Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Defence witness quizzed in SQC case

Fazlul Quader Chowdhury, the father of BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, was sympathetic to anti-Ayub movement, defence witness-2 Nizam Ahmed said on Tuesday.
However, the witness said he had no idea if Fazlul Quader Chowdhury, along with other pro-Pakistani leaders had met Lt Gen Tikka Khan, after the March 25 genocide, and expressed his support to the Pakistan army. Nizam, who deposed before the tribunal on Tuesday, was cross-examined by prosecutor advocate Zead Al Malum.
Excerpts of the questioning are as follows:
Question: When did you pass matriculation (SSC)?
Nizam: I passed in 1966 from Shahin School.
Question: When did you pass HSC?
Nizam: I passed HSC in 1968 from Notre Dame College in humanities.
Question: How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Nizam: I have one brother, two sisters and two step brothers.
Question: Where do you
hail from?
Nizam: My grandfather’s home was in Kustia.
Question: When did you get admission in Dhaka University?
Nizam: I got admission in Dhaka University in 1968-69.
Question: What was your
Nizam: Economics (Honours). But I could not complete the course due to Liberation War. Later, I did graduation in pass course, in 1974.
Question: Did you know Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s father?
Nizam: I knew him as a Muslim League leader.
Question: Fazlul Quader Chowdhury, the father of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, was the education minister and speaker during the rule of President Ayub Khan.
Nizam: Yes. Once, as the education minister, he had visited our school at Abbotabad, Pakistan.
Question: Did Fazlul Quader Chy perform the duty of President once in the absence of Ayub Khan?
Nizam: Yes.
Question: You mentioned the mass movement of 1969 in your deposition. Was it organised on the basis of six-point and 11-point demands?
Nizam: Yes.
Question: Was it the movement of the people of Bangladesh to achieve self-determination?
Nizam: It was a mass movement based on six-point demand. It was the event to achieve ‘democratic rights’ and solve ‘economic issues’. I don’t know about self-determination.
Question: Fazlul Quader Chy directly stood against six-point demand, 11-point demand and anti-Ayub movement?
(Defence counsel barrister AKM Fakhrul Islam at that time raised objection, saying the prosecution should not ask questions about Fazlul Quader Chy. But, the prosecutors insisted on the acceptance of the question, as he was the father of accused Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.)
Nizam: He (Fazlul Quader Chowdhury) was sympathetic to the movements.
Question: Fazlul Quader Chy, along with other pro-Pakistani and Muslim League leaders, met Lt Gen Tikka Khan in April, 1971 after the genocide of March 25 and expressed their support to the activities of Pakistan army.
(At this stage of cross-examination, prosecution and defence were engaged in verbal altercation and exchange of unpleasant words.)
Nizam: I don’t know.
Question: Before meeting Salauddin Quader Chy at Hotel Purbani in 1974, did you not meet him in Karachi in
April 1971?
Nizam: This is not true.
Question: What was the flying time between Dhaka and Karachi?
Nizam: Normally, it takes two and a half hours. But the flight was via Colombo, Sri Lanka, during the time of Liberation War, and it took six hours.
Question: Have you submitted the documents relating to your travel between Dhaka and Karachi?
Nizam: No. But I can do it.
Question: You have no profession. You have no income. You are a vagabond. Taking huge money from the family of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, you are giving false testimony.
Nizam:  This is not true.
After the conclusion of cross-examination, barrister Fakhrul Islam sought three weeks’ time, for the inconvenience of the other defence witness. But the tribunal turned down the defence’s appeal and adjourned the proceedings till Wednesday.

-With The Independent input

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