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As the top appeals court upheld the death sentence of the linchpin of killings of intellectuals during the Liberation War, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, the wait for the copy of the full verdict on his appeal against death sentence has begun.
As the top appeals court upheld the death sentence of the linchpin of killings of intellectuals during the Liberation War, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, the wait for the copy of the full verdict on his appeal against death sentence has begun.

The Bangladesh flag is a symbol of what Bangladeshis treasure; it represents the values we cherish beyond measure. Our flag flies high for freedom, bravery, the courage to fight, and sacrifice of one’s life for a just cause. The Bangladesh flag is an icon representing the Bangladeshi way. Our hearts swell with emotion when we see it ripple and sway.

We should honour our freedom fighters, our millions killed intentionally and with premeditation. and remember the sacrifices they made in duty towards Bangladesh. The Greek philosopher Thucydides once said, “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

This holds true to their cause of deep love and patriotism for creating our motherland.

In writing this piece, I bear the year 1971 clearly in my mind with distinct mental discernment. My heart aches and tears well up in my eyes. During our Independence War of 1971, I was a college student and witnessed many barbaric incidents committed by the Pakistani Army, Jamaat-e-Islami, its student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), and their death squads Al-Badr and Al-Shams (auxiliary forces of the barbarous Pakistani Army).

The most dangerous of them are those criminals belonging to Jamaat, Islami Chhatra Sangha, and Shibir. Was 1971 not enough, to show us just how far they’ll go? Will we acquiesce to terrorists, these devils, and the lowest of the low?

We have to fight these culprits. While our pundits chatter and discuss, we must use our might to eradicate these aggressive and violent criminals. Loving hearts do not understand that those belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami want it all. No talk nor love will change their minds. Only defeat will be their downfall.

The top concern for Al-Badr and Al-Shams forces was annihilating anything and everyone that was considered a threat to the Jamaat-e-Islamis during our glorious Liberation War. These evil forces carried out mass killings, genocide, and arrests simply to send a message and keep Bangladesh-loving people stifled. Many were sent to nearby extermination camps where all of them were brutally killed.

Our countrymen suffered horrific crimes at their bloodstained hands, more so than any people or nation ever has in all of history. It cannot be understated. This is a fact of which most of the young generation of our country are ignorant.

The supreme sacrifices of our patriots brought Bangladesh into being and happiness in our hearts. I can remember here what French Novelist Marcel Proust once said :“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

As we know, “In Islam, creating social discord or disorder, breach of peace, rioting, bloodshed, pillage or plunder, and killing of innocent persons anywhere in the world are all considered most inhuman crimes.”

The great lie propagated by Jamaat-e-Islamis is not difficult to notice. The violence, degradation and denigration, mass murder, genocide, assault, intimidation and other disgraceful acts perpetrated by them, ordered and encouraged by their leaders, proves that it is the most dangerous cult on the planet and by far the biggest menace to “civilised society”.

During those most difficult times Al-Badr concentration camps were not very far from our residence, Kishoreganj Town (now Kishoreganj District), where I was situated during my college days. Duk-bunglow (now the District Council Building), the Pakistan army’s local headquarters, was also the same distance from our house. As an eye-witness, I set forth a brief record of a few past incidents of certain atrocious cruelty.


Professor Mahtabuddin, who taught Political Science at Gurudayal College, Kishoreganj at the time, was the Jamaat-e-Islami Chief of the then Kishoreganj Sub-Division (now district). I observed him countless times encouraging Al-Badr to kill innocents. Daily, he used to visit the Al-Badr concentration camp situated at the Bunglow of the then Kishoreganj Railway Station Master (after forcibly driving away the station-master and his family from their allotted quarter), to boost them up and kill more in the name of religion. Innumerable people were thus slaughtered. Al-Badr and Al-Shams outfits throughout Kishoreganj District were under his direct operational command.

One afternoon, sometime in August 1971, an innocent boy was caught by Al-Badr. He was inhumanely tortured on the main road in broad daylight near the Kishoreganj Railway station. He was bayoneted as he groaned and bled profusely. He was then tied with strong ropes behind a Rickshaw with his legs pointing skyward.

They committed all these atrocities while pronouncing “Naraye takbir, Allahuakbar.”

He was forced to say “ Pakistan Zindabad,” but he never did so. Rather, he repeatedly said “Joy Bangla” and “Joy Bangabandhu.” A microphone was installed to the Rickshaw and then campaigns were made parading the poor dying boy throughout the town, signaling the same dire consequences would befall the Mukti Bahini and their supporters.

It created a tremendous panic throughout the town. Professor Mahtab came, saw him, and with a great smile, applauded his accomplices asking them to make all-out efforts to catch similar people and encouraged them to eliminate the so-called enemies of their beloved Pakistan with equal brutality. The boy then died a martyr’s death for the cause of this motherland. His body was refused for burial and allowed to be eaten by vultures, jackals, and dogs.


