B`desh`s chief war crime investigator resigns for Jamat links

Bangladesh`s chief war crime investigator Abdul Matin resigned amid controversies about his past links with perpetrators of "crimes against humanity" during the 1971 Liberation War and fundamentalist Jamat-i-Islami.

Updated: May 05, 2010, 17:08 PM IST

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

"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

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

"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