Part:2: War criminal and Collaborator: A K M Yousuf (Acting Ameer of Jamaat)

MAULANA A K M YOUSUF, village-Rajoir, Thana-Saran Khola, District-Bagerhat. Presently he is the acting Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. He was one of the leading anti-liberation organizers during the 1971 war. As part of his role in the anti-liberation activities he became a member of Malek cabinet during the war.  After the liberation war AKM Yusuf was arrested on charge of collaborating with Pakistan army and sentenced with many other members of Malek cabinet.
He first formed ‘Razakar Bahini’ comprising 96 members of Jamaat-e-Islami in Khulna district. He became the leader of the Jamaat well before the freedom War started. He started his anti-Bangladesh role and cooperating the Pakistani forces as soon as the war began on March 25. His responsibilities were to issue statement, organize the anti-liberation forces and lead attacks, killing, looting and arson by his groups. He also helped the members of the Pakistani forces to do the same.

His statements published in the newspapers where he opposed the liberation war and urged the collaborators to resist the pro-liberation forces. On October 10, 1971, this anti-liberation leader praised activities of the Razakars in a public rally and said, “we will have to make the people understand that the so-called Bangladesh concept is created by Indian authorities is valueless. Naxalaits, separatists and criminals are trying to create anarchy in this part of the country. They should be ousted by root.” (Genocide ’71, Muktijuddha Chetana Bikish Kendra, Dhaka, February 1987).

On October 26, at a gathering in Sylhet, he said, “a section of ignorant youths inspired by Indian propaganda has been unleashing separatist activities on our land. You spread over every nook and corner of the country to resist this movement and uproot the concept of so-called Bengali nationalism”. He warned the allied forces saying, “Had there been any war imposed on them, then heroes of Razakar and soldiers would face with all courage.” On November 12, 1971, he praised the Razakar activities while visiting Razakar camps in Shatkhira. He commented, “the Razakars have been doing their best to resist the spies and intruders of India”. He also assured the Razakars that he would provide them with government jobs.

On November 28, while he was discussing with newsmen in Karachi, Yousuf said that the Razakar have been working hand in hand with the soldiers. He demanded supply of modern arms to the hands of razakars to eliminate freedom fighters. “now the number of Razakar and Al-shams stood to some 1 lakh. Apart from them, there were Mujahid bahini also. They all are in guarding the borders along with the soldiers. The razakars have been operating successfully resulting in reduce of criminal activities”. (Ibid)

Guljan Bibi, a mother of martyr Shahid Seikh, informed that one Razakar Khaleq Member asked her son to join in the Razakar Bahini during the monsoon of freedom War. As Shahid rejected his proposal, the member called him out a month after. On the same day she learnt that her son was handed to the Pakistani forces. Later she rushed to the founder of the Razakar force, Maolana A K M Yousuf and requested him to free his son. At that time Khaleq Member was also with Yousuf who turned down her request. Guljan Bibi did not get her son back, later she came to learn that Pakistanis killed her son. Guljan demanded trial of her son’s killing.

Yousuf along with his associates Khaleque and Adam Ali had killed number of males and females during the war. They raped many women. These information were disclosed by the citizens of Khulna, but still after 24 years of independence they are tight lipped for the sake of their own security. One of them told the commission that Yousuf forced many people from his own area Morelganj to join in the Razakar force. He forced them to work against the liberation war.

Yousuf’s headquarters was the then ‘Ghost House’ which is now being used as district Anasr camp. This camp was the prime torture centre. Apart from this they used to torture the freedom-loving people at Khulna Shipyard, Bhashani Biddalaya and many other camps. They also killed people at such places wherever they felt comfortable. They handed over the innocent Bengalis to Pakistani Army stationed at the prime camp Circuit House, and other makeshift camps at Helipad, Naval base, hotel Shahin, Asiana Hotel etc. The Razakar and other fundamentalist forces maintained regular connection with the camps. They used to kill the people at Gallamari, forest Ghat, Station road and some other places.
Courtesy : Muktodhara

Australia ends Iraq combat operations

Australia ends Iraq combat operations
Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:17:04 PM