I shall now narrate another ghastly incident. One afternoon in 1971 (possibly in September), I was passing through the main road from Kishoreganj Railway Station to Newtown area. Upon reaching the front of the house of Advocate Emdad Mia, I found that some members of Al-Badr were pronouncing “Naraye takbir, Allahuakbar” over a boy who they had beaten and had then made to forcibly lie down on the grass. They slaughtered that boy with a big knife as one usually does to sacrifice cows on Eid-ul-Azha. The two pieces of his body were then thrown into the marshland beside the road for the vultures, jackals, and dogs.


The river Narasunda is nearby our house in Kishoreganj. During the months of August right up to early December 1971, I saw how many youths were inhumanely tortured and taken blind-folded near the banks of the river. They were brutally bayoneted and shot with the pronunciation of “Naraye takbir, Allahuakbar.” Afterwards, they kicked them into the Narasunda River. They permitted no dead bodies for burial.


These ‘sub-humans’ were also directly involved in rape, arson, and looting and burning of houses of innumerable people. I saw how they helped supply our honourable women-folk to the local army headquarters at Kishoreganj for their sexual enjoyment.

Concentration camp

On the morning of December 17, 1971 (Kishoreganj Town was liberated that morning), I entered the concentration camp of Al-Badr along with my friends and found ourselves ankle-deep in thick human blood. One can easily imagine the extent of torture enacted upon unarmed innocent human-beings. These unfortunate souls could never return to their parents.

The ICT-2 in its verdict on Jamaat leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman’s case, observed that Al-Badr was an “action section” and “armed wing” of Jamaat, and was formed mainly with the workers of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the student wing of ill-famed Jamaat-e-Islami.

A tribunal verdict had earlier also termed Al-Badr a fascist armed wing that carried out dreadful criminal activities in violation of customary international laws during the Liberation War in 1971.

Shamoli Nasrin Chowdhury in her testimony in the International Crimes Tribunal has aptly said : “Those who killed my innocent husband for his love for the country, made my children bereaved of their father, and killed the intellectuals, my prayer to the tribunal is that I want capital punishment for them: the Al-Badr high command.”

We shall attain success when we are able to give the highest punishment to the war criminals and their kingpins. We saw the daredevil criminality of Jamaat-e-Islami in 2013 and early 2015, which left our citizens’ lives frightfully insecure. We should keep in our minds that all Jamaat and Shibir followers are recidivists. Compared to other rotten political leaders, each and every Jamaati and Shibir kingpins are hawks and criminals. Ghulam Azam was the pivot of many crimes, and all the atrocities revolved round him during our War of Liberation.

The killing of a large number of people indiscriminately by the Jamaati and ICS gangsters in 1971 still haunt us like a spectre. Their act of inflicting a great wound has not freed us from illness or injury even after 44 years because of the high degree of their offences.

Firm and ruthless action is needed against these war criminals. Indeed these men of terror have struck. The government must strike back harder. There are times when democracy needs to be saved through pitiless action against those who perpetrate violence and killing in the name of democracy/religion. Just think of the precedent these culprits set and the terrible consequences that might follow unless and until these criminals acts are nipped in the bud.

The need for cutting-off the flow of money to terrorist organisations like Jamaat and Shibir is now very imperative. Money is the facilitator of their terrorism. Parliament must enact robust laws targeting to stop inflow of this money. These criminals are moneyed-people. Poor people will be lured into terrorist groups with funding under the cloak of religion.

Jamaat and their accomplices and counsels, both at home and abroad, always make faulty arguments and conceal the truth of their role in 1971 and after. When the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche said “The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments,” I am in total agreement in the context of JI and their various wings.

There are no words to describe our outrage at the tales of horror and genocide of our people in 1971. These tales are a testament to the harrowing experiences of the family members of victims.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” We can’t remain silent on this for it matters most to us. We must say, “We have not come here to cry but to demand death by hanging.”

The government should take a hard look at this. But it has to be swift, it has to be real. The government should not depress us. During their heydays, these inhuman beings ruled the roost.

Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles said, “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil.” These griffins never expressed any remorse nor repaired the evil deeds they committed.

All their activities, even in today’s time, are a serious threat to security. There is a pressing demand for outlawing the criminal organisations Jamaat-e-Islami and Shibir. But we strongly believe that only banning them would not suffice to stop militancy and their killing-sprees. Law-enforcement agencies must descend on them with brutal force. Arrest them immediately. As the saying goes:”Actions speak louder than words.” They should not be spared from the hangman’s noose.

