G Azam’s Peace Committee turned into Razakar: PW Mahbub

A war hero on Tuesday testified before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that the Peace Committee formed in April 1971 under the leadership of Ghulam Azam had finally turned into Razakar, an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army.

“A government gazette notification was published in this regard before it stated functioning,” prosecution witness Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, Bir Bikram, said while replying to the cross–examination by the defence counsel.

Asked whether the Razakars were government paid staff, Mahbub said, “I don’t know but when the captured Razakars were brought before me during the war, I saw them in uniform.”

The PW-2 admitted that the Razakars were under the command of the junta.

Mahbub told the three-member tribunal headed by Justice M Nizamul Huq that he was not aware whether the Al Badr and Al Shams were statutory organizations, but the recruitments were made mostly from the members of the Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.

The PW denied the defence suggestion that Ghulam Azam had no authority to stop criminal activities of his forces like the Razakar, Al Badr and Al Shams during the Liberation War.

Mahbub also said that he does not have any documentary evidence as to whether Ghulam Azam ordered his forces to commit criminal acts.

He, however, said, “I had seen such ‘provocative and inciting’ speeches and statements made by Ghulam Azam published in the newspapers during wartime.”

Mahbub, a former SP of Dhaka, told the tribunal, “It’s not true that I, as a leader of the ruling Awami League, gave false evidence against Gulam Azam to fulfill the political desire of his government.

“It’s also not true that the Awami League has started the process of trial of Ghulam Azam to get revenge against him as the Jamaat leader had formed alliance with BNP and defeated Awami League in 2001 general election.”

Denying a defence suggestion, Mahbub said when he had been serving as SP of Dhaka, he did not receive any file containing allegations against Ghulam Azam for scrutiny.

The police produced detained Ghulam Azam in the dock during the trial proceedings.

Meanwhile, the cross examination of the investigation officer, ASP M Helal Uddin, continued for the 40th day by the defence counsel for detained accused Jamaat-e-Islami nayeb-e-ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee.

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