By Syeda Munawara Qazi
Dhaka, Bangladesh: Another leader of extremist religious party of Bangladesh has been sentence to death by a special war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh for committing murders and rapes, including that of Hindu women, during the independence war against Pakistan in 1971. Special war crime courts are being criticized for political victimization in Bangladesh by religious parties.
Forkan Mallik who was leader of was Jamaat-e-Islami party in year 1971 is now 65 year old.
He has been given death on two charges: rape and murder of a Hindu woman, and abduction and rape of a woman and murder of three including the father of the victim. .
“The End of Al-Badr outfit in Bangladesh as Forkan Mallik who was leader Jamaat-e-Islami party in year 1971 and local commander of Al-Badr was sentenced to death on Thursday. He is now 65 year old.His sentence is controversial but the role of Al-Badr in killing people can not be denied”, said Bangladeshi anti govt newspapers
The three-member tribunal concluded the proceedings of the case against Forkan on June 14 and tabled his judgment. Sabina Yasmin Munni, a member of the tribunal’s prosecution team, said the verdict reflected the wish of the nation and that she and her colleagues were satisfied with the court’s order.
The two special tribunals have handed down death penalties to over 15 people since year 2010. Jamaat-e-Islami allegedly played a role of irregular Army of the then Pakistan Army in former East Pakistan under the banners of Al-Bard and Al-Shams outfits during 1970-71.
Legal circles of Bangladesh are calling Special war crime courts as “Kangroo Courts” adding that sentences are being given without following procedures and rules and witnesses are forged and engineered as events of crime were taken place in 1971. However, victims who are still alive claim that they would never forget the faces of those who killed their parents or raped them.
Al-Badr along with Al-Shams and Razakars are held responsible for conducting a mass killing campaign against Bengali nationalists before and during 1971 in former East Pakistan.
The group was banned by the first Bangladeshi government. Newspaper coverage from that period indicates that it was an organ of the Razakar para-military force. Jamaat-e-Islami was the largest Islamic party in Pakistan at that time. Al-Badr, was a close ally of then then Pakistan army.