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Eminent Bangladesh Professor unhappy with slow trial of war criminals

Dhaka, Sept 19 (ANI): Professor emeritus, Department of Neurosurgery, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Professor Rashiduddin Ahmed has expressed dismay over the slow pace of trial of Bangladesh war criminals.

Talking to the reporters here recently, Professor Ahmed said, “I am not really very happy at the rate of progress of the trial.”

“It has to take place. There is no alternative about it, but I think it should have been handled a bit more professionally,” he added.

A war crimes tribunal, which was set up in 2010, requires wrapping up investigations of all the accused, as the government aims to finish their trials before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s five-year term ends.

A former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s largest Islamic political party and the country’s top Islamist leader, Golan Azam, is on trial for helping the Pakistani army during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence, when the then East Pakistan broke away to form Bangladesh.

Jamaat-e-Islami opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan and fought with the Pakistan army.

They were allegedly involved in war crimes and have thousands of militant followers, including in the Defence forces, analysts say.

Dozens of other Jamaat leaders including its chief Moulana Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary-general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid are already in prison accused of war crimes.

Jamaat -e-Islami and its close ally, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, allege that the tribunal hearing the case takes orders from the government.

Official Bangladesh records show three million people were killed by the Pakistan army and their local collaborators during the nine-month war that ended in December 1971.

A court in Bangladesh has charged prominent opposition politician Moulana Delwar Hossain Sayedi with war crimes in the country’s 1971 war of independence.

Court officials said Sayedi was the first to be formally charged with war crimes, and others would be charged soon. (ANI)

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