‘I saw Molla shooting at villagers’
Dhaka, Aug 8 (bdnews24.com) — A prosecution witness against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla on Wednesday said he saw Molla shooting at villagers in Keraniganj on the morning of Nov 25, 1971.
The second war crimes tribunal indicted the Jamaat Assistant Secretary General on May 28 for six incidents.
The seventh prosecution witness, Abdul Majid Palwan hailing from Ghatarchar village of Keraniganj, just outside Dhaka, told the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal-2 that he was awakened by the sound of gunfire early in Nov 25.
He moved towards the sound and saw from the cover of trees that Pakistan Army personnel were killing people.
“There were a few people clad in kurta and shalwar too. Abdul Quader Molla was among them.”
Palwan said he saw Molla take part in the massacre which left about 60 dead. “He had a rifle in his hand and he was shooting at people.”
Afterwards, when the killing squad moved away, Palwan said locals told him that the man was Molla.
Later, when he was identifying bodies, he ran into the local freedom fighter commander Mozaffar Ahmed Khan and told him what he had seen.
Mozaffar Ahmed Khan was the first prosecution witness against Molla.
Palwan was then cross-examined briefly by Abdus Sobhan Tarafdar. It is scheduled to resume at 2pm on Sunday (Aug 12).
Molla at ICT
Indictment hearing of the Jamaat leader began on Mar 7 at the ICT-1 with the prosecution presenting seven charges against him. It was later shifted to ICT-2 on Apr 16 following a prosecution petition.
A case was filed with Keraniganj police on Dec 17, 2007 against a number of Jamaat leaders including Molla for killing a person named ‘Mostofa’ during the Liberation War. Another case was filed against him with Pallabi police in 2008. He was arrested on Jul 13, 2010 for the second case.
The prosecution brought crimes against humanity charges including murder, rape and arson in its probe report placed at the tribunal on Nov 1, 2011. The court took it into cognisance on Dec 28 the same year.
The prosecution report said the Jamaat leader operated in Mirpur and Mohammadpur areas of Dhaka during the war and started killing Bengalis from March 25 midnight of 1971.