Mir Quasem’s verdict any day

05 May 2014 bdnews24.com


Bangladesh's second war crimes tribunal is expected to deliver a verdict in Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali's case any day now.Justice Obaidul Hassan-led ICT-2 finished hearing the arguments on Sunday. Mir Quasem was indicted on Sept 5 last year on 14 charges including murder, abduction and torture. Founder of the Ibn Sina Trust and an owner of Diganta Media, Mir Quasem is said to have been third in Al-Badr militia command structure during the 1971 Liberation War.He allegedly was a key leader of Chittagong's Al Badr unit and also featured prominently in the national Al Badr structure.He is a director of the Islami Bank and director of the non-government organisation, Rabita al-Alam al-Islami. The Jamaat leader is also said to be one of the top financiers of the party. He is the chairman of the Diganta Media Corporation, regarded as a pro-Jamaat media house.Mir Quasem was arrested on June 17 last year from the Naya Diganta newspaper office in less than two hours of the tribunal issuing a warrant of arrest. Later the tribunal sent him to jail.The prosecution on May 16 had filed the charges against the Jamaat leader and the tribunal on May 26 had taken the charges into cognisance.The 14 charges levelled against Mir Quasem include murder, abduction, torture and massacre.Crimes against humanity including murder, massacre, rape and loot were rampant in Chittagong and Mir Quasem allegedly had played a leading role in them. There are also allegations that he ordered the massacre and murders at the Razakar camps there.Mir Quasem, who is from Manikganj's Harirampur, was better known as 'Mintu' to the people of Chittagong during the war. He was associated with the Islami Chhatra Sangha during his college days.Later he became the President of the Islami Chhatra Sangha's Chittagong unit and General Secretary of its East Pakistan unit.Al-Badr members and Razakars had set up torture centres in Dalim Hotel at Andarkilla, leather depot at Asadganj and in Salma Monjil at Panchlaish in the port city.He is also accused of preparing a list of the intellectuals who were murdered towards the end of the Liberation War. The intellectuals were killed on Dec 14, 1971, only two days before the victory.After independence, Mir Quasem had fled to Saudi Arabia and returned to Bangladesh only after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of the members of Bangabandhu's family were brutally killed on Aug 15, 1975.Later, when Chhatra Sangha rechristened itself as Islami Chhatra Shibir on February 6, 1977, he became its founding President.

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