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally and one of the first countries to commit troops to the war in Iraq five years ago, ended combat operations there Sunday.
Soldiers lowered the Australian flag that had flown over Camp Terendak in the southern Iraqi city of Talil. The combat troops were expected to return to Australia over the next few weeks, with the first of them arriving home Sunday.
The move fulfills a campaign promise by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was swept into office in November largely on the promise that he would bring home the country’s 550 combat troops by the middle of 2008. Rudd has said the Iraq deployment made Australia more of a target for terrorism.
Rudd’s predecessor, former Prime Minister John Howard, said he was “baffled” by the decision to withdraw the troops.
“If I had been returned at the last election we would not have been bringing (troops) home, we would have been looking at transitioning them from their soon-to-be terminated role to a training role,” Howard told the Sydney Morning Herald in an interview published Monday.
Howard, who led the country for 11 years and celebrated his friendship with President Bush, told the newspaper that the decision to send Australian troops to Iraq in 2003 was “very, very, very hard.” But he stood by his choice, which he said helped further deepen Australia’s alliance with the United States.
Australian troops helped train 33,000 Iraqi army soldiers following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. They helped train the Iraqis in logistics management, combat service support and counterinsurgency operations.
Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon declared the mission a success, saying it had allowed Iraq’s own security forces to successfully take control.
“Our soldiers have worked tirelessly to ensure that local people in southern Iraq have the best possible chance to move on from their suffering under Saddam’s regime and, as a government we are extremely proud of their service,” Fitzgibbon said in a statement Sunday.
“The Australian contribution to the Iraqi army’s Counter Insurgency Academy is one of the lasting legacies of our commitment,” he said.
About 300 troops will remain inside Iraq for logistical and air surveillance duties, as well as guarding Australian diplomats and others in Baghdad.
A further 500 soldiers will remain in the region, including 200 sailors aboard the frigate HMAS Stuart in the Persian Gulf. Australia also will leave behind two maritime surveillance aircraft.

Bangladesh: Justice is only for the little people

Bangladesh: Justice is only for the little people

GM Solaiman

May 27, 2008

I read news and opinion piece in Bangladesh newspapers related to corruption and people’s perspective toward it. I read with a great amusement how some people stay cool and not even bother by the mountain of corruption. If media reflect any percentage of views in real ground, it is almost shocking how they show tolerance toward corruption. Some people took it as part of the life very well. Now that’s a compliment. One probably will go crazy if he would not or can not take this as business as usual. Isn’t Bangladesh a part of this civilized world? Is there any respect for justice in any part of the society in Bangladesh? Actually, there is. It is for the little people who must obey the law. It is the little people to whom justice is served. It is the little people who, with all the hardship in life, keep Bangladesh a part of the civilized world. Well, at least as of now.

Let me bring your attention to a recent court verdict. Md Shahid Mia, a technician from Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, was sentenced to three years in jail for taking Tk 5,000 in bribe. Few local newspapers reported this in May 22, 2008.

“A special Dhaka court on Wednesday sentenced an official of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company to three years in jail for taking Tk 5,000 in bribe.”

“Convicted Md Shahid Mia will have to serve one more year in jail in failure to pay a fine of Tk 1 lakh. Judge Md Sirajul Haque also issued an order to confiscate the cell phone of Shahid.”

“Ebadullah al Mamun, managing director of Quality Re-rolling Mills, filed the case against him with Shyampur police station on May 6 last year. According to case details, Shahid demanded Tk 5,000 for a utility connection. The Rapid Action Battalion arrested him.”

Shahid Mia’s wife was present in the court room. Shahid Mia hugged his wife to give her some comfort after the verdict. His lawyer Rehana Alam told him that this is the list possible punishment for the crime. It can not be reduced. This is for just taking 5000 taka (73 dollars) bribe. No other crime, corruption or illegal property involved.

There is nothing surprising here. He did the crime, so he got the punishment. It could have been any other civilized country. The criminals would get similar punishment.

Now I want you to take a moment and rethink this. Just 73 dollars of corrupt money can put you 3 years in prison. Even in Bangladesh, it can. Does people in Bangladesh realized it? I am sure some people do realize it. Shahid Mia and his family realized. Many more people like Shahid Mia realize it every day.

What about big fishes, do they realize? I am talking about those people who have taken millions of dollars in bribe along with other crime, corruption and illegal property. How many thousands years of imprisonment would they get in punishment? Well, they never did. Punishment is reserved only for the little people in Bangladesh. Those who acquired millions of dollars in corruption never faced any punishment. Shouldn’t they get the punishment?

Is it too unfair to say that this punishment, as justified as it is, would be an insult to the justice system if the top criminals of the nation wonder free?

I read some opinion articles in few daily newspapers with lot of amusement. I don’t really understand this. How could an educated person argue in favor of those corrupt criminals? How could they do it in a civilized society? Don’t they have any shame at all? Apparently they don’t have any shame. What could be the reason?

Could it be that these so called intellectuals are not belongs to this civilized world? Could it be that they some how lost the sense of what is wrong and what is right? Or, is it because that these so called intellectuals are beneficiary of the corrupt officials and politicians? Is it because that these so called intellectuals are the creation of the top corrupt circle of Bangladesh? Isn’t it true that those who support the evils are indeed part of the same evil?

Is it possible that the people of Bangladesh can come out of the box of wrong doers and their evil intellectual propaganda machine? I certainly hope so.

GM Solaiman writes from Silicon Valley, California. He can be reached at]