Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yahya hinted attack on India 10 days before

About 10 days before the 1971 war broke out between India and Pakistan, the then Pakistan president Yahya Khan had indicated to an American journalist his intentions of attacking India, say declassified Indian External Affairs Ministry documents.

After taking a few drinks with Bob Sharpley, a correspondent of New Yorker magazine, Yahya told him that he would be “at the front within 10 days”, according to the documents declassified recently, our New Delhi correspondent reports.

Yahya's word, apparently made unwittingly, came true when Pakistan launched air attacks on military targets in northwest India in the evening of December 3, 1971. 

Shortly afterwards, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said the air strikes were declaration of war on the country. At midnight the same day, India launched an integrated ground, sea and air strike of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. 

Attacks were also launched against West Pakistan. 

The then American Ambassador to India Kenneth Barnard Keating called on Indian Foreign Secretary TN Kaul in New Delhi the next day to discuss the situation. During the meeting he mentioned how Yahya Khan had told Bob Shapley that Pakistan would be at war with India within the next 10 days, the documents showed. 

“They (Shapley and Khan) were returning from a party and the President had taken a few drinks when Bob asked him that he would like to see him again. President Yahya Khan said that he would be happy to see him, to which the correspondent replied that he would ring him up within 10 days. To this President Yahya Khan said that he may be at the front by that time so he had better make it very soon,” Keating told Kaul.
On December 6, 1971 India recognised Bangladesh as an independent state. 

Ten days later, on December 16, the Pakistani forces in the East surrendered unconditionally to the Indian army that led Indira Gandhi to announce a unilateral ceasefire on December 17 and cherish the military victory.

ICT receives formal charge against Kamaruzzaman

Prosecution submitted the formal charges against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman to the International Crimes Tribunal on Sunday in connection with his alleged crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.

Prosecutors Saiful Islam and Nurjahan Begum Mukta submitted the formal charges to the registrar of the tribunal citing 10 counts of alleged crimes against Kamaruzzaman during the 1971 Liberation War.

The tribunal may fix a date on Sunday for its decision whether it will take the charges into cognisance.

Earlier on December 28 last year, the tribunal sent the formal charges against Kamaruzzaman and Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed back to the prosecution as they were not classified and organised properly.

It asked the prosecution to resubmit the formal charges against Kamaruzzaman by January 12 rearranging and reclassifying the charges.But the prosecution missed the deadline.

Lokman killing: Minister’s brother surrenders

Salauddin Ahmed Bachchu, the prime accused in Narsingdi municipal mayor Lokman Hossain killing and younger brother of the telecommunications minister, was remanded shortly after he and four others had surrendered before a Narsingdi court Sunday.

The four other defendants are: businessman Monowar Hossain Khan Moyeen, former municipality mayor late Manik’s younger brother Amir Hossain Amu and son Mamun and ex-commissioner late Kabir Mia's brother Hiron. 

Our Narsingdi correspondent reported that the five surrendered before the court of Narsingdi Chief Judicial Magistrate Nitai Chandra Saha around 10:30am and sought bail.

After holding hearing on the appeals, the court turned down their bail prayers.

The prosecution, meantime, requested the court for a 10-day remand for each of the accused.

The court later placed Bachchu, Amu and Mamun on a one-day remand each and sent Moyeen and Hiron to jail.

The prosecution was directed to interrogate the two at the jail gate.

While the proceedings were continuing, Bachchu’s supporters brought out a procession on the court premises and chanted slogans demanding cancellation of the case against Bachchu.

Two time gold medallist mayor of Narsingdi municipality Lokman Hossain succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital three hours after criminals shot him at the town Awami League office on Sadar Road on November 1 last year.

According to the first information report (FIR), Posts and Telecommunications Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju's brother Bachchu and nine others hatched the murder plot and ordered four other people to kill Lokman.

Mamunur Rashid Mandal, investigation officer (IO) of the Lokman murder case, told The Daily Star that so far 24 accused have been arrested in this connection.

Of the accused, 10 confessed their involvement with the killing before the court.

In a recent development, Lokman's widow Nusrat Tamanna Bubli expressed her doubt about the fair investigation.

She alleged that the law enforcers have been arresting the people who have no link with the killing in a bid to help the prime accused to stay out of jail.