Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rumours Go Around On Ghulam Azam’s Possible Arrest On 16 Dec

The prosecution of International Crimes Tribunal will submit formal charges against top war crime suspect Ghulam Azam on Monday and seek a warrant for his arrest, sources involved in the process said.

The government has kept its law enforcing agencies alert so that the top collaborator of the Pakistan occupation army cannot evade arrest, possibly on the night of December 15, provided the prosecution secures arrest warrant from the tribunal by this time.

A group of prosecutors and a member of the investigation agency were busy to fine-tune the papers of formal charges at the prosecution's office in the old High Court building in the city last evening.

"We are almost prepared to submit formal charges along with a petition for arrest warrant. We are scrutinising the pros and cons of what we are going to submit to the tribunal," a prosecutor told daily sun on Saturday.

"It is a big thing in the history of Bangladesh . &hellip.. we have taken it seriously so that our petition is not rejected. We hope to submit it on December 12," the prosecutor said requesting that his name is not mentioned in the report.

Ghulam Azam (far left) can be seen meeting with Pakistani military commanders Gen. Tikka Khan (second from right) and Lt-Gen. Rao Farman Ali (second from left) in 1971.
Investigation Officer Motiur Rahman Chowdhury said that the investigation agency felt it necessary to arrest Ghulam Azam, the then ameer of East Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami, to put him on trial and so pleaded for steps to arrest him while submitting charges to the prosecution on November 1.

State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam also said it categorically that the former Jamaat chief will be arrested before December 16.

While speaking at a discussion meeting on "War Crimes Trial: Impediments by the Opposition and Our Resistance" at Dhaka Reporters' Unity on Saturday, he said that formal charges against Ghulam Azam would be submitted within two or three days.

He also revealed that more tribunals would be constituted to speed up the war crimes trial.

Ghulam Azam (left) is photographed with the then Awami League president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (right) as East Pakistani politicians sat together to chalk out plans in face of the then military junta's reluctance to hand over power to the elected representatives in 1970.
According to sources, the government does not want to arrest Ghulam Azam on other charges and then to show him arrested on war crime charges as he is aged. If Ghulam is arrested without any specific charge against him his followers may try to draw people's sympathy.

The government may keep him confined to his own house announcing it a sub-jail, a highly placed source said on condition of anonymity.

The name of Ghulam Azam came repeatedly in the other inquiry reports also. He was in the forefront in the formal charges pressed against Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Saydee.

According to the investigation report filed Against Ghulam Azam, he led formation of the so called 'Peace Committees' which helped the Pakistani occupation forces in committing atrocities countrywide during the Liberation War in 1971.

He had asked his followers to crush the pro-independence and peace loving people of Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971, fortnightly secret reports of the then government of East Pakistan reveals.