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Nizami deserves death penalty, gets it

13 Jan 2016

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A four-member top appeals court bench led by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty given to Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami, charged for arms trafficking and 1971war crimes against humanity. The 72-year old Nizami will be hanged if the case is not reviewed by the Supreme Court that has already rejected his appeal, or, if he does not get Presidential clemency.

He will walk the gallows primarily for leading the marauding Pakistani forces in wiping out the emerging nation’s intelligentsia. Earlier, he was given the death penalty in 2014 in Chittagong’s sensational 10-truck arms haul case.

 

Realizing that there was no scope for defending Nizami against whom there were irrefutable evidence of war crimes, Nizami’s counsel Khandakar Mahbub Hossen appealed to the Supreme Court on December 1, 2015 to commute his client’s death sentence to life-term jail if he is found guilty. This was obviously an admission of guilt.

 

International Crimes Tribunal -1 (ICT-1) awarded death penalty to Nizami on October 29, 2014 for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. He was involved in committing genocide, systematic murder of intellectuals, conspiracy to commit killings and rapes. While delivering verdict the ICT judge said that death was the only fitting punishment for the horrendous crimes Nizami committed.
Nizami  masterminded formation of the ruthless Al-Badr militia (Jamaat’s secret death squad) that unleashed terror during the 1971 war, killed unarmed civilians, raped Bengali women and looted properties of the freedom fighters. Sensing Pakistan’s imminent defeat, the Al-Badr militia systematically rounded up, tortured and killed the nation’s brightest luminaries in order to intellectually cripple the yet-to-be born Bangladesh. Nizami was at the forefront of Al-Badr militia that played the role of an auxiliary force of the occupying Pak army in 1971.

 

International Crimes Tribunal -1 (ICT-1) awarded death penalty to Nizami on October 29, 2014 for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. He was involved in committing genocide, systematic murder of intellectuals, conspiracy to commit killings and rapes. While delivering verdict the ICT judge said that death was the only fitting punishment for the horrendous crimes Nizami committed. 

 

Apart from killing freedom fighters and supporters of liberation movement of 1971, the objective of ideological warfare waged by Nizami-led Al-Badr militia was to Islamize Bangladesh. With this object in view the militia short listed the secular intellectuals, both Hindu and Muslim, and eliminated them. Horrifying stories of killing of intellectuals by Nizami and his Al-Badr militia were published in newspapers, both at home and abroad, during and after the liberation war.

 

Nizami directly participated in killing freedom fighters, torturing / maiming them, looting their properties and raping Bengali women. Jamaat and its then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha which was headed by Nizami converted to Al-Badr, historically known as anti-liberation force and actively collaborated with the Pakistani occupation army that committed nine month-long atrocities to thwart the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.

 

Nizami was also a top ranking Razakar, a force created by the ISI. Razakar were the predecessors of today’s Taliban. Although the term Razakar means volunteer in Arabic, in Bangladesh context it means traitors and collaborators of the occupation forces of Pakistan.

 

During the liberation war it was the Razakar who provided intelligence to the occupying Pakistani forces about the whereabouts of the freedom fighters and their supporters / sympathizers; abducted and killed them with the help of Pakistani forces in various army camps and killing zones; burnt their homes and looted their properties; kidnapped Bengali women, trafficked them to various Pakistan Army camps across the country; and raped countless women.

 

Nizami was responsible for inciting his cohorts and followers by means of public speeches or newspaper articles supporting the Pakistani occupying forces for their onslaught against the freedom fighters.

 

From the reports published in various issues of Jamaat’s own mouthpiece ‘Dainik Sangram’ in 1971 it is evident that Nizami used to deliver speeches to his followers giving wrong interpretation of Islam with the intent to incite young generation into countering freedom fighters and pro-liberation forces, treating them as enemies of Islam. In the context of the war, the wrong messages, namely, ‘Pakistan is the house of Allah’, ‘Hindus are enemies of Muslims’ and ‘Pakistan and Islam are one and indivisible’ were infused in the mind of the young people as truth. On being instigated by this propaganda in the name of Islamic ideology they committed horrendous atrocities in collaboration with the Pakistani forces.

Eminent war crimes researcher Shahriar Kabir has expressed the view that justice seekers were happy with the apex court verdict upholding death penalty handed down to war crimes mastermind Nizami, but they would have been happier if the apex court confiscated his wealth as well to compensate the victims and their hapless families.

 

Nizami fled the country after emergence of Bangladesh in 1971 but returned after killing of the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. Instead of getting punished for the heinous crimes committed by him, he was rehabilitated by the country’s first military dictator Gen Ziaur Rahman, founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Subsequently Nizami gained immense political power and went on to become a Minister during the BNP-led Four Party Alliance rule (2001-06). It is indeed shameful that he was given the chance to flaunt Bangladesh’s national flag on his car.

 

Eminent war crimes researcher Shahriar Kabir has expressed the view that justice seekers were happy with the apex court verdict upholding death penalty handed down to war crimes mastermind Nizami, but they would have been happier if the apex court confiscated his wealth as well to compensate the victims and their hapless families.




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