MIR QUASEM TO DIE FOR WAR CRIMES
Julfikar Ali Manik
This is the 11th verdict by the two war crimes tribunals
The International Crimes Tribunal 2 has awarded death penalty to top Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali, known as a key financier of the anti-liberation party, for his alleged crimes against humanity and other offences committed in Chittagong during the 1971 Liberation War.
Tribunal 2 led by Justice Obaidul Hasan pronounced the verdict around 11:30am on Sunday.
The tribunal 2 has handed down death penalty to war criminal Mir Quasem on the charges 11 and 12 for killing seven people, including one Jasimuddin, after abduction.
He abducted six persons including teenage freedom fighter Jasim and tortured them in confinement from the day of Eid-ul-Fitr in 1971 to November 28, subsequently killing five of them and concealing their bodies.
The Jamaat leader also abducted Jahangir Alam Chowdhury, Tuntu Sen and Ranjit Das alias Latu and tortured them in confinement, looted and set their houses on fire. Later, he killed Ranjit and Tuntu in November 1971.
10 charges out of total 14, which include killings, conspiracy, planning, complicity, incitement and active participation were proved, the tribunal pronounced.
He was awarded a total of 72-year imprisonment on other charges of abduction, conspiracy and planning. The charges no 1, 5, 8, 13 were not proved.
Earlier in the day, the war criminal was taken to the tribunal at 9:25am while at the dock at 10:40am. Justice Obaidul Hasan started reading out the summary of 351-page verdict at 10:55am.
This is the 11th verdict by the two war crimes tribunals.
Mir Quasem was a top leader of Chittagong unit Chhatra Sangha and in November 1971 became general secretary of the central committee.
He was indicted by the International Crimes Tribunal 1 on September 5 last year. Later the case was shifted to tribunal 2 for quick disposal. As many as 24 prosecution witnesses testified against Kashem.
Charges against Quasem, also the chairman of Diganta Media Corporation that runs Diganta TV (operation now suspended) and the Daily Naya Diganta, were taken into cognisance on May 26 last year.
Police arrested him on June 17 last year from the office of the daily Naya Diganta in the capital hours after the tribunal issued a warrant for his arrest.
Mir Quasem, who is originally from Munshidangi Sutalori under Harirampur in Manikganj, joined Islami Chhatra Sangha, then student wing of Jamaat, in 1967 while studying at Chittagong Collegiate School. He later became its Chittagong City unit general secretary.
Mir Quasem played an important role in forming al-Badr Bahini that orchestrated systematic killing of freedom fighters and intellectuals.
He had set up makeshift torture camps at different places in the port city including Daleem Hotel in Andorkilla, where pro-liberation people were handed down punishment. Other allegations against him include involvement in mass killings in Asadnagar and Panchlaish areas.
Mir Quasem in collaboration with the Pakistani occupation forces opened several torture cells in the city including Dost Mohammad Panjabi building and Salma Manjil where M Omar-ul-Islam and Lutfar Rahman Faruk among others were tortured following abduction.
The Jamaat leader is also the member secretary of Fouad Al-Khateeb Charity Foundation.
NOVEMBER 02, 2014