A Dhaka tribunal on Monday granted conditional bail to war crimes suspect Syed Mohammad Qaisar, a former state-minister for agriculture.
Qaisar, 73, was a state minister of military dictator HM Ershad’s regime and leader of Peace Committee, an auxiliary force of the then Pakistan army, according to the prosecution.
He is accused of committing crimes against humanity in Habiganj during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
The three-member tribunal granted the bail on some conditions after holding hearing on the bail petition.
According to the conditions, Qaisar will have to surrender his passport, if he has any, to the registrar office of the tribunal.
He will not be allowed to contact to media or any political leaders.
He also need permission to go outside of Dhaka and to change his present Banani residence, the condition added.
“If any of these conditions is violated, the bail will be cancelled automatically,” said Justice Obaidul Hassan, chairman of the three-panel International Crimes Tribunal-2.
Qaisar was arrested and sent to jail on May 21 after the tribunal issued arrest warrant against him.
The investigation agency, designated to probe the war crimes, started an enquiry against Qaisar on March 28, 2012, and received “sufficient evidence” against him.
Qaisar, of Itakhola under Madhabpur Police Station of Habiganj, is the son of late Syed Sayed Uddin Ahmed, according to the prosecution and investigation agency.
Even though Sayed Uddin and Qaisar’s maternal uncle Abu Rashid Manjur Ali were elected member of East Pakistani Provincial Assembly with Convention Muslim League ticket, Qaisar took part in 1970′s election as an independent candidate.
After the Pakistani army entered Habiganj, he formed “Qaisar Force” comprising 500-700 of his henchmen.
His force allegedly committed genocide, murder, rape, arson, looting and had forced people of other religions to convert to Islam during the 1971 war of independence.
At the latter part of the Liberation War, he fled to London and returned to the country after 1975.
Qaisar, as an independent candidate, was elected in 1979′s election, joined BNP and subsequently became the president of Habiganj BNP, agency sources said, adding that he joined Jatiya Party in 1986 and became the state minister for agriculture in 1989.
He took part in 2001′s election with Jatiya Party ticket but a staff of Jatiya Party chairman’s office earlier claimed that Qaisar has not been involved in Jatiya Party since 1990.
Source: The Daily Star