`S Q Chy was with Pakistani troops who killed 5`
A witness put BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury on Monday at the scene of an execution on the morning of Apr 13 in 1971, which he miraculously survived but lost five of his family.
A lawyer of the Chittagong district court, Nirmal Chandra Sharma, told the first war crimes tribunal how his family had been lined up outside their village home in Rauzan and shot by Pakistani soldiers. The six-time BNP MP was with them at the time, he said.
Set up to deal crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal-1 indicted Salauddin Quader on 23 charges of war crimes on Apr 4.
The witness broke down several times as he remembered his mother, nephew and uncle lying dead at the scene. The 67-year old lawyer's another uncle had also been injured in the head and only managed to moan out as the Pakistani soldiers had left. He died several days later.
The father of the witness lay sprawled out on his face on the ground with his left hand riddled with bullets. His thighs were also badly injured. Nirmal Chandra's father became crippled and went on to live another five years or so after liberation.
Nirmal Chandra said he had feigned to fall just before the Pakistani soldiers opened fire on his family at their courtyard and thus survived the execution. He got up and fled the scene along with another brother who was not at home during the shooting.
Pakistani soldiers had come to their doorstep and called them out promising that no one would be hurt. In his minute-by-minute description of the scene, Nirmal Chandra said that Salauddin Quader had come with the Pakistani execution squad.
Later that evening the witness managed to flee his home in Rauzan, where Salauddin Quader is alleged to have committed a number of crimes during 1971. Nirmal Chandra eventually reached India's Agartala and turned into a freedom fighter joining liberation forces in sector 1.
The sixth prosecution witness's deposition was completed about half an hour before the scheduled lunch recess. Salauddin Quader's defence counsel is expected to begin cross-examination after lunch.
The second tribunal saw conclusion of cross-examination of the first prosecution witness against Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Molla.
The tribunal also fixed Jul 15 for order on a defence petition to review Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed's indictment order.
Abdur Razzaq, Jamaat's lead counsel at the war crimes tribunals, argued for the petition.
Salauddin Quader in ICT
The prosecution submitted formal charges against Salauddin Quader on Nov 14, 2011 and the tribunal took them into cognisance three days later.
A former prime ministerial adviser on parliamentary affairs when BNP chief Khaleda Zia was in office, the Chittagong MP was shown arrested for war crimes charges on Dec 20, 2010, five days after his arrest.
The investigating agency submitted a 119-page report with around 8,000-page data to the chief prosecutor on Oct 3 in a bid to prove allegations of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation War.
The BNP leader was indicted on Apr 4 on 23 charges of war crimes.
Besides Jamaat-e-Islami executive council member Delwar Hossain Sayedee whose case is the most advanced and Salauddin Quader, Jamaat chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Mujaheed and assistant secretaries general Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Quader Molla have been detained on war crimes charges.
The tribunal also sent Jamaat-e-Islami's former chief Ghulam Azam to jail on Jan 11 and indicted him on five different charges on May 13.
The second tribunal, set up on Mar 22, 2012, has given Abdul Alim, former BNP MP and member of Ziaur Rahman's cabinet, an indefinite bail while his trial proceeds.
Jamaat Assistant Secretary General Mohammad Kamaruzzaman was indicted on June 4 on seven counts of crimes.
The second tribunal was set up to expedite the war crimes trials for atrocities during the 1971 Liberation War.