A Rajshahi trial court June 25 recorded depositions of two witnesses in the case for aiding and abetting the JMB militants against former BNP stalwarts Barrister Aminul Haq, Ruhul Kuddus Talukhdar Dulu and Nadim Mostafa.
The witnesses -- plaintiff Ayub Ali Pramanik, a victim of brutalities by Jama'atul Mujahidin, Bangladesh (JMB) militants at Bagmara and his neighbour Abbas Ali told the court that militants including Bangla Bhai mentioned the BNP lawmakers as their patrons during their operations.
They claimed, they saw Bangla Bhai, Jalil Amin, Murshid having talks and directions from the BNP bigwigs frequently over cell phones during torture and extortion of Ayub.
Ayub of Polashi village said, armed militants waylaid him near his home and started beating up on April 7 morning in 2004. They demanded Tk 1 lakh toll.
When denied, Jalil Amin talked over mobile phone and insisted him to pay reasoning that their leaders ordered them to collect toll.
As Ayub enquired, they named Barrister Aminul, Dulu and Nadim to be the leaders.
Still denied, the attackers talked again over mobile phone and later took Ayub to Hamirkutsa torture camp beating after binding his hands and legs with ropes and eyes with a black cloth.
At the camp, the recently executed militant leader Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai asked Ayub to pay toll for running their militant outfit and continue so-called anti-outlaw operations.
"You must pay toll to save life and it is the order of our high ups...and Barrister Aminul, Dulu and Nadim were behind us...," Ayub quoted Bangla Bhai as saying after having talks on mobile phone.
The militants tortured Ayub until he agreed to pay Tk 80,000. After four days of treatment, Ayub provided the militants Tk 80,000, he collected selling off his pond and paddy.
Crossed by defense lawyers, Ayub said that he filed the case accusing 30 persons without any political intention and guidance by police.
Witness Abbas Ali told the court that he heard JMB militants Jalil Amin, Mamun Muhuri, Killer Mostaq, Murshid and Abdur Rahim to boast for having their leaders like Aminul, Dulu and Nadim.
Abbas during crossing by defense lawyers told that he did not see Dulu himself to seek toll from Ayub, but the extortionists claimed Dulu to be their leaders.
Some 14 arrested persons in the case including former deputy minister Dulu was present on the dock. Aminul, Nadim and 14 other accused are hiding.
Judge ASSM Jahirul Haq fixed Wednesday for recording other witnesses.