NIZAMI’S HUMILIATION AT DHAKA UNIVERSITY
23 years after the incident, the war criminal has finally been convicted and sentenced to death for the crimes
On May 27, 1991, it did not come as a surprise to many when students of Dhaka University beat up Motiur Rahman Nizami after the then Jamaat secretary general went to the campus, the first time he had set his foot inside the university since the war ended.
In a scene reminiscent of Jamaat guru and war criminal Ghulam Azam’s public humiliation just 10 years earlier, the students let loose their suppressed anger towards Nizami – who is to be hanged for his involvement in the systematic killing of many intellectuals including teachers of the DU.
In 1981, in his first public appearance since returning to the country after the war, Nizami’s mentor Ghulam Azam was hit with shoes by agitated people at the Baitul Mukarram Mosque. Ghulam Azam was visiting there to attend a janaza for two Bangladeshis who died in Palestine.
A similar public outrage awaited Nizami, who succeeded Ghulam Azam as the Jamaat ameer when the latter stepped down in 2000.
Activists from different student organisations confined Nizami inside the then DU vice-chancellor Monirujjaman Mia’s office, before throwing chairs and punches at him. Several activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, who accompanied Nizami, were also beaten up by the students who protested the presence of a razakar on the campus.
The following day, most national newspapers published the news on their front page with pictures.
According to those news reports, the university authority had arranged a meeting with different political leaders on that day to mitigate a deadlock that persisted at the university.
Except leaders from the BNP, other invited political leaders including Nizami arrived at the VC’s office to attend the meeting.
However, when news about Nizami’s arrival spread across the campus, Jatiya Chhatra League – a student front of Bakshal – brought out a procession from Modhur Canteen and went to the VC demanding that the Jamaat leader be kicked out of the campus within 15 minutes.
Protesting the presence of a collaborator on the campus, the agitated students chanted slogans like: “Budhdhijibider Rokte Bheja Campus e Razakar er Thhai Nai (there is no place for a collaborator on the campus stained with the blood of intellectuals).”
The student leaders claimed that the university authority had arranged the meeting secretly and they were not informed about who were joining the meeting.
As VC Monirujjaman Mia tried to pacify the students, the JSD’s Chhatra League and Awami League’s Chhatra League as well as the Chhatra Union joined the crowd that had already gathered outside the VC’s office.
In an attempt to bar the students from entering the office, Bakshal leader Mohiuddin Ahmod laid himself down at the base of the door; but the students stepped over him to enter the room.
They threw chairs, water glasses, tea cups, paperweights, telephone sets and whatever they could find nearby at Nizami while accusing the Jamaat leader for murdering students, teachers and intellectuals during 1971.
They also chanted slogans like “Motiur Razakar, Ei Muhurte Bangla Chhar” (collaborator Motiur, leave Bangladesh at once).
After around 20 minutes, the police arrived at the scene and rescued Nizami, who later had to receive five stitches on his head at Ibn Sina Hospital.
At the time, the students’ wrath was the only punishment Nizami had to face. However, 23 years after the incident, the war criminal has finally been convicted and sentenced to death for the crimes he had committed during the Liberation War.
NOVEMBER 01, 2014