DHAKA: Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretaries-general Muhammad Qamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Mollah were held Tuesday at the High Court gate for their alleged crimes during 1971 Liberation War in what happens to be the first arrest of prominent politicians on war-crime charges of late.
Police picked up Quader Mollah at 4:10pm and Qamaruzzaman at 6:05 in a murder case filed against them with Pallabi Thana, reports banglanews24.com.bd staff reporter Jakia Ahmed direct from the scene.
Mollah was caught when he came out after appearing in a case hearing and whisked away to DB office.
In the meantime, Zaman took shelter in barrister Abdur Razzak’s office at the High Court to evade arrest. “But the police lying in wait held him while he was leaving the court in the evening,” the report says, quoting witnesses.
The two Jamaat leaders were leaving the court that earlier in the day directed government “not to harass” them in two other criminal cases until further order.
Qamaruzzaman told reporters at the court, “Despite court order, police arrested us. The government must pay for it.”
Deputy commission of police Krishna Pada Roy and additional deputy commission Syed Nurul Islam of Ramna Zone told journalists separately on the High Court premises that both were arrested on “specific allegations” against them.
A division bench comprising Justice Afzal Hossain Ahmed and Justice MA Hafiz passed the orders upon two separate petitions for bail in two cases.
The cases were filed against them on charges of obstructing police from discharging their duties and the killings during the ‘71 Liberation War. The cases were filed with Shahbagh police station on June 29 and Keraniganj police station on December 17, 2007.
The two leaders of Jamaat were arrested in a case filed for the 1971 genocide. On January 25, 2008, a freedom fighter, Amir Hossain Mollah, filed the case with Pallabi Thana accusing some 80 persons for killings and arson attacks during the 1971 Liberation War.
Already arrested Jamaat chief Matiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary-General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid are also accused in the case, but they are detained in other cases.
Matiur, Mojahid and Jamaat Nayeb-e-Ameed Delwar Hossain Sayedee were placed on a total of 16 days` remand in five cases a day after they were arrested on June 29 on charge of hurting Muslim religious sentiments.
The two arrests on charges of wartime crimes were made at a time when the present government has formed war crimes tribunal and made budgetary allocation for trying war criminals on charges of “crimes against humanity” as per its election pledge.
BDST: 1924HRS, July 13, 2010