The tribunal then moved onto the case of Azam, and the witness Sultana Kamal continued with her testimony
Zead Al Malum: Who were the people who have been targeted by the Pakistan Army and what was their actual condition?Then Zeyad Al Malum has prayed before the Tribunal for an adjournment today as he is so sick and has to go to Doctor. Then the Chairman has replied what should we do, the defence counsel has prayed to adjourn the Item No- 02 and you are praying to adjourn this item. Should we be without any work? Then the Prosecutor has replied after the establishment of this Tribunal I have not prayed for any adjournment on any personal ground, so this is my first prayer Your Lordship. Then Justice Jahangir Hossain has replied, we are not here to sit workless. The proceeding will continue (see here for beginning of cross examination).
Witness: The attack was against the people of every caste, religion, race and sex; it was not only over the people of Hindu, Christian, Buddhist community. Every people who were in support of liberation war have been tortured. They have faced brutal killing, torture, genocide and other sorts of brutal activities of the Pakistan Armies. Noteworthy is the attack over the teachers of the University of Dhaka, the fire on Ikbal Hall, the brutal killing of Jagannath Hall, the attacks over Kali Mandir-Shakhari Bazar etc. These sorts of incidents took place all over the country since 25th March to 16th December, 1971.
Let me give an example: a market of Barishal was targeted and fired from the guns ofa Helicopter. When the people by getting frightened started jumping over the river then they have been shot down by the shots coming out from Pakistan Armies arriving on the Launch. These sorts of incidents were not separate incidents; these were preplanned activities of the Pakistan Army. Newspapers and the Radio station were the source of gathering latest information.
We have always seen the name of the top leader of Peace Committee and Jamaat-e-Islami - Gholam Azam as the Mastermind of those brutal incidents. We have also got to knew that on 23rd August and 31st August, 1971 Gholam Azam was present at Lahore and Hydrabad and supported the cause of Pakistan Armies and talked against the activities of Freedom Fighters and also discussed the destruction of the groups of freedom fighters. It is noteworthy that a new ministerial council has been formed in East Pakistan where two leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami have been included and when Gholam Azam has gone to give them a reception and where he has said- the members of Jamaat-e-Islami have been included as the ministers in the ministerial council for the same reason that the Peace Committee and Razakar team have been formed.
One thing ought to be made clear here; the question has arisen if the members of Peace Committee have been participated in any armed attack? We have the information that sometimes they have taken part with the Pakistan soliders with the armed attacks. That Razakars were holding arms is known to everyone. When the country was going towards the long cherished victory at that time Gholam Azam has met Yahya Khan and attended press conference and stated that- the groups of freedom fighters ought to be destroyed and should be punished. And proudly he has stated also the Razakars are enough to handle it.
It is to be taken in note that how close and reliable the man was that he has got the scope to talk with the top leader of West Pakistan and talked on behalf of him. We have observed a drastic action of Razakar, Al Badar, Al Shams within the timeframe of 10th to 14th December, 1971 when they have brutally killed a lot of renowned intellectuals. We feel ashamed of these activities. Gholam Azam has lead the activities of these Razakars, Al- Badar, Al-Shams.
We have entered the liberated Bangladesh on 4th January, 1972. On 16th December we have got the news of the surrender of Pakistan Army when we were at Kolkata, India. We have reached rail station by train and then by taking several means we entered Dhaka, because the Transportation system was totally collapsed. We have entered the country in such a situation when each and every one of our near and dear ones of the relatives and the neighbors have lost members of their family by the Pakistan Army; we have lost our respectable teachers, classmates, we have also lost the friends who had joined the freedom fighting movement. The backbones of the family members of the murdered people have been broken when they have lost the one and only earning person of their family by the Pakistan Army.
The women were the worst victims of this liberation war - near about 2 lakhs women have been raped and 2 lakhs have been tortured in several other ways. Many of them have lost their shelter in this male dominating society when they have lost all the male members of the family. Many of them have come to my mother and described these incidents and asked how to overcome them. At the end of December, 1971 my mother Sufia Kamal and other co-workers have started taking several steps for the rehabilitation of the women. Noteworthy is that my mother was the first chairperson of the renowned NGO BRAC. By being the Chairperson of BRAC and by establishing the Nari Punorbashon Kendro and other activities my mother has worked for the reconstruction of Bangladesh and to work for the war victims and their rehabilitation. We the family members have got involved with her activities. So that- we got the scope to work for the rehabilitation of the women and at the same time we have worked for the promotion of Human Rights and for working about the crimes against humanity and I have started reading Human Rights and completed studying in 1978.
The main activities of Nari Punorbashon Kendro were to arrange the treatment for the people who visit there. Almost all of them have been tortured, so another activities were to arrange the shelter and meet up the necessities and also to take initiative that they could return their family with due respect. For a special assignment I have interviewed 19 tortured women all of them have been raped by the members of Pakistan Army and many of them were handed over to the Pakistan Armies by the Collaborators. They all were mentally in a so wrecked condition. To arrange the mental treatment for them, this initiative of interview has been taken. There was a Doctor named Dr. Davis who has come from abroad to treat the victims. There were other volunteers male-female doctors who were at times working for them. There were also Bodrunnessa Ahmed, Saira Ahmed, Maleka Khan, Afia Huq and others. The mothers of war children have been given a scope to give their children for adoption if they agree.
After the liberation war we were involved with several movements for human rights and democracy and I felt my interest is growing on this issue. As a freedom fighter my urge is before the Tribunal to punish the perpetrators who has tortured the innocent people so brutally.
Zeyad Al- Malum: Did you give your statement to the IO?
Zeyad Al Malum: If the accused petitioner is present today?