New Delhi: Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal on Thursday sentenced six members of the infamous paramilitary force ‘Razakar Bahini’ to death for collaborating with the Pakistani Army for “crimes against humanity” during the 1971 Liberation War. The three-member tribunal headed by Justice Mohammad Shahinur Islam delivered the verdict.
“They shall be hanged by neck until their death,” Islam pronounced, with five of the convicts faced the trial in person, while one convict was tried in absentia.
The six accused include Amjad Hossain Howladar, Sahar Ali Sardar, Atiyar Rahman, Motachim Billah, Kamal Uddin Goldar, and Nazrul Islam. Of them, Nazrul Islam is absconding.
The convicts were present on the dock as the judgment was delivered after which they were brought to Dhaka Central Jail.
“All the six convicts were charged on four counts of crimes against humanity,” prosecution lawyer Mokhlesur Rahman told reporters.
The tribunal officials said the six convicted were members of the infamous “Razakar Bahini,” an East Pakistani paramilitary force affiliated to the Pakistan Army.
All the six hailed from southwestern Khulna district, and carried out atrocities such as mass killings, arsons and tortures, the tribunal said.
The prosecution lawyers said they were satisfied with the verdict while the defence counsels said they planned to challenge the verdict at the apex Appellate Division of the Supreme Court after consultations with their clients.
The Sheikh Hasina government had set up the war crimes tribunal in 2010 to look into the atrocities committed by Pakistani forces and local collaborators during the 1971 war.
The tribunal has handed down death penalties in most of the cases they disposed of so far while in few cases the convicts were jailed “until death” in view of their old ages.
The tribunal delivered its first judgment on January 21, 2013 handing down death penalty to Abul Kalam Azad aka Bachchu Razakar, who managed to flee the country ahead of the trial proceedings.
According to official estimates, three million people were killed and at least two lakh women raped and another 10 million displaced by Pakistani troops and their Bengali-speaking collaborators during the 1971 Liberarion War, which led to the then East Pakistan seceding and becoming an independent country known as Bangladesh.
(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)