WAR CRIMES TRIAL
Azad goes into hiding as ICT-2 orders his arrestStaff Correspondent
Abul Kalam Azad, who was known in Faridpur as Bachchu Razakar in 1971, went into hiding as the International Crimes Tribunal-2 on Tuesday issued a warrant for his arrest.
The police cordoned Azad’s house, Azad Villa, at Uttarkhan in the city soon after the tribunal, also known as war crimes tribunal instituted on March 22 for trial of the crimes committed during the war of independence in 1971, had issued the warrant in the morning.
Azad was not found at the house, the police said.
Detective branch police searched the four-storied house for about an hour from 2:30pm soon after they received the warrant.
Azad left the house around 3:30am with his two sons – Jihad Azad and Faysal Azad, said detective branch assistant commissioner Sunanda Roy, who led the raid, quoting Azad’s daughter Samania Jannat who was at home during the search.
There were no male members of the family in the house during the search and the family claimed they did not know Azad’s whereabouts, Sunanda said.
Uttara police officer-in-charge Khandakar Rezaul Hasan said that the police kept Azad’s Uttara office under surveillance.
The tribunal of Justice
ATM Fazle Kabir, Justice Obaidul Hassan and judge Shahinur Islam passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the prosecution on March 25 seeking an order for the arrest of Azad.
The court said the arrest warrant was issued for the sake of proper investigation after it was reported that witnesses in the cases were being intimidated either by Azad or his associates.
The court also asked the prosecution to provide the accused with a copy of the allegations brought against him.
The tribunal ordered the police to produce Azad in 24 hours after his arrest.
Issuing the warrant, the tribunal said it was of the view that Azad should be arrested for the sake of a proper and effective investigation against him.
Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali moved the application with a report from the investigation officer about the progress of investigation against Azad as the tribunal had asked for it on March 25.
Haider submitted that Azad should be arrested and detained on nine grounds to facilitate the completion of the investigation against him, which might require two or three more months.
Haider pleaded for his arrest in order to facilitate a ‘proper and effective investigation against him.’
He submitted that the investigation could be hampered if Azad remained free, because as an influential person he might intimidate or influence witnesses and destroy evidence.
The prosecutor argued that following threats from Azad and his men some, of the witnesses were already afraid of making statements against him and general diaries had been filed after such incidents.
The prosecutor said unless arrested, Azad might become a fugitive.
He argued there were allegations that Azad had voluntarily collaborated with the Pakistani occupation army, shot many people dead and was involved in the killing and burial of many of the victims at Faridpur Stadium.
The prosecutor submitted that Azad had grabbed a two-storied building on Jasimuddin Road in Faridpur, where he set up a camp for the Pakistani occupation army, and he was a close aide to the detained Jamaat secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed in 1971.
He had also set up a court in the district town where local Hindus were handed down punishment, the prosecutor submitted.
Towards the end of May, 1971, Bachchu shot and killed Jiban Chakrabarty of Boalmari of Faridpur, the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor submitted that two women from Latifdia, a village in Faridpur had suffered confinement in the hands of Bachchu in June, 1971.
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