Courtesy: The Daily Star
War crimes tribunal finds him guilty of 8 out of 20 charges, hands death for 2 offences
Ending all speculations, the first war crimes tribunal yesterday sentenced Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee to death in its maiden verdict almost three years after its formation.
The 73-year-old Jamaat-e-Islami nayeb-e-ameer was found guilty of murder, abduction, confinement, torture, rape, persecution, and abetment of torture, looting, forceful religious conversions and setting homes ablaze in rural areas of southern district Pirojpur during the Liberation War.
While thousands of people, ignoring the Jamaat-called hartal, gathered at Shahbagh in the capital yesterday and celebrated the verdict, Jamaat and student body Islami Chhatra Shibir sent a wave of violence across the country that claimed at least 33 lives.
The judgment turned the spotlight on the nine-month-long war in which the Pakistani army along with its collaborators had killed three million Bangalees, raped more then two lakh women, and about 10 million people had to flee to India as refugees and millions more were displaced internally.
In the verdict, the judges of the International Crimes Tribunal-1 said, “The road to freedom for the people of Bangladesh was arduous and torturous, smeared with blood, toil and sacrifices. In the contemporary world history, perhaps no nation paid as dearly as the Bangalees did for their emancipation.”
Sayedee was brought to the dock around 11:10am and the tribunal judges started reading out the 56-page verdict summery after giving a preface, in which it was said that the Sayedee of 1971 was being tried, not the MP Sayedee or the Sayedee known for his religious sermons or the political leader Sayedee.
Then 30-year-old grocer Sayedee was not involved in politics during the war. He could speak Urdu well as, he obtained the Alim degree from madrasa. He welcomed the Pakistani army at Parerhat Bazar of Pirojpur.
He formed the local Peace Committee and subsequently as a member of Razakar force (auxiliary force of the Pakistan army) he actively participated in the atrocities committed by the Pakistani army and Razakar force targeting civilians, the Hindu community and pro-liberation people, the court said.
Later in life, Sayedee started delivering religious sermons (waaz) in and outside the country. He has a few thousand fans. He used titles like “Allama” and “Moulana” before his name. He was elected member of parliament twice, in 1996 and 2001. He had joined Jamaat and became a top leader of the party.