Properties of Hindus war booty, belong to Muslims

pakistan_mapA prosecution witness yesterday said war crimes accused Abdul Jabbar, during the Liberation War, termed freedom fighters, supporters of the Awami League and the war, and Hindus enemies of Pakistan and vowed to destroy them.

Former Jatiya Party lawmaker Jabbar, a fugitive, gave instructions to kill two freedom fighters and 23 Hindus, forcefully converted more than 150 people of the Hindu community to Islam and looted about 360 houses in Phuljhuri village, said Shoebur Rahman Golder, 75, the first prosecution witness in the case against Jabbar.        

The three-member International Crimes Tribunal-1 chaired by Justice M Enayetur Rahim recorded deposition of the witness after hearing opening statement placed by prosecutor Mohammad Zahid Imam.

“Wealth and properties of Hindus are war booty, and therefore it belongs to Muslims. If Hindus want to reside in the country, they will have to be Muslims,” the witness quoted Jabbar as saying at a rally, who used to address collaborators of Pakistani invading army at different rallies in Pirojpur.

Shoebur, who had worked at Pakistan Administrative Staff College in Lahore, said he came to Dhaka on “February 29, 1971” and went to his village Tushkhali on April 4 and trained freedom fighters there.

Pakistan Muslim League leader Jabbar was elected MPA in 1967-68, and took charge of the Peace Committee of Mathbaria Police Station in 1971 and recruited one Iskandar Ali Mridha as a Razakar commander, said the witness.

On May 16, 1971, Jabbar attended a rally around 11:00am on the playground of Tushkhali High School.

“Jabbar [at the rally] issued an order to bring Abdur Razzak and Motleb Sharif [who used to train freedom fighters] dead or alive”, said Shoebur who heard him from a small room of the school.

Following his order, armed Razakars went to detain them and around 4:00pm Shoebur heard that the two were killed.

Shoebur then narrated what happened at Phuljhuri.

The following day, Jabbar along with 30 to 35 members of the Pakistani army went to the village. He asked the army to kill one Sharda Kanto Paik who was running for his life. Sharda was killed on the spot.

About 360 houses of the village were looted and set on fire.

About eight to 10 days later, following Jabbar’s instructions, Razakars forced 150 Hindus of Paikbari to convert to Islam. “The Hindus were given Muslim names and forced to eat beef.”  

He further said on October 6, 1971, about 40 to 50 Razakars led by Jabbar went to Angulkata village and detained 37 Hindus. Of them, seven were set free and the rest were taken to the bank of a river in Surjamoni village.

“They [Razakars] opened fire on the Hindus. Twenty two people died and eight sustained bullet wounds.”

State-appointed defence counsel Mohammad Abul Hasan cross-examined the witness.

Replying to a query, Shoebur said 1971 was a leap year and he returned to Dhaka onSource: The Daily Star “February 29, 1971”.

Meanwhile, the defence continued placing argument in the war crimes case against Jamaat leader ATM Azharul Islam.

Proceedings of both cases were adjourned until today.

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday adjourned the case proceedings against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdus Subhan until tomorrow due to “illness” of a prosecution witness.      

Source: The Daily Star