Column
Justice finally caught up with Nizami

16 May 2016

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Forty five years after all the crimes against humanity Nizami committed to thwart the emergence of Bangladesh, justice finally caught up with him with his hanging on early hours of May 10. Nizami made every possible effort to make sure that Bangladesh never comes into being.

He 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 observed that death was the only fitting punishment for the heinous crimes Nizami committed 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 observed that death was the only fitting punishment for the heinous crimes Nizami committed in 1971. 

 

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 formed Al-Badr with the help of Pakistan Army. Historically known as anti-liberation force, Al-Badr had  actively collaborated with the Pakistani occupation army that committed nine month-long atrocities to thwart the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.

 

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.

 

According to evidence collected from intelligence reports of  1971, Nizami addressed a meeting of Jamaat student front Islami Chhatra Sangha in Jamalpur as the Chief Guest on June 14, 1971 and directed his activists to assist the Pakistani army to save ‘Islam and Pakistan’.

 

Nizami, who was the chief of Islami Chhatra Sangha in1971, wrote “Sacred land Pakistan is the home of Allah for establishing His rule” in an article published in the Jamaat mouthpiece ‘Sangram’. Nizami labeled the freedom fighters as ‘Khodadrohi’ (rebels against Allah). In the article he also wrote ‘The cowards (freedom fighters) who are against the almighty Allah have attacked the holy land of Allah (Pakistan)’. The daily ‘Sangram’ in its issue of September 15, 1971 quoted Nizami as saying: ‘Every true Muslim should assume the role of dedicated soldier of Islam and kill those who are hatching conspiracy against Pakistan, as conspiracy against Pakistan is conspiracy against Allah’.

 

He described the massacre of thousands of people and rape of Bengali women on the black night of 25 March 1971 by the marauding Pakistani forces as a ‘timely action by the Pakistan army to protect the country’. Nizami’s efforts to organize auxiliary forces of Pakistan army, including the Razakar and Al-Badr militias, and equip them with modern arms were reported in the contemporary issues of Jamaat mouthpiece ‘Sangram’.
When Nizami realized that defeat of Pakistan was imminent he and his cohorts picked up almost all the leading intellectuals and professionals of the erstwhile East Pakistan on December 14, 1971, just two days ahead of Victory Day, lined them up and killed them in brush fire with the help of occupying Pak forces. This was done intentionally to deprive the newly emerging country of able leadership. This day is the blackest day in the history of the country and observed as ‘Martyred Intellectuals Day’.

Nizami is the fifth war criminal to have been executed so far. Earlier, Jamaat leaders Abdul Quader Molla, Mohammad Kamruzzaman, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were executed for war crimes.

 

The Supreme Court while rejecting Nizami’s review petition says “All the crimes were extremely cruel and horrendous in nature. Not only the near and dear ones of the victims of these crimes were shocked but also the whole society was terribly shocked by the commission of these crimes. The whole society has been waiting for proper punishment of the perpetrators of these crimes for a long period”.

 

The war crimes mastermind 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 all 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 clout and went on to become a cabinet Minister during the BNP-led Four Party Alliance rule (2001-06). He flaunted Bangladeshi flag, dipped in blood of millions of martyrs, on his motor cars. This is shameful and has never happened in any other civilized country in the world.

 

Nizami is the fifth war criminal to have been executed so far. Earlier, Jamaat leaders Abdul Quader Molla, Mohammad Kamruzzaman, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were executed for war crimes.

 

Through the war crimes trial, the new generations of Bangladesh are being made aware of the extreme brutalities and distress inflicted on their forefathers and freedom fighters by the occupying Pak forces and their local collaborators and also the heavy cost paid by them during the Liberation war in 1971. The new generations are also being made aware of the gruesome consequences of the abuse of religion to justify heinous crimes. For victims of 1971 holocaust justice is finally delivered, though delayed.




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