B`desh`s chief war crime investigator resigns for Jamat links
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 17:08
Dhaka: Bangladesh's chief war crime investigator Abdul Matin Wednesday resigned amid controversies about his past links with perpetrators of "crimes against humanity" during the 1971 Liberation War and fundamentalist Jamat-i-Islami.

"He (Matin) has tendered his resignation," Home Minister Sahara Khatun told newsmen at her office minutes after the special investigation agency chief offered his resignation letter in presence of three other ministers.

State Minister for Home Shamsul Islam Tuku said Matin submitted his resignation voluntarily to home secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikdar in the morning.

The development came three days after an influential adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alleged that the war crime probe chief was an activist of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami?s (JI) the then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha in 1960s while JI was opposed to Bangladesh’s 1971 independence.

The Sangha activists were believed to have massacred leading Bengali intelligentsia in a planned way forming the notorious Al Badr force as auxiliary forces of the Pakistani troops during the 1971 Liberation War.

The allegation by the premier’s political affairs adviser Alauddin Ahmed, himself a 1971 veteran, sparked wide controversies exposing the government to embarrassment.

Matin, however, sternly denied his link to Sangha and the allegation that he vied for a college student union election as a candidate of the JI?s the then student front.

"(But) since there is so much controversy centring me, I think I should not continue with this position," Matin told newsmen submitting his resignation while he again denied the allegations raised by Ahmed.

Matin earlier said "there was no student organisation named Islami Chhatra Sangha in 1963 when I ran for vice-president of the students union at Barisal BM College as an independent candidate."

Ahmed, however, later apparently slightly deviated from his stance as he told the told a newspaper that he had made the comments against Matin on the basis of allegations of other speakers at a roundtable on War Crimes Trial on Saturday.

"But would it be wrong to collaborator of the Pakistani junta as he joined the service of the Pakistani government at the fag end of the Liberation War when many government officers joined the Liberation War quitting their service," Ahmed asked.

Bangladesh constituted a high-powered three-member Special Court along with an investigation agency appointing Matin as its chief on March 25 this year to expose to justice the Bengali-speaking perpetrators of crimes against humanity under the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 in line with its electoral pledges.

Under a post 1971 tripartite agreement between Dhaka, New Delhi and Islamabad, over 93,000 Pakistani soldiers detained in India, however, returned to Pakistan visibly burying the issue of trying the Pakistani war criminals.

Major war crime suspects incumbent JI chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid were top leaders of the Islami Chhatra Sangha during the 1971 Liberation War while the organisation reemerged in 1976 with a new name called Islami Chhatra Shibir.

Nizami and Mujahid were also said to be the top leaders of Al Badr which is particularly castigated for the killing a number of leading Bengali university professors and professionals just two days ahead of the final victory of Indo-Bangla joint forces on December 16, 1971, in an apparent effort to expose the new born Bangladesh to a state of brainless.


First Published: Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 17:08

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