FF Jahur says 400 villagers were killed on Nizami’s order

Staff Correspondent

Freedom fighter Md Jahurul Haque on Thursday testified that the Pakistani occupation army and its local collaborators killed about 400 innocent civilians in village Rupshi Baushgari under Santhia in Pabna on May 14, 1971, on orders from detained Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami.
Jahur testified in the International Crimes Tribunal-1 as the 18th prosecution witness against the accused.
He recalled that just after Fazar prayer on May 14, 1971 he suddenly woke up hearing endless gun shot sounds and advanced towards the road.
He said he was then the headmaster of Rajnarayanpur Girls’ School at Bera in Pabna.
Jahur said that from behind roadside bush he saw Pakistan occupation army troops, accompanied by Nizami, Asad, Kader, Sattar and other collaborators were advancing southward opening indiscriminate firing.
He said, he and other fellow freedom fighters immediately fled towards the eastern side of the village.
Jahur, 68, said he comes from village Haria under Santhia.
Now he is the commander-in charge of Santhia thana command of Bangladesh Muktijodhdha Sangsad.
He said that on return to the village six or seven hours later, he and the other freedom fighters found the bodies of about 400 innocent villagers, both men and women, lying scattered on the roadside.
Jahur recalled that the eyewitnesses told him that Pakistan army troops and their local collaborators assembled and killed the villagers on orders from Nizami and in his presence.
He said that he could identify the bodies of 50 to 60 villagers.
Nizami was in the dock.
Jahur said that later he came to know that Nizami, the then president of Jamaat’s student wing Islami Chattra Sangha, along with 10 or 12 local collaborators went to Ruposhi Primary School on May 10, 1971 and held discussions with the headmaster and other locals the matter of organizing Peace Committee and Razakar and Al-Badr Bahinis.
‘He ordered everyone to assist Pakistan army,’ he said.
He said that Nizami and Ishak Moulana along with 100 to 150 Razakar and Al-Badr Bahini men on May 11 or 12, 1971 opened the Razakar camp at Santhia Pilot High School.
‘Nizami, in his opening speech, said that the freedom fighters and pro-liberation people d have to be killed,’ he said.
He said that he heard this from many people including Santhia Pilot High School teacher Md Tofazzel Hossain.
The lawyers on two sides entered into altercation as the witness by mistake mention Nizami as ‘Mawlana Nizamuddin’ and said he maintained close contact with Pakistan army in Pabna.
Justice Jahangir Hossain, who chaired the session in absence of the presiding judge asked the two sides to cool down.

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