WAR CRIMES TRIAL
Qaisar indictedStaff Correspondent
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 on Sunday indicted former Jatiya Party state minister Syed Md Qaisar on 16 counts of crimes against humanity committed in Habiganj and Brahmanbaria during the liberation war.
The presiding judge, Justice Obaidul Hassan, issued the indictment order in a full court hearing attended by Justice Md Muzibur Rahman Mia and Justice Shahinur Islam.
The tribunal also set March 4 to begin his formal trial through the prosecution’s opening statement against the accused and asked the defence to submit a list of witnesses and the documents, if any, they intended to rely upon.
Qaisar, 73, now on bail, was in the dock.
He pleaded not guilty of the charges of genocide, murders, extermination, enslavement, deportation, abduction and torture in confinement, rape, other inhuman acts and superior responsibility of committing crimes against humanity committed from April 27, 1971 to November 15, 1971.
He becomes the 17th accused to face war crimes trial in independent Bangladesh.
Qaisar fled to London sometime between November 15, 1971 and December 16, 1971 sensing immediate defeat and returned to Bangladesh in 1978, according to the prosecution.
Qaisar was a member of Habiganj sub-divisional Peace Committee and formed Qaisar Bahini to assist the Pakistan occupation army in committing crimes against humanity in 1971.
Qaisar comes from village Itakhola under Madhabpur Upazila in Habiganj.
He was indicted for his involvement in killing Shahjahan chairman and injuring Nayeb Ali at Islampur village under Bijoynagar in Brahmanbaria on April 27, 1971.
The accused faces the second charge for his involvement in looting and setting fire to 15 houses and shops at Madhabpur and Katiara in Habiganj on the same day.
He faces the third charge for leading his Bahini to kill four persons, looting and setting fire to the victims’ houses at Krishnanagar under Madhabpur on April 27, 1971.
Qaisar was indicted for killing 15 persons, injuring one and looting and setting fire to their houses on April 28, 1971.
He faces the fifth charge for abducting seven persons from Shayestaganj food warehouse at Habiganj on April 29, 1971 and torturing and killing them by keeping them in confinement for one month.
The sixth charge for which he was indicted said he led his men to abduct Dr Saleh Uddin Ahmed and Hirendra Chandra Roy from Shayestaganj on the same day.
He faces the seventh charge for looting and setting fire to 40-45 houses including that of Mostafa Ali, MNA’s house at Habiganj on April 30, 1971.
The eighth charge he has been facing for is involvement in raping a Santal woman on May 11, 1971.
The accused faces ninth and the tenth charges for killing eight persons including Abdul Aziz of Lohaid village of Madhabpur on May 15, 1971 and for abducting Shah Firoz Ali and Sabu Mia on June 13, 1971 and killing Firoz later.
He faces the eleventh charge of torturing Golam Rasul’s family members, abducting Rouf, torturing him, realising ransom, looting and setting fire to his house on June 23, 1971.
On the same day, Qaisar and his accomplishes attacked, looted and set fire to Dayal Gobinda’s house at Gutma village in Nasirnagar and Chhayedul Huq’s house in Purbabhag village in Brahmanbaria.
Qaisar faces the 12th charge for involvement in raping Majeda Begum.
He faces the 13th and the 14th charges for his involvement in abducting four including Mohibullah and killing them at various places of Chunarughat in Habiganj on August 18, 1971 and abducting and killing four others including Siraj Ali and killing them at Moujpur village of Madhabpur on September 29, 1971.
Qaisar faces the 15th charge for his involvement in abducting Nazim Uddin from his village home of Shahapur under Madhabpur in mid-October, 1971 and killing him three weeks later.
He faces the 16th charge for his involvement in committing genocide for killing 108 villagers, mostly Hindus, in 22 villages in Nasirnagar thana during attacks he led and for looting and setting the houses on fire.
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