Corroborating the evidence of a Liberation War hero over the May 22, 1971 atrocities carried out by accused Engineer Jabbar at Noligram village in Mathbaria, Pirojpur, prosecution witness (PW-18) Depak Kumar Biswas said the perpetrators had killed 11 unarmed Hindu minority people, including his father and grandfather.
While testifying against the fugitive war crimes accused before the International Crimes Tribunal-1, Depak, a retired schoolteacher, also said, “The perpetrators had also burned down 60 houses after plundering.”
The PW further said armed Jabbar along with his Razakar militia and members of Peace Committee stormed Noligram as the villagers had earlier foiled their operations on several occasions.
Corroborating the evidence of PW-17, Depak told the tribunal that during the Liberation War accused Jabbar, then a prominent leader of Muslim League, had formed Peace Committee (collaborator) in Mathbaria thana and declared himself its chairman. The accused had also established Razakar militia under his command to cooperate with the Pakistan occupation forces, he added.
The deposition over, Depak was cross-examined by state defense counsel MA Hasan.
Replying to a defence question, PW Depak, now 63, said during the Liberation War, there were over 100 houses at Noligram.
Replying to another defence question, the PW said, “After Bangladesh’ s independence, a close relation of our family filed a case with the local police station over the incidents of torching and plundering of our houses during the Liberation War. But the complainant was subsequently killed by the miscreants.”
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 tomorrow (Thursday).
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 for trying a fugitive accused, including the appointment of state defence counsel.
The prosecution on May 11 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, 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 brought 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 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.
Jabbar behind Noligram killing during LW: PW