Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Families of victims, villagers narrate the role of 2 in '71

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Remand of Daud, Nur ends Today



Two accused in a case for '71 killings, Daud and Nur, being taken to jail on Saturday.
Families of the 15 victims of 1971 war and villagers narrated the role of two alleged killers arrested on Friday and demanded their speedy trial.
They also demanded arrest of rest of the collaborators involved in the killings.
Meanwhile, the two arrested accused disclosed 'important information' regarding activities of the collaborators in the district during interrogation by police yesterday.
Daud Hossain and Nur-e Anwar who were taken on two-day remand on Saturday will be placed before the court today as the remand period ends in the morning, said Asaduzzaman Milon, officer-in-charge of Mohonpur police station.
“They (Daud and Nur) blamed each other for the killings. Our interrogation is still on”, said Milon yesterday evening.
Talking to The Daily Star, M Shahabuddin Khan, superintendent of police in Rajshahi said, the arrestees gave important information about the activities of Razakar, Al Badr and Al Shams of the entire district.
“We don't want to give details at this moment for the sake of investigation”, said Khan adding police came to know the role and operations by the arrestees during the war.
Merajul Islam Sheikh, son of Basir Uddin Sheikh, one of 15 victims lodged the case against 19 persons.
On November 30, 1971, the accused allegedly abducted 15 people of Berabari and Mugroil villages. All of them were killed later, said the case.
During a visit to Berabari and Mugroil villages yesterday, the martyrs' family members and neighbours recalled the activities of the arrested persons and their accomplices.
They also narrated their plight after losing their relatives and demanded arrest of all accused in the case and a speedy trial.
On Mugroil village road, about 28 km away from the city, a memorial was seen with the martyrs' names inscribed on it. Some 50 yards away, this correspondent met Momena Begum and her son Shahid Sheikh.
“I named my son Shaheed (meaning martyr) as I was carrying him when five of my family members were martyred”.
Pakistani Army surrounded the entire village on the fateful day, she said.
Razakar Daud Hossain, Nur-e Anwar, Motiur, Wahed and others led Pakistani army into the village. They picked up her brothers-in-law Idris Sheikh, Habibur Sheikh, Zeker Sheikh, Rashid Sheikh and uncle Nazer Sheikh from homes and shot them dead near the memorial, Momena recalled.
Her husband Yasin Ali was a freedom fighter (FF).
“The day before, we bombed Durai bridge to cut the army supply line. As we (FFs) took shelter at Mugroil the Pakistani forces attacked the village. We managed to flee, but our innocent relatives could not. The attackers ravaged the village and torched every house”, said Yasin.
“The forces took away Idris, a class nine student", said Momena.
At Berabari, 70 years old Yunus Ali Mirza said, Pakistani forces caught him and his neighbour Nahir Uddin Mondol together. Yunus was released later.
“On the previous night, we entertained a group of hungry freedom fighters at our houses”, he said.
" I was abducted when I was going to Kesharhat market to sell molasses," said Abdul Matin who was at his 12 and driving a bullock cart of molasses.
“I saw Daud, Nur, Samsuddin, Sirajul and others at the camp. I begged to Samsuddin for life saying that we were classmates at a school. Later, I was set free”.
This correspondent met Abdul Matin, the cart driver.
“They released me as I was a boy. I can still recollect that Daud was identifying the captives in front of the Pakistani soldiers”.
Nahir never returned. His body was also not found. Two farmers Mohir Khan and Kasim Uddin of the village too went missing after they were picked up from a cane field, Yunus said.
Nahir's son Ansar Ali Mondol was a student of class eight when the collaborators abducted his father.
“For absence of my father, I couldn't study. I had to bring up my brothers by working as a day labourer”.
“When we were frantically looking for my father after Independence, Daud once told me not to look for him any more”, he said weeping.
Chhoytun Bibi, the 70-year-old widow of victim Kasim Uddin started working as domestic help at neighbours' houses since Kasim's departure. She still works as a maid for livelihood.



2 held for '71 killing remanded
Two people, arrested yesterday in Rajshahi on charges of war crimes, were today placed on a two-day police remand for interrogation.
Rajshahi Judicial Magistrate Court passed the remand order as Mohanpur police this morning produced them before it seeking a five-day remand to interrogate.
The law enforcers yesterday arrested Daud Hossain, 70, and Nur-e Anwar, 65, at their homes in Bamundighi Berabari of Mohanpur upazila around dawn in a case filed in connection with killing 15 people during the Liberation War in 1971.
Daud is a Jamaat-e Islami activist while Anwar belongs to BNP, says Aminul Islam, Mougachchi union BNP organising secretary.
Seventeen others are also accused in the case.
Merajul Islam Sheikh, son of Basir Uddin Sheikh, one of the 15 martyrs, of Birsoil in Shahmakhdum lodged the case with a Rajshahi court on June 22 last year and police recorded the case on September 13.
The accused include Shafiullah, Moyeen Uddin, Boyen Uddin of Modanhati, Daud Ali, Nur-e Anwar, Shamsuddin, Sirajul Islam, Motiur Rahman and Awal of Berabari, Alam, Abdul Hai, Abdul Mannan of Mohisbathan, Abu Sayeed of Durgapur, Jan-e Bux, Abdul, Rejbul, Kalim and Kalu of Shahmakhdum.
In his complaint, Merajul said the accused were collaborators of Pakistani forces and were engaged in robbery, murder, arson and rape at Modanhati and other villages during the war.
On November 30, 1971, they abducted the 15 people who were helping freedom fighters at Bogpara Mugroil of Mohanpur. The next morning, all of them were tied together and shot dead.
The 15 martyrs are Nazrul Islam, Idris Ali, Zabibur Rahman, Rashid Sheikh, Jeker Ali Sheikh, Bashir Uddin Sheikh, Mofir Uddin, Fakir Uddin, Yunus Ali, Nuruzzaman, Seku Sardar, Kutub Ali, Meser Ali, Reaz Uddin and Baddyanath Risi.
A monument was later erected at the spot.
Now a rickshaw puller, Merajul demanded exemplary punishment to the collaborators.

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