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  • probirbidhan 17:44 on July 31, 2015 Permalink |
    Tags: Abdur Rahman Biswas, , , Hamidul Haq Chowdhury, Justice Nurul Islam, Khan A Sabur, Mahmud Ali, Manzur Ahmed Chowdhury, Maulvi Farid Ahmed, Moulana Abdul Mannan, Nurul Amin, Raja Tridiv Roy, Reaz Rahman, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, Shah Azizur Rahman   

    Salauddin Quader and other privileged collaborators of 1971 

    The sentence of death passed on Salauddin Quader Chowdhury is as good a time as any to delve into the stories of the whereabouts of the collaborators of the Pakistan occupation army after the liberation of Bangladesh in December 1971. Read on Dhaka Tribune by Syed BAdrul Ahsan.

    In the early phase of Bangladesh’s freedom, Fazlul Quader Chowdhury, father of Salauddin, former speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly in the era of Field Marshal Ayub Khan and a leading collaborator of the Yahya Khan junta in 1971, was taken into custody when he reportedly tried to flee to Burma. He was lodged in Dhaka Central Jail, where he eventually died of natural causes. Salauddin Quader’s fortunes turned out to be better, thanks to the rise of anti-historical forces in the aftermath of Bangabandhu’s assassination in 1975.

    The repeal of the Collaborators Act in December 1975 enabled Salauddin, and also old collaborators like Khan A Sabur, once Ayub’s communications minister, to resurface in politics, ironically in a country they had violently opposed between March and December 1971.

    Sabur was elected to the Jatiyo Sangsad at the elections of February 1979. He reorganised the Muslim League as the Bangladesh Muslim League and served as its president till his death, when he was replaced by Justice BA Siddiky, once chief justice of the East Pakistan High Court. Salauddin was to serve as a minister in the Ershad regime and then in the BNP government led by Begum Khaleda Zia. At one point, he was her adviser on parliamentary affairs.

    Within hours of the liberation of Bangladesh, Maulvi Farid Ahmed, chief of the Nizam-e-Islam party, was lynched by citizens. His remains were never found. Another collaborator, Syed Sajjad Husein, who served as vice chancellor of Dhaka University under Tikka Khan and AAK Niazi, was the recipient of a mass beating and left for dead. He survived and made his way to Saudi Arabia, where he taught for a number of years before returning to Bangladesh in the times of General Ershad. He died not long after.

    Hamidul Haq Chowdhury, owner of the Pakistan Observer newspaper and former foreign minister of Pakistan, was stranded in Rawalpindi at the time of Bangladesh’s liberation. He returned to Bangladesh in the 1980s, reclaimed his newspaper, by then known as the Bangladesh Observer, in a legal battle and died some years later.

    His sons-in-law, Reaz Rahman and Manzur Ahmed Chowdhury, both in Pakistan’s diplomatic service, opposed Bangladesh’s liberation but went on to serve as Bangladesh’s diplomats in the post-1975 period of the country’s history. Reaz Rahman is, today, foreign affairs adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

    Ghulam Azam, stranded in Pakistan, where he had gone in November 1971 for consultations with General Yahya Khan, was sent to a number of Middle Eastern capitals by President ZA Bhutto in the post-December 1971 period, to spread propaganda against a newly-independent Bangladesh.

    Azam disseminated the lie before his hosts that Islam was under threat in Bangladesh and Hindus were in control of the country. He returned to Bangladesh in 1978 on a Pakistani passport and stayed on despite the expiry of his visa. The regime of General Ziaur Rahman looked the other way as Azam slowly made inroads into Bangladesh politics. He died in disgrace not long ago, having been convicted of war crimes in 1971.

    Nurul Amin, chief minister of East Pakistan between the late 40s and early 50s, was one of two individuals bucking the Awami League wave at the 1970 general elections. After March 25, 1971, he became a willing collaborator of the genocidal Yahya-Tikka junta. On December 3, 1971, he was appointed Pakistan’s prime minister by President Yahya, with Bhutto as deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

    The surrender of Pakistan’s army in Dhaka, a fortnight later, changed conditions in Rawalpindi. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took over as president from the disgraced Yahya Khan and appointed Nurul Amin as the country’s vice president, in which capacity Amin spread the falsehood that the Indian army and the Mukti Bahini were engaged in genocide in “East Pakistan.” He died in 1974 and was buried beside Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi.

