Dhaka, Jun 20 (bdnews24.com) — Nutan Chandra Singha's son testified before the first war crimes tribunal of Bangladesh on Wednesday that he heard BNP MP Salauddin Quader Chowdhury with the help of Pakistan Army killed his father on Apr 13, 1971.
Prafulla Chandra Singha, who had been issuing border pass for the government at Ramgarh and Sabroom border in April, 1971 described what he was told by his relatives and neighbours about the 'brutal' killing.
Testifying as the fifth prosecution witness, septuagenarian Singha said Salauddin Quader arrived at their residence in Kundeshwari in Apr 13, 1971 between 9am and 9:30am in the morning along with Pakistani army personnel and killed his father, the founder of Kuneshwari Girls School and a medicine manufacturing factory in Rauzan of
"They dragged my father out of the temple and shot him. When he was crying in agony, Salahuddin Quader fired three shots from his gun," he was told by Brojohari, a well-wisher of his father who was also there at that moment to convince his father on 'threat' to leave his residence.
Brojohari managed to flee when Pakistanis and Chowdhury arrived, but hid him at a place from where he could see everything.
Prafulla Singha described how his father became a target of Fazlul Quader Chowdhury, father of Salahuddin Quader, when he supported Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the 1970 elections.
The BNP MP Chowdhury has been indicted for 23 charges of war crimes including the murder of Nutan Chandra, the founder of Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya. by the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal -1.
A nephew of Nutan Chandra Sinha earlier on Jun 4 also testified before the tribunal that he hid himself at the sight of the soldiers arriving at Kundeshwari and saw Chowdhury arrive at the place along with Bengalis and Pakistani army personnel and later heard gunshots.
Prafulla said he was a constant companion of his father who received threats from Fazlul Quader.
"We lived at a minority-dominated area. Before every election Fazlul Quader Chowdhury would visit the area and say 'You will vote, right? Okay, you don't go to the voting centre, and I'll understand you voted me'," he said.
"We had to suffer torture if someone defied his instruction," he said and added that before 1970 elections Sheikh Mujib had toured the area and gone to their home that also enraged Fazlul Quader.
Prafulla said Fazlul Quader, a Muslim League candidate, came thrice the night before the 1970 elections.
He told the tribunal that Fazlul Quader asked his father in Chittagong dialect "Are you mad?" 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 Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed and assistant secretaries general Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul 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-e-Islami 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.