The three-judge International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Tuesday sentenced four war criminals of the then Moulvibazar sub-division to death finding them guilty of committing genocide and crimes against humanity at different places of the then Rajanagar thana during the Liberation War.
The convicts are Md Akmal Ali Talukder, 73, of Pachgaon, Abdun Nur Talukder alias Lal Miah, 63, of Jalalpur and Md Anis Miah, 76, and Md Abdul Mosabbir Miah, 64, of Paschimbagh, Rajanagar, Moulvibazar.
Justice Md Shahinur Islam, the presiding judge, pronounced the operative part of the unanimous verdict while Justice Amir Hossain and Justice Md Abu Ahmed Jamadar read out the verdict’s summery.
Seated on a chair in the dock, Akmal, the lone accused now in jail custody, looked sad as he heard the verdict.
Three other accused, Nur, Anis and Mosabbir were tried in absentia as they are absconding.
The tribunal found the evidence that all the four ‘had acted as the members of an “auxiliary force” under control of Pakistani occupation army for their operational and other purposes.’
In 1971, Akmal, a local Muslim Leaguer, became a member of Pachgaon Union Peace Committee and joined the local Razakar force.
The three other convicts were associated with Jamaat-e-Islami and members of the Razakar force, the tribunal found during cross-examinations prosecution witnesses.
The war criminals were found guilty of both the charges for which they were indicted on May 7, 2017.
The tribunal handed death sentence to all the four finding them guilty of committing genocide of 59 Hindu villagers, raping six Hindu women, looting 132 houses and setting them on fire in the village Panchgaon under Rajnagar thana on May 7 and May 8, 1971.
The four were jailed life until death for looting four houses and setting them ablaze, and abducting and murdering two villagers of Pashimbhag, Rajanagar on November 24 and November 25, 1971.
The sentences would get merged in the death penalty once they are executed, said the verdict.
The tribunal directed the home secretary and the inspector general of police to initiate ‘effective and appropriate measure’ to get the three absconding convicts arrested.
‘Justice has been done, ’ senior prosecutor Syed Haider Ali told reporters.
Chief war crimes prosecutor Golam Arief Tipoo and the other war crimes prosecutors were present outside the courtroom.
Defence lawyer Md Abul Hasan told reporters that his clients did not get justice.
He also said he had the confidence that if the absconding convicts surrender and appeal to the Appellate Division, they would get justice.’
Their trial began on July 4, 2017 and ended on March 27, 2018.
This was the 33rd verdict in the country’s as many war crimes cases.
For the ICT-1, it was the 22nd verdict.
During the trial, 13 prosecution witnesses were examined, but the defence produced no witnesses.
Until now, 73 war criminals were convicted, 47 of them to death while 26 others were jailed.
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