    Mahmud Ali, a leading right-wing politician from Sylhet, and Raja Tridiv Roy, chief of the Chakma tribe, cheerfully lent their support to the Pakistan army in 1971. Following the emergence of Bangladesh, both men, then stranded in Pakistan, were appointed as ministers in the government of ZA Bhutto. Roy later served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Argentina before taking on the role of Pakistan’s special envoy. Both men were to die in Pakistan.

    Shah Azizur Rahman, who led Pakistan’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly session in September 1971, became a prisoner in Bangladesh after liberation in December of the year. His support was solicited by General Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh’s first military dictator, when the latter sought to make a formal entry into politics in the late 1970s. Zia subsequently appointed Shah Aziz as Bangladesh’s prime minister. Other collaborators, among whom were Abdur Rahman Biswas, Moulana Abdul Mannan, and Justice Nurul Islam, were rehabilitated by the military regimes of General Zia and General Ershad.

    Biswas would become Bangladesh’s president; Moulana Mannan, accused of playing a leading role in the abduction and murder of Bengali intellectuals on the eve of liberation, would become minister for religious affairs in the Ershad regime as well as owner of two newspapers, Inqilab and The Telegraph, and would die before he could be prosecuted for war crimes; Justice Nurul Islam, who was chairman of the East Pakistan Red Cross Society in 1971, would serve as Bangladesh’s vice president under General Ershad.

    Here ends this brief account of the lives and careers of some of the leading Bengali collaborators of the Yahya Khan junta in a free Bangladesh. There are other stories of other men and women, of a similar nature, that need to be told in the larger interest of history.

     
  • probirbidhan 21:42 on May 14, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , , Goods Hill House torture, Kundeshwari Girls' Primary School, Liberation War 1971, Natun Chandra Singh, Pakistani military army, Profulla Ranjan Singh, , Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, Saleh Uddin is the Vice-Chancellor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, war crimes tribunal,   

    War Crimes Accused Given Last Warning at Tribunal 

    Tuesday May 16, 2012 The Daily Star

    Staff Correspondent

    Noted educationist Prof Anisuzzaman yesterday narrated to International Crimes Tribunal-1 two incidents of crimes against humanity that BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury had allegedly committed during the Liberation War in 1971.

    Taking the dock as the first prosecution witness against Salauddin, Prof Anisuzzaman told the tribunal about the murder of Natun Chandra Singh and torture on a then Chittagong University student.

    He narrated the incidents as he had heard from the victims and witnesses of the atrocities.

    After Anisuzzaman, 75, had finished his deposition, the defence started cross-examining him. The cross-examination will continue today.

    Yesterday’s, one-and-a-half-hours’ cross-examination was marked with several verbal spats among the three-member judge panel, the prosecution, accused SQ Chowdhury and his counsels.

    The outspoken BNP leader at one point shouted at the tribunal and attempted to intervene court proceedings several times. His repeated interruptions prompted the court to warn the Chittagong MP for the final time.

    Nizamul Huq, chairman of the judge panel, warned SQ Chowdhury that if he continued with such behaviour, the court would proceed with the trial without his presence.

    THE TESTIMONY
    Prof Anisuzzaman was a Reader (Associate Professor) of Bangla department at Chittagong University in 1971.

    He along with others formed resistance against the Pakistani occupation force when they launched attacks on Bangladeshi people on March 25, 1971.

    “When we realised that our resistance was weak, we decided to move all the families living in the campus residential areas,” said Prof Anisuzzaman, adding that families of some teachers, including his wife and two daughters, took refuge in Kundeshwari Girls’ Primary School.

    Founder of the school Natun Chandra Singh and his family also took shelter there at that time.

    On April 02 that year, Prof Anisuzzaman and his family moved to Kathirhaat village of Haathazari upazila in Chittagong and later on April 10 took shelter to his friend’s elder brother’s house in Ramgarh under Jharkhand state of India before moving to Kolkata on May 15. In Ramgarh, he met Profulla Ranjan Singh, the youngest son of Natun Chandra Singh.

