The son of Prof Munir Chowdhury, who was martyred just before the country’s independence, has said Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan were among those who took away his father on Dec 14, 1971.
Asif Munir Chowdhury Tonmoy made the statement on Thursday before the International Crimes Tribunal-2, headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan, in war crimes cases during the Liberation War in 1971.
Tonmoy, the second prosecution witness, in his testimony said: “My paternal uncle, mother and brother were sure after seeing Purbodehsh newspaper in 1972 that Al-Badr operation-in-charge Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and chief executor Ashrafuzzaman were directly involved in abduction, forced disappearance and killing of intellectuals, including my father.”
“My uncle Rousseau could identify them from the pictures on the newspaper that these two, among three or four youths, had taken away my father,” he added.
Tonmoy began giving his testimony against the two on Tuesday, when the tribunal adjourned the proceeding until Thursday, as Wednesday was fixed for delivering verdict in cases against Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed.
He gave an account of Munir Chowdhury’s abduction based on recollections of a time when he was four-year old.
He said he had heard about the incident from his mother, brother Mishuk Munir, and uncle Shamser Chowdhury Rousseau.
Tonmoy said three or four youths had come to his grandfather’s house at Central Road around 1 pm on Dec 14, 1971 in a microbus, whose windows were plastered with mud and roof covered by branches, and knocked on the gate.
He said: “My uncle Shamser Chowdhury Rousseau went to see who they were. Those standing outside asked him if was Munir Chowdhury? My uncle told them Munir Chowdhury was his elder brother. They then asked him to call my father.”
My father, clad in a ‘lungi’ and ‘panjabi’, came down from the first floor with my uncle. My mother came down with them.”
Tonmoy said: The youths told my father, ‘Sir, you will have to come with us.’ When my father asked if they had an arrest warrant, one of them held rifle behind my father.
My father looked at my uncle Rousseau and said, “Let me go.’ They then pushed my father towards the vehicle. That was the last time we saw my father,”
Tonmoy said his brother Mishuk Munir had seen everything from the first floor of the house.
He said Mishuk, who was killed in a road accident in 2011, had given an account of the incident to the investigating officer in the case.
Tonmoy said his uncles Rousseau and Prof Kabir Chowdhury had gone to the Rayerbazar killing ground on Dec 16, 1971 but failed to identify his father’s body from a decomposing heap of other slaughtered intellectuals.
Later, they learnt that several journalists, including Sirajuddin Hossain, ANM Golam Mostafa and Nizamuddin Ahmed, were also abducted between Dec 10 and 13.
Many more, including Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof Abul Khair, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Mortuza, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, Prof Anwar Pasha and Prof Rashedul Hassan, were also taken away on Dec 14.
Tonmoy said he met a person named ‘Delwar’ who survived the Rayerbazar killings. Delwar told him that he was held on Dec 4 and kept with other captives at the Mohammadpur Physical Training Centre camp where he heard of Munir Chowdhury and Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury and saw they had been tortured.
“We had heard that Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury had recognised Mueen-Uddin.”
After the testimony, state-appointed defence lawyers Abdus Shukur Khan and Salma Hai Tuni cross-examined Tonmoy.
Charges were framed against Mueen-Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman, who are living abroad, on June 24. The tribunal on June 4 ordered the beginning of the trial against them in absentia.
The tribunal on May 2 issued arrest warrants for them taking cognisance of the charges against them. Later a circular was published on two national daily asking them to surrender before the tribunal.
Source: Bd news24