War Crimes Trial
Kamaruzzaman led Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams: witness
Freedom fighter Md Zahurul Haque Munshi Bir Protik, on Thursday told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 that the detained assistant secretary general of Jamaat, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, was the commander of Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams in Sherpur during the War of Independence in 1971.
Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams were under the same command. Those auxiliary forces had no separate commanders, Zahurul, the third prosecution witness against Kamaruzzaman, told the tribunal while undergoing cross-examination by
defence counsel Mohammad Kafil Uddin Chowdhury.
He, however, could not say when and where Kamaruzzaman took responsibility for Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams during the war.
Kamaruzzaman was on the dock.
Zahurul said Kamaruzzaman had no moustache but had a beard when he, for the first time, saw Kamaruzzaman at the camp in Surendra Saha’s house in Sherpur in the first week of November 1971.
He said Kamaruzzaman was a leader of the Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student front of Jamaat, in greater Mymensingh but could not mention his post.
Zahurul, now 62, said Kamaruzzaman had no uniform as a commander of Al-Badr.
‘I mentioned him (Kamaruzzaman) to be a commander because I saw him and heard of his activities,’ said Zahurul, who was a supervisor at the East Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation’s Narayanganj Dockyard in 1971.
He said from a secret place in July-August in 1971 he had heard Kamaruzzaman and Major Ayub addressing a public meeting at Akboria Pilot High School in Shreebordi through loudspeakers, saying that those who would help the freedom fighters would have to face dire consequences and their women would be violated.
The defence counsel drew the attention of the witness to an article titled Challish Joddhar Juddha Joyer Galpo in Ittefaq’s 26 March, 2011 issue, and asked whether he had written it under others’ influence, and alleged that the article had made different statements about Zahurul’s entering an occupation army camp and coming back from.
Tribunal member Justice Obaidul Hassan then asked whether it was written by the witness and asked the defence counsel to show the article.
When the defence counsel showed the article to the tribunal, Justice Obaidul Hassan said the article was about the witness. ‘You (defence counsel) are a learned man. I doubt whether this gentleman (witness) could write such an article.’
‘Is it possible for one of his (witness’s) educational level to write an article?’ Md Shahinur Islam, another tribunal member, asked the defence counsel.
The tribunal eventually expunged the defence counsel’s questions and allegations.
The witness denied the defence counsel’s allegation that his statement on Kamaruzzaman participating in various anti-liberation activities was baseless, false and at per others’ direction.
He also denied another suggestion of the defence counsel that implied that the allegations brought against Kamaruzzaman were unnatural and he had no qualification and ability to take the said responsibilities.
The cross-examination ended when the tribunal adjourned the proceedings until Sunday.
-With New Age input