Dhaka, Oct.11: The Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University, A.A.M.S Arefin Siddique, has expressed that war crimes or crimes against humanity should not go unpunished, and added that the perpetrators of 1971 war should be booked and given strict punishment.
In an interview with Asian News International here, Siddique said that strict action is necessary against people involved in the genocide that took place over four decades ago.
“This crime against humanity, the crime against common people, this cannot go unpunished. So, along with the entire population of Bangladesh, we expect this trial will be conducted and after this trial the criminal will be given punishment after thorough investigation and those people who are involved in crime against humanity should get punishment. So, this sort of genocide, this sort of mass killing, we don’t want like to see this sort of genocide and mass killing in future,” said Siddique.
The war crimes tribunal, which was set up last year, requires wrapping up investigations of all those who were accused, as the government aims to finish their trials before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s five-year term ends. She took charge of office in early 2009.
The Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s biggest Islamic political party and its close ally the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party alleges that the tribunal takes orders from the government.
Siddique alleged that people from Bangladesh were involved in these crimes and they should be identified and brought to book.
“It is long over due, three million people were killed back in 1971 and with this killing people of this country were involved,” said Siddique.
Siddique said convicts should be punished as per international laws and regulations.
“What we expect that law should take its own course and they should be punished according to international law and regulations,” said Siddique.
Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, gained independence with India’s help in December 1971, following a nine-month war against Pakistan. Around 3 million people were killed and thousands of women raped.
The Islamist groups in Bangladesh want to scrap “secularism” as a state principle in the Muslim-majority country.
The former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami party and country’s top Islamist leader, Golam Azam, was also sent to jail to await trial on charges of war crimes and abetting the Razakars who supported the tyranny of Pakistan Army on locals.
The 90-year-old leader is facing trial for helping the Pakistani Army during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.
The Jamaat-e-Islami, opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan and fought with the Pakistani army in what was then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. They were allegedly involved in war crimes and have thousands of militant followers, including in the defence forces, analysts say.
Dozens of other Jamaat leaders, including its chief Moulana Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary-general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid are already in prison, accused of war crimes.
Official Bangladesh records show three million people were killed by the Pakistan army and their local collaborators during the nine-month war that ended in December 1971, heralding the birth of Bangladesh.
Court officials said Sayedi was the first to be formally charged with war crimes, and others would be charged soon. (ANI)