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War Crimes Trial Female PW confirms Hachen’s atrocities

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Staff reporter A female prosecution witness (PW) on Wednesday confirmed the incident of looting and torching the house of Hachu Bepari, father of a freedom fighter, by accused Syed Hachen Ali known as Hasan Daroga, along with his Razakar militia during the 1971 Liberation War. “It was on April 27 in 1971, a group of armed Razakars led by Hachen Ali stormed into the house of Hachu Bepari, an Awami League activist, located near Tarail thana of Kishoreganj and carried out looting followed by arson attack on the house,” recalled Rahima Begum alias Abunee, now 58, a next door neighbor of Hachu Bepari, while testifying against the fugitive accused before the International Crimes Tribunal -1 as PW-6. She said that during the operation, Hachu Bepari’s house was vacant as all its residents had taken shelter in remote areas long before. “I had seen the whole operation from a hiding place and although knowing the risk, I had also rushed to the cattle shed of the burning house and rescued three cows, tied with ropes, from the fire. I had cut the ropes with a kitchen knife,” Rahima said, adding that the fire continued for a few days. The deposition over, PW Rahima was cross-examined by state defence counsel A Shukur Khan. During the cross-examinations, the PW told the tribunal that there had been no Razakar, an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army, in her village Purbo Shachail in Tarail, Kishoreganj, in 1971. Denying a defence suggestion, Rahima said: “It’s not true that I gave tutored evidence against the accused.” Earlier, in the day, the state defence counsel also cross-examined PW-5 Nurul Huq alias Lal Miah, a Liberation War hero. On November 11, the tribunal indicted accused Syed M Hachen alias Hasan Ali in absentia for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. After fulfilling the requirement of law for the trial of a fugitive accused, the tribunal on September 15 took cognisance of the charges brought against war crimes accused Hachen who has been absconding since filing of the case. According to the prosecution, the investigator has found Hachen’s involvement in some war crimes like murder, loot, arson, torture, deportation and genocide at Tarail in Kishoreganj and the proof of his collaboration with the Pakistan occupation forces as a member of its auxiliary outfit Razakar during the Liberation War in 1971.