PW-7 tells ICT: Qaiser carried out operation in Habiganj

UNB, Dhaka:
A prosecution witness on Sunday accused Syed Mohammad Qaiser and his private forces, in collaboration with the occupation Pakistan army, of carrying out the operation in Habiganj burning down the houses and shops and establishments on April 30 during the Liberation War.
“During the operation, the perpetrators had also looted the shops and houses,” recalled PW-7 Shah Hassan Ali while giving testimony against accused Qaiser before the International Crimes Tribunal-2.
The houses belonged to the local leaders of Awami League and the Hindu community, he said.
The PW also said that immediately after the incident, about 200 families living in Barabahula of Mokambari were shifted to further remote areas.
In the last week of May in 1971, Qaiser along with his cohorts (Qaiser Bahini), members of Jamaat-e-Islami and Razakars convened a meeting of locals at a primary school asking the guardians of freedom fighters to surrender their sons along
with their arms to them, said Hassan Ali. Qaiser had also told the gathering that if anyone fails to do so, he along with his family will be killed and their houses will be burned down, he added.
“My father Shah Firoz Ali declined to attend the meeting although my brother Shah Hossain Ali was engaged in Liberation War,” the PW said.
“On June 12 during the Liberation War, accused Qaiser again convened a meeting at the Habiganj house of Barek Muktar, a Muslim League leader, with the members of Peace Committee (collaborator) and decided to capture the ‘defaulter’ guardians of freedom fighters, including my father.”
“In the afternoon of the following day, on June 13, a group of Razakars picked up my father from our house by applying force and left the scene with a rickshaw and later dumped him into the lock-up at Habiganj Police Station where he was tortured during the whole night,” said Hassan Ali.
“Finally, my father was handed over to the Pakistan occupation army on June 14. My captured father was initially taken to Shaistaganj Dak Bungalow army camp, escorted by two jeeps accompanying accused Qaiser and his sidekicks,” he said.
The PW further told the tribunal that later, “my father along with other detainees” had been sent to Srimongal from where nobody returns alive as locals informed.”
“After a frantic search in different areas, we did not find the bullet-riddled body of my father,” he lamented.
Besides, the PW said, on July 16 in the night, Solaiman Razakar and Qaiser forces jointly swooped on their house and captured his freedom fighter brother by breaking open the door and he was released after 25 days.