All over East and West Pakistan, speculation was rife about a probable declaration of independence for Bangladesh by the Awami League chief, particularly against a background of the pressure he was under from his party and the students. Senior leaders of the party met at Bangabandhu's Dhanmondi 32 residence to weigh the pros and cons of what he would be stating on March 7. Meanwhile, East Pakistan was being administered through a series of directives from the Awami League. These directives were made public on behalf of the party by the party general secretary general Tajuddin Ahmed. Employees of state and private organisations had by March 6 demonstrated complete allegiance to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Dhaka station of Radio Pakistan had already been calling itself Dhaka Betar since March 5. It planned to broadcast live Bangabandhu's address at the Race Course on March 7.
regime were obviously concerned that unless such a move was made, the possibility of Mujib's declaring independence for Bangladesh the next day would become all the greater. However, in the course of his address, General Yahya Khan sounded indignant and clearly seemed to be pinning the blame for the crisis on the Awami League. He noted that his efforts to call a round table conference on March 10 had not been accepted. And he made it clear, in what sounded like a threat, that as long as he was in charge, the Pakistan armed forces would do everything in their power to uphold the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan. The speech predictably did not go On the day, President Yahya Khan went on the national hook-up in Rawalpindi again, this time to announce a convening of the National Assembly in Dhaka on March 25. He and the rest of the down well in East Pakistan. A significant development of the
Iinfamous as the Butcher of Baluchistan for his murderous operations against Baluch tribals in the early 1960s, as governor of East Pakistan. He would also be functioning as martial law administrator, zone B. The move came following the departure, in quick succession, of Admiral S.M. Ahsan from the position of governor and Lt. Gen. Sahibzada Yaqub Khan from the position of martial law administrator, zone B. Tikka Khan's efforts to be sworn in as governor would be thwarted by Chief Justice B.A. Siddiky's refusal to administer the oath of office to him against the background of an intensifying nationalist movement in Bangladesh.
The investigation agency for International Crimes Tribunal has found former Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam's involvement in genocides, rapes and tortures on the people of Rajshahi during the Liberation War in 1971.
The crimes against humanity proliferated in Rajshahi after Ghulam Azam gave provocative speeches abusing religion, said investigators Additional Superintendent of Police (SP) Motiur Rahman and Inspector Shyamol Chowdury.
The two investigators are visiting the north-western city probing war crime charges against Ghulam Azam.
Talking exclusively to The Daily Star, the investigators said they found evidence and witnesses who testified that Ghulam Azam ordered various heinous measures during a meeting with the member of Central Peace committee in the town.
The investigators, however, refrained from disclosing the names of the witnesses. They said before going to Rajshahi from Kushtia, they took a copy of Jamaat mouthpiece the Dainik Sangram of July 19, 1971 from Bangla Academy Library in Dhaka. The issue has a report on Ghulam Azam's Peace Committee meeting at the municipal hall in Rajshahi on July 8 with the committee's Rajshahi chairman Ayen Uddin in the chair, which the witnesses also confirmed. “There is nothing to prove that the Hindus are friends of the Muslims. They have always been holding the Muslims as rivals and killing Muslims has been a daily incident in India even after the separation,” Dainik Sangram quoted Azam as saying. The report also quoted him as saying, “The Hindus created divisions among the Muslims raising the question of Bangalee and non-Bangalee. Foundation of a nation with Hindus and Muslims is not possible unless the Muslims are separated over the language issue.”
Investigators Rahman and Chowdhury came to Rajshahi Friday afternoon and separately talked with researchers, historians, freedom fighters, journalists and relatives of martyrs. On Saturday, they visited nine spots of genocides, mass grave and Pakistani torture camps in Rajshahi city, Mugroil and Sakoa in Mohonpur, and Thanapara and Sardah Police Academy in Charghat upazila. The team took photographs and footages of people identifying the mass graves and torture camps. In the morning, the team went to Mugroil, around 25km from Rajshahi city, where there is a shaheed minar (monument commemorating martyrs) with names of only 15 martyrs inscribed on it. The probe team talked to Basir Ali Sheikh and Hashim Uddin who lost their family members when the Pakistani occupation army captured 15 villagers on November 30, 1971 and shot them dead for helping freedom fighters. The army ravaged the village and torched every house, they said, adding that razakars (Pakistani collaborators) Daud Hossain, Nur-e Anwar, Motiur, Wahed and some others, who led the Pakistani army to the village, are still living freely in the village. From Mugroil the probe team visited a torture camp at Sakoa Madrasa where a number of freedom fighters and commoners were killed and tortured.
In Rajshahi, the investigators visited Babla Bon mass grave and torture camp near T Groyen of the Padma River. The Pakistani army with the help of their local collaborators picked up 17 people, including intellectuals and politicians, from their houses on the night of November 25, 1971, told freedom fighter Shahjahan Ali Borjahan in presence of journalists. The locals believe all the martyrs were buried alive as their bodies bore no bullet wounds, he added.
At Moslem Ali's house near Boalia Police Station, Moslem's son Salauddin Raju told reporters that after they had gone into hiding the occupation army took over their house to run a torture camp there. The investigators also visited Rajshahi University mass grave, Martyrs' Memorial Archive and Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall where countless men, women and children suffered the atrocities of Pakistani army and their collaborators since April 1971. “Rajshahi apparently had been a bit different from other parts of the country, as the Pakistani collaborators here were so dominating that they opened torture camps at many places,” said SP Matiur Rahman.