War criminal and Collaborator: Matiur Rahman Nizam

MATIUR RAHMAN NIZAMI of Pabna district in the north-west of Bangladesh, is currently the secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Nizami carried out a wide range of activities against the war of independence in 1971. At the time he was president of Jamaat’s youth front, the Islami Chattra Sangha (ICS, or Islamic Student’s Organisation). Under his direct supervision, and leadership, the Al-Badr force was set-up to eliminate freedom fighters. Nizami was the commander-in-chief of the Al-Badrs.

The principal aim of the Al-Badr, as a para-military force auxiliary to the Pakistan army, was to turn the Bangalee people into a populace, which would believe in Pakistan and the Islamic philosophy of life from a cultural and political viewpoint.

Leaders of the Al-Badr drew-up the blue-print for the murder of hundreds of Bangalee intellectuals across the country. On their orders, hundreds of such prominent men and women of letter and crafts were murdered throughout Bangladesh including Dhaka. Horrifying tales of these killings by the Al-Badr under Nizami’ s command have been published in many newspapers and journals at home and abroad.

Nizami exhorted his followers through speeches as well as articles in newspapers. In one such article in the party mouth-piece daily Sangram, he wrote, “The day is not far away when the young men of Al-Badr, side by side with the armed forces, will defeat the Hindu force (enemies) and raise the victorious banner of Islam all over the world, after the destroying the existence of India” (source: Daily Sangram,Nov. 14, 1971).

On April 12, 1971, Nizami joined Azam and other leading collaborators such as Khan A Sabur etc., to lead a procession in Dhaka to declare support for Pakistan. The procession, under the banner of the “Peace Committee”, ended with a special prayer for the survival of Pakistan (Daily Sangram, April 13, 1971).

In Jessore south-west of Dhaka, Nizami addressed para-military troops at the district headquarters of the Razakar force, and said, “In this hour of national crisis, it is the duty of every Razakar to carry out his national duty to eliminate those who are engaged in war against Pakistan and Islam” (Daily Sangram, Sept 15, 1971).

People in Nizami’s home district of Pabna have brought allegations of direct and indirect involvement in killings, rape, arson, looting etc.
One such person is Aminul Islam Dablu of Brishlika village under the Bera police station (in Bangladesh, all administrative units below the level of districts are organised under a police station, hence all sub-districts are called Thana, or PS). Dablu told the Commission that his father M Sohrab Ali was killed on the orders of Nizami. Dablu further said other people of the area, including Profulla Pramanik, Bhadu Pramanik, Manu Pramanik and Shashthi Pramanik were killed on Nizami’ s orders. He said there were several eyewitnesses to those killings.

Abdul Quddus, a freedom fighter from Madhabpur village in Pabna, once spent two weeks in an Al-Badr camp after being arrested. He witnessed plans being discussed and drawn-up by the Al-Badr men under supervision of Nizami, to carry out killings, arson, rape etc.
On Nov 26, a Razakar commander named Sattar guided Pakistani troops to the Dhulaupara village where 30 freedom fighters were subsequently killed. According to Quddus, Sattar carried out his activities under Nizami’s orders.

Quddus told the Commission he was able to attend a secret gathering of Al-Badr, which was also attended by Nizami who gave instructions about elimination of freedom fighters. In that meeting, houses of Awami League supporters and possible bases and safe-houses being used by freedom fighters were identified. Quddus said, Nizami gave orders to finish off Awami League supporters and destroy bases of the freedom fighters.

The day after the meeting, Al-Badr forces in cooperation with Razakars, surrounded the village of Brishlika and burnt it to the ground. Quddus said Nizami himself bayoneted to death one Bateswar Shaha in Madhabpur village, situated under Sathia PS, which is now part of the parliamentary constituency where Nizami won a seat in 1991 with a slender majority.

Similar allegations against Nizami was brought by M Shahjahan Ali of Madhabpur village. Ali was captured by Razakars along with several other freedom fighters. The Razakars then proceeded to torture the prisoners with bayonets, finally using long knives to slit their throats. Twelve freedom fighters were slaughtered in that manner, but Ali miraculously survived, although he has a deep scar along his throat and is permanently paralysed.

Ali said one prisoner was burnt alive after being doused with petrol. He said all these killings of prisoners were carried out on Nizami’s order.

Presented by Forum for Secular Bangladesh

Summary of two investigations into activities of sixteen war criminals and collaborators of Pakistan military junta during the
Bangladesh liberation war of 1971 published on 26 March 1994.

A write-up of Farida Majid on Golam Azam

       Prof. Golam Azam, former Aamir of Jamaat, is certainly an educated person, and arguably one of most intelligent persons in the politics of Bangladesh. I hear he has a son in the nation’s army. Likewise many Jamaati leaders have placed their children in the cadet colleges with a view to packing the Military of future Bangladesh with Jamaat-minded Fascists.

            Do we want a fascist country? Should we not be pondering that question and the consequences if, by all the signs and symptoms, it looks like we are on a headlong journey towards that goal?

             Farida Majid

Read the rest of this entry »

AL decides to skip dialogue without Hasina

AL decides to skip dialogue without Hasina

Tue, May 27th, 2008 9:35 pm BdST
Dhaka, May 27 (bdnews24.com) – The Awami League on Tuesday decided not to join government dialogue without party chief Sheikh Hasina, a move likely to put a question mark on ongoing political talks.The decision on boycott came from a meeting of the Awami League Central Working Committee at the party’s Dhanmondi office.The ALCWC meeting has been adjourned until Wednesday, acting AL president Zillur Rahman told reporters.A major announcement about a movement for the release of the former prime minister, now behind bars on charges of corruption, is expected to come from Wednesday’s meeting.

The ALCWC meeting also endorsed most recommendations made by district AL leaders at the party’s crucial extended meeting on Monday.

“The meeting has approved the speeches of the district leaders, showing honour to them. The district leaders said there would be no dialogue and no election without Sheikh Hasina,” Zillur said.

“We have also decided that we will not go to dialogue without Sheikh Hasina. If we go to dialogue we will do so under her leadership. And it is Sheikh Hasina who will name those who will participate in it,” he said.

The ALCWC meeting will resume at 11am Wednesday.
bdnews24.com/sum/eh/ad/2127 hours