Dhaka: In a move that may kickstart the
controversial `war crimes` trial, a Bangladeshi court on Sunday
ordered the authorities to submit a key probe report in which
top leaders of the Islamist party Jamaat have been accused of
killing freedom fighters during 1971 `Liberation War`.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Taiyabul Hasan directed the
Keraniganj police to submit the probe report by August 2 in a
case filed against Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) top leaders Matiur
Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and 11 others for
killing two freedom fighters in 1971, the Star online said on Sunday.
Top Jamaat leaders, including Nizami, Ahsan Mujahid
Delwar Hossain Sayeedi are in custody after a court last week
issued arrest warrants against them as they failed to appear
before it to answer charges that they had hurt sentiments of
Hasan on Sunday passed the order as police had failed to
submit the report as per the earlier court direction. Nizami
was produced before the court on Sunday.
Mozaffar Ahmad Khan, Dhaka district unit Muktijoddha
commander, filed the murder case against Nizami, Mojahid and
seven others for killing two freedom fighters -- Osman Gani
and Golam Mostafa alias Tukub Ali -- on November 25 in 1971,
the report said.
Nizami and Mojahid led the so-called Al-Badr forces
that is widely believed to have been involved in genocide,
rape and murder of frontline intellectuals in an effort to
cripple the country in 1971.
The government has said the three detained Jamaat
leaders could be indicted in the war crime charges, as the
country`s biggest Islamic party launched a nationwide
agitation to demand their release.
"The three could be shown arrested" if the Special
Tribunal for war crimes wanted to try them for crimes against
humanity during the country`s `Liberation War against
Pakistan, Home Minister Shamsul Haque Tuku told a function
late last night.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who has vowed to bring
to justice the 1971 war criminals, has accused the main
opposition party of backing them as BNP supremo and former
prime minister Khaleda Zia extended cautious support to the
Jaamat leaders by calling for their release.
The ruling Awami League government has earlier hinted
that it will soon expose several high-profile Jamaat leaders
linked to the 1971 `genocide`.
On March 25, the government set up a three-member
special tribunal for the trial of "war criminals" accused of
genocide and those who sided with the Pakistani military
during the `Liberation War`.
According to official figures, Pakistani troops, aided
by local collaborators, killed an estimated 3 million people,
raped about 200,000 women and forced millions more to leave
their homes during the bloody nine-month guerrilla war.