“The killing had taken place in predominantly Hindu area Unasottarpara in Raozan of Chittagong district on April 13, 1971,” recalled Sujit Mohajan while giving depositions against the accused before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 as PW-31.
“On the fateful day, during the Liberation War, I was sitting on the verandah with my father Jagdish Chandra Mohajan and elder brother Ranjit Mohajan. After a few minutes, Pakistan army along with some locals marching from western direction swooped on the house amid a row with chanting slogans,” recalled Sujit.
Sujit told the tribunal that the army had captured his parents, wives of his brother and uncle. “Frightened, I hid under our granary beside the kitchen.”
The PW said the raiders had taken his father and brother to the bank of a pond owned by Khitish Mohajan. Meanwhile, the PW said that he had seen a huge number of people thronged the north side of the pond chanting slogans.
“Afterwards, about 4:30 to 5 pm, I heard heavy gunshots that continued at a stretch for 10-15 minutes.”
As the situation became calm, PW Sujit said he came out from the hideout and found the bullet-riddled bodies of his father and brother lying beside a tube-well. “Later, I had seen my mother, Manda Mohajan, alive with bullet wounds lying on a vacant land near the pond while about 60-70 corpses on the north side and some of them floating on the pond,” recollected Sujit.
The PW said two or three days after the mass killing, the decomposed bodies were buried by the neighbours.
“After my mother’s recovery from illness, I came to know from her that Salauddin Quader Chowdhury along with his associates was present during the army atrocities at our house on April 13, 1971,” said Sujit.
Later, the PW said he further came to know that on the same day apart from Unasottarpara similar operation had been carried out by the occupation army killing at least 150 minority people at different Hindu populated places, including Madhya Gahira, Kundeshwari, Jagatmollopara and Banikpara.
Before concluding the testimony, PW-31 Sujit Mohajan identified detained accused Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in the dock saying, “I didn’t know him earlier, now I know him.”
After his deposition, the PW was cross-examined by the defence counsel, which remained inconclusive.
The BNP stalwart faces 23 counts of charges under different provisions of section 3 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
The charges include genocide in collaboration with Pakistan occupation army, killing, extermination of Hindu minority groups, deportation, persecution and abduction in Chittagong district.