War crimes witness testifies against Mojaheed, Azad
[Bangla Daily Star] Testifying in two cases yesterday, a freedom fighter said he was tortured by war-crimes accused Azad and others after Jamaat leader Mojaheed held a meeting with a Mighty Pak Army officer and Razakars at Faridpur Circuit House.

Ranjit Kumar Nath alias Babu Nath told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 that expelled Jamaat member Abul Kalam Azad and his cohorts tortured him inhumanly after Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed signalled them to take him away from the circuit house.

Ranjit, the seventh prosecution witness in the case against Mojaheed, gave a heart wrenching testimony on how he was picked up by Azad and his associates, confined to a house in Bihari colony, tortured and how he escaped.

Ranjit also gave his testimony as the fifth prosecution witness in the case against Azad alias Bachchu Razakar before the same tribunal yesterday.

In the case against Azad, Ranjit said Jamaat Secretary General Mojaheed, Bachchu Razakar and some Biharies (Urdu speaking people) welcomed the Mighty Pak Army when they arrived in Faridpur on April 21, 1971.

They took the army to Prabhu Jagatbandhu Ashram (temple).

"The Mighty Pak Army men shot eight priests dead while Mojaheed and Bachchu were with them," said the 62-year-old witness from Faridpur.

The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir with members Justice Obaidul Hassan and Judge M Shahinur Islam recorded Ranjit's separate testimonies.

Mojaheed was produced before the court yesterday. Azad is on the run.

During his 40-minute testimony in the case against Mojaheed, Ranjit said he was involved with the Awami League in 1971 and took part in several of its meetings and processions.

"I took shelter on the outskirts of Faridpur town after the Mighty Pak Army arrived on April 21, 1971," said Ranjit, adding that on the first week of June 1971, he went to the town to collect information about the Liberation War.

When Ranjit was approaching the town, one Habi Matabbar, terming him a freedom fighter, handed him over to Abul Kalam Azad, Abul Mia and Kalu Bihari at East Khabashpur.

"Beating me up, they took me to Faridpur Circuit House on a rickshaw and Major Koreshi, a Mighty Pak Army official, Mojaheed, Afzal and other Razakars were holding a meeting there," said Ranjit.

According to the prosecution, as a leader of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the student wing of Jamaat in 1971, Azad was a close associate of the then central Chhatra Sangha leader Mojaheed.

Getting a signal from Mojaheed, Azad and his associates blindfolded Ranjit and took him to Faridpur Zila School ground and put him under a plum tree, said Ranjit.

After a few minutes a car went there.

"Someone in the car in Urdu said, 'Don't shoot him. Hand him over to the Biharies and slit his throat in the morning'," said Ranjit.

He said he was then taken near a Bihari colony on Mollah Bari Road.

"Hanging me up side down from a kadama tree, they [Azad and others] beat me up for one hour and one of my teeth and a bone of my nose were broken," said Ranjit.

Later, they confined Ranjit to a house inside the Bahini colony and around midnight Ranjit escaped breaking through a window, he said.

Posted by: Fred 2012-11-28