    Profulla told him, “Pakistani military entered Kundershwari and had a talk with his father [Natun Chandra]. As the military were leaving Salauddin Quader had told them something and they shot dead my father.”

    Natun’s body remained in front of his house for three days until locals performed his last rites.

    After the independence, when Profulla returned to Bangladesh he heard the story of his father’s killing from locals. They said Salauddin Quader, who was then known as Major, had shot Natun Chandra dead with his own gun.

    Profulla shared this version of locals with Prof Anisuzzaman when he [Anisuzzaman] returned to Bangladesh on January 6, 1972 and rejoined Chittagong University, according to the deposition.

    Mentionable, Profulla is also a prosecution witness.

    Prof Anisuzzaman yesterday on permission from Tribunal-1 mentioned of another incident, in which Salauddin Quader was involved.

    He said Saleh Uddin, who was then a student of Chittagong University, had been abducted by Razakars (collaborator of the then Pakistani army) on the allegation of keeping contacts with freedom fighters.

    Saleh was kept at Fazlul Quader Chowdhury’s [father of Salauddin] house Good Hills and Salauddin along with others tortured him, said Anisuzzaman.

    After the independence, Saleh Uddin narrated the incident at a senate meeting of Chittagong University and showed the torture marks, claimed the witness. Saleh Uddin is now the Vice-Chancellor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.

    Prof Anisuzzaman gave his testimony to a member of the case’s investigation team on September 28, 2011.

    During his deposition Prosecutor Zead Al Malum tried to bring some more information against the accused but the tribunal did not record any leading question. The court, on the contrary, asked Zead to take suggestion from his seniors on how to question a witness.

    CROSS-EXAMINATION
    The defence sought time from the court to examine Anisuzzaman’s deposition when the tribunal asked it to begin cross-examining the witness.

    The defence claimed that there were discrepancies between the testimonies given to the court and to the investigation officer.

    Justice Nizamul Huq rejected the appeal.

    Defence counsel Fakhrul Islam asked Prof Anisuzzamn about his birthplace. The witness said Kolkata in reply.

    The lawyer then alleged that the witness had been changing his birthplace according to his convenience.

    In response the noted educationist said his original birthplace is Kolkata but in the passport. issued in 1955, his birthplace was mentioned as Khulna. In 1996, he applied to the home ministry to correct his birthplace and change it to Kolkata based on relevant documents.

    Fakhrul Islam then called the witness a liar on top of his voice.

    However, before Fakhrul could proceed, Justice Nizamul Huq stopped him and cautioned him over his use of language.

    “He is a witness to the court and a respected man. This is not a magistrate court. If you continue to use offensive words, serious actions will be taken against you,” said Justice Nizamul Huq.

    Fakhrul Islam then asked the witness whether he and his family had come to then East Pakistan as refugees.

    The professor said the people who came to Pakistan could perhaps be termed “refugees” in general. “But we never claimed any benefits or privileges as refugees,” he added.

    SQ CHY CAUTIONED
    During the cross-examination the defence asked Anisuzzaman when he had become a citizen of Pakistan.

    The court termed the question irrelevant as there were laws that could explain the matter.

    At that time, Salauddin Quader stood up to make a point. He said, “I have remained quiet until now. But I have the right to cross-examine the witness and I must.”

    In response Justice Huq said, “Not while your counsels are present.’

    However, Salauddin refused to keep quiet. At one stage Justice Huq had to call out the accused by his name to warn him.

    “Mr Nizamul Huq!” responded Salauddin blatantly but reverted to a more respectful voice within moments. He said, “Please don’t show me the red eye.” He repeated this several times.

    At this the tribunal chief decided to issue an order. The order noted that the accused, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, had his counsels and thus would not be allowed to talk in the court.

    Justice Huq also stated in the order that his court had previously cautioned the accused over similar behaviour. “We caution the accused for the last time.”

    The trial against Salauddin would continue in his absence if he did not give up such behaviour, said the order.

    The tribunal has recently amended its rule and included a new provision allowing it to conduct a trial in absence of an accused if that person proved to be unruly.

    Following the court proceedings, defence counsel Fakhrul Islam told newsmen that his client did not speak impolitely but loudly as there was no microphone in the courtroom. At this time he again called the witness a liar.

     
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