DHAKA, Jan 3 (BSS) - A witness in the case against Jamaat-e- Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi today alleged that several gruesome crimes against humanity were committed in Pararhat area of Pirojpur district during the War of Liberation.
Altaf Hossain Howlader, a resident of Tangrakhali village of Pararhat, who appeared before the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) as the ninth witness, said Sayeedi alias Delwar Hossain Sikder along with his associates received the Pakistan army on May 7, 1971 in Pararhat bazaar.
"Five or six days before arrival of Pakistani army in Pararhar area, Sayeedi alias Delwar Hossain Sikder along with his followers Sikander Sikder, Muslam Mowlana, Danesh Mollah and some others formed 'peace committee' and 'Razakar Bhahini' as the auxiliary force of Pakistani army," the witness stated in his deposition.
"Razakar Bhahini under Sayeedi's leadership with the help of the army looted at least 35 houses and shops at Pararhat bazaar in Pirojpur, which were owned mainly by members of the Hindu community and supporters of Awami League," he said.
"They set up a 'Razakar camp' by occupying a building, whose owner was one Fakir Das in Pararhat area and the Pakistani army set up a camp in Rajlakshmi School," Howlader said.
On June 2, 1971 the Razakar Bhahini set fire to 18 to 20 houses in Umedpur Hindupara area, the witness said.
The depositions as well as the cross-examinations of the witnesses are being recorded before the three-member International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) headed by Justice Nizamul Haque.
Sayeedi is the first accused, whose trial is being staged by recording the depositions and the cross-examinations of the witnesses for committing crimes against humanity during the country's War of Liberation in 1971.
After completion of deposition he identified Sayeedi in the accused dock.
The tribunal adjourned its proceedings till tomorrow.
Sayeedi was arrested on June 29 last year from his Dhaka residence.
The investigation agency submitted reports before the tribunal on July 11 and the tribunal took into cognizance 20 specific charges against Sayeedi on July 14.
Recording of the depositions of the witnesses was initiated on December 7.