Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bangladesh war crimes suspect escapes police dragnet

SALEEM SAMAD

BANGLADESH MOST-WANTED war crimes suspect escaped police dragnet and flees to India on his final destination to Pakistan.

Home minister Shahara Khatun on Tuesday told reporters that the authority will seek help from Interpol to arrest suspect Abul Kalam Azad aka 'Bachchu Razakar'.

Quoting close relatives of Azad, elite anti-crime forces Rapid Action Battalion on Monday at late night press meet told that he had left Dhaka on Mar. 30 and fled to India on Apr. 2.

The country’s International Crimes Tribunal issued arrest warrant for Azad on Apr. 2 for his alleged involvement with crimes against humanity committed in Faridpur, in the west of capital Dhaka during the bloody war of independence in 1971.

Meanwhile, elite police forces detained two sons and a brother-in-law of Azad for obstruction of justice and abetting the fugitive war crimes suspect to flee the country. They are being grilled by police.

The 64 year old Azad was described by war crimes investigators as henchman of marauding Pakistan army responsible for genocide of millions, sexual abuse of Hindu women and torching villages suspected for harboring guerillas.

Azad is accused for abduction, murder and missing of scores of pro-independence supporters. He was an accomplice of jailed Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, leader of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami also charged with crime against humanity.

Only recently, Azad was a popular TV host of Islamic program. A Muslim evangelist had often travelled abroad including United States advocating for converting a pro-secular Bangladesh into an Islamic state and implementation of Sharia laws, a strict Islamic code.

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow in journalism, is a Bangladesh based award winning investigative reporter. He is student of Islamic militancy, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. He was twice detained and tortured. Once in 1982 and second in 2002. Later he was expelled in 2004 from Bangladesh for whistle-blowing of the arrival of Jihadists from international terror network. He recently returned home from Canada. His email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com