’s not true that I gave false evidence before the tribunal, being provoked by the political opponents of the accused.”
The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim, adjourned the proceedings for Wednesday (November 5).
On August 14, the tribunal framed charges against the fugitive accused Engineer Abdul Jabbar for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War, after fulfilling the legal requirement 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 organized 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 Pakistan 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.