In 1971 I was 18 years old. I have completed post graduation degree first part in Political Science from Chittagong University. I am a journalist. But after giving evidence to the investigation officer in this case I was sacked from Reuters. Now I am a freelance journalist. In 1971 I was a student of Intermediate 2nd year of Chittagong Government College. Then I was not involved with any political party. But there was a military training course named UOTC in different government schools and colleges, I was a cadet of it. After victory of 70’s election by Awami League, the then West Pakistan did not hand over the power to the East Pakistan and then the father of the nation Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh in 26th March and on his behalf Major Ziaur Rahman read the declaration which was telecasted by Kalur ghat Radio Station and this created a special situation in the country.
In the mean time on 25th March the Pakistani Military drove a steam roller of oppression among Bengali people. Afterwards Police, EPR, Bengali soldiers and the mass people of Bangladesh made a strong defense against that oppression. When mass people of Bangladesh started making strong defense Pakistani Army started shelling over Halishohor (an area of Chittagong) on EPR and Sholoshohor (an area of Chittagong) on Bengali soldiers. They brought tanks from cantonment and attacked on Bengali soldiers in Halishohor. After continuous attack the Bengali soldiers did not stand and they started retreating back towards Chakbazar (another area of Chittagong). The soldiers took their position from Medical College to Kapasgola Girls’ High school. After doing a heavy fight they were compelled to go back to Balurghat (another area of Chittagong).
At that time I returned to my Chakbazar’s house. I lived there in a rented house and my father was a teacher of Chittagong University. In 3rd April Bengali soldiers took the possession of the city. In the name of searching, they set fire on various localities, caught people and killed people. We saw many dead bodies on the road of Chittagong district. Afterwards I tried to leave Chakbazar and to communicate with those who were fighting freedom fighters and I tried to help them. Then I made a decision in my mind that I would help those freedom fighters who returned to the country after taking training. Then two months passed. In the middle of June, a young man came to me named Siddique and told me that he heard my name from his friends that I would help him. He informed me that he took training from ‘Hit & Run’ institute. After hearing him I understood that it’s my time to help them and work with them. I made a group with him taking another 2 persons named Syed Wahidul Alam and Siraj in Nandan Kanan area. We made our camp on a half burnt house in Hathajari area. I said it a half burnt house because before that Pakistani Army set fire on all houses in Hathajari area. Using that house we stared giving help to those people who were working in favor of freedom fighters. Suddenly we were disconnected from Siddique. He stopped coming to our camp.
On 5th July we were waiting for Siddique from afternoon suddenly at evening we heard ‘Hands Up’ but prior to this we heard the sound of coming a Jeep. Looking on window we saw that Pakistani soldiers were pointing their gun (Chinese Rifle) on us and they wore their uniform. Along with them there were three or four smart boys wearing civilian dresses. At gunpoint they fastened our hand tightly around our backs and pulled us onto the Jeep. We saw that there was another Jeep and there were lots of Pakistani soliders on it. We reached Goods Hill after about 5/6 minutes though the distance from Hathajari to Good Hills was one or one and half kilometers.
After reaching Goods Hill the smart boys who were with that operation stepped up from the Jeep and shouted with joy saying, ‘mission successful’. I saw there was another 15/20 people like us waiting in the garden. We three were taken into the house. There I saw 10/15 familiar leaders. I saw there Mr. Fazlul Kader Chowdhury who wore Kurta and Pajama and a Zinnah cap. When we three were taken to him and, suddenly he got very excited and said that, ‘you are freedom fighter’? Then he held me very tightly and punched me on my face and told that, ‘You said Joybangla and the Hindus wave their tale of Dhuti. (Dhuti is a kind of clothing and waving its tale is the sign of expressing joy)’. Then he ordered his people to beat us. I personally respected him very much but after this incident his image changed to me. Then we were separated. I was taken to a small room and torture was started on me. They hit me by a rubber coated cane and asked me different questions. And this continued for two or three hours. Then I was brought into a drawing room beside this small room for a while. In that room a young boy aged 18 or 19 years old and a teenager girl came and teased me. It seemed to me that I was brought to them as an exhibition. I was again brought to that small room and people in civil dress started torturing me again. I was tortured from 7.30 to till midnight.
From the conversation of those who tortured me, I came to know that amongst those who brought me to Goods Hill was the son of Mr. Fazlul Kader Chowdhury. Afterwards I came to know that he was Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. (Afterwards, I wrote this in different newspapers and other people also wrote this.) After that I was taken to a garage. I saw my two friends in a very injured condition. My hands were fastened so tightly that I couldn’t sit normally. I saw that my whole body was injured severely because of torture. Then each and every moment I spent there seemed to me like a year.
In the next morning, though no Bengali from Goods hill brought breakfast for me a Punjabi soldier did which was one porata (kind of bread) and tea. It was like heavenly breakfast for me. They untied my hand but I was unable to hold the bread and eat so I was kept hungry for all the day long. In next evening I was again taken to that small room and they tortured and interrogated me again and again. Then they brought me and my other two friends to the Army Camp of Stadium by a Jeep. There also I was tortured. One of us Sayed Wahidul Alam was set free by them for reason unknown. In the evening of 13th, I and Siraj were brought to the Cantonment. The chief of that cantonment was Major Gajanfar. He also interrogated me and tortured me. Around 11/12 pm we were taken in the Jail by a truck. I stayed there till 18 November. In Jail I was in a condemned cell. At last in 16 December our country got independence. Today Mr. S. Q. Chawdhury is present and I gave my evidence to the I.O. earlier.
Cross Examination by the defence lawyer Ahsanul Haque started
Defence: Did you file any suit for the torture which was done at 1971?
Witness: No, I didn’t.
Defence: The writer of the book named ‘Bangali Jatiyotabadi shongram, muktijuddhe chottogram’ do you know him?
Witness: Yes, I know him.
Defence: Did you read that book?
Witness: No, I didn’t.
Defence: In that book there were some thing else said.
Witness: It’s not true.
Defence: Who was the head of the institution Hit & Run?
Witness: I don’t know.
Defence: Is Mr. Siddique alive?
Witness: I do not know.
Defence: Another name for Sayed Wahhidur Rahman was, ‘Julu pagla’ is that true?
Witness: Yes it is.
Defence: There was a MP named Sayed Wahidur Rahman in Chittagong, is that true?
Witness: Yes, it is.
Defence: Do you know advocate Mridul Guha?
Witness: Not by name.
Defence: Do you know the place Ajijnogor?
Witness: I heard the name.
Defence: Dr. Sadeq, Dr. Nowshad, Shopon, Rahim, Mridul Guha you all were caught with arms in 71, is that true?
Witness: No, It’s not true.
Defence: Ajijuddin Ltd was under non-Bengali control?
Witness: Might be.
Defence: Were you caught with arms?
Witness: When I was caught from our camp, after searching two grenades and one Revolver was found by them.