Jamaat-e-Islami and its people do not like the truth told about them. Whenever the truth is told, they riot, kill, burn, destroy, threaten, and intimidate people without mercy. They look like Muslims but in fact, they are anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim, and the bitter enemies of humanity. They are thieves, liars, mass killers, looters, and rapists. They committed these heinous crimes during our liberation war under the name of Islam.

I firmly believe that everything I have written here about them is sheer truth. It is more than obvious that they are not a religious party. It seems that they don’t mind using any methods to achieve their aims. They are human-beings only in appearance. These griffins wish to make Bangladesh a place of public execution once more. They must be brought to justice wherever and whenever found. We must repeatedly expose their masked faces in the hardest language so that the people in general, especially the young, understand their guileful characters. Enough is enough. Their poisonous claws must be severed before they grow further.

Only two war criminals were hanged for their cold-blooded savagery unleashed upon the Bengalis during the Liberation War. We want capital punishment for all the war criminals.

Joy Bangla. Joy Bangabandhu. Long live Bangladesh. Down with the war criminals.

In closing, I state emphatically certain inspired words: “Friends, Bangladeshis, countrymen, lend us your ears; We come to bury the war criminals, not to praise them.”

Anwar A. Khan is the Executive Director of M.J. Group.

24 Responses to “Down memory lane: The devils of 1971”

  1. Maulana Abul Borkot

    Mr. Anwar A. Khan :

    Muslims must understand that the path of reform never comes through violence. Islam is not a religion of violence. It is a religion of mercy for everyone…. One of the fall-outs from extremism in understanding Islam is that some people call for jihad for the sake of Allah without justification…. These people, who call for jihad, want to raise the banner of jihad to draw the youth into their ranks forb their petty and personal ends, and not to fight for Almighty Allah.

    Thank you very much for your article. I also demand death punishment for also war criminals for our own safety and security. Almighty Allah bless us all.

  2. Ishita Rahman Chowdhury

    Mr. Anwar A. Khan:

    Joy Bangla! Joy Bangabandhu!

    I have just read your article which has compelled me to weep for those poor people who were brutally murdered by the Al-Badr goons belonged to Jamaat during that time. But Islam is a religion of peace, benevolence and tolerance, and we will not allow deviants to corrupt our faith….any longer. All war criminals must walk the gallows. Thank you very much, Mr. Khan for reminding us the unthinkable magnitude of barbarous acts they committed to our people during our Liberation War in a written format.

    Joy Bangla, once again!

  3. sundar swapan

    And surprisingly this devil was made social welfare minister by our most popular great leader as claimed by Mahfujullah – Asif Nazrul gong. Just imagine what ideas they hold about social welfare. The wife of the much claimed declarer of our liberation felt no qualms of conscience to take this devil in her lap. I am sure Mahfujullah has many arguments up his sleeve to defend this gang of devils.

  4. shadincheta

    Excellent piece of writing. Just this morning I was talking to my ex-colleague and he was complaining that country is fasting decending in to deep anarchy. I just asked him what made him think like that when sitting on the otherside of the globe I get to see the present government doing such marvels like trans-border connectivity, exchange of enclaves and there are altogether 23/24 ageements and so on with India. After speakig for sometime I could quite discretely understand the reason for his pessimistic outlook on country, it has nothing to do with Bangladesh but everything to do with death penalty of dirty, filth, nasty war criminals like Mujahid, Kamruzzaman and so on.

  5. Kazi Salim

    Thanks, Mr Anwar Khan for your information on the brutal killing in Kishoreganj by the Pakistani nefarious Al- Bador of 1971. All these parasites of the country will be totally eliminated very soon, so that the souls of the 3 million lives will get eternal peace and Bangladesh will get rid if the black stigma of these killers of 1971. Where is that so called prof Mahatabuddin? is he alive or dead? if he is dead then posthumous trial should be conducted on his grave by lashing, urinating and making a dumping place of the city’s toilets.

  6. Gopaul

    Now i think its real fact. sir you are great person.Its not only cortical its real scenario of Bangladesh 1971. I congrats you. Gopaul M&J Group.

  7. Shib

    Dear sir,

    I’ve read your article “Down memory lane: The devils of 1971” where you highlighted the real tragedy behind the liberation war 1971. You have taken a bold step to disclose the real facts to us which you observed in that time. I think by reading your article we, the young generation who borne after liberation war can understand or imagine the untold sufferings, struggling of the common people of Bangladesh as well as get some idea about the devastations & inhuman activities which were committed by the “Rajakar” & “Albdr” during the liberation war. They (“Rajakar” & “Albdr” ) should not be deserved any love rather than only hate & punishment. I have strong believe on God and I believe that he must punish them for their brutal inhuman activities.

    I am very little to praise about your writing, but express my thanks to you for your bold step to disclose these facts to us in the critical present situation of the country.

  8. Noel

    A well written piece. Anyone who has not witnessed 1971, it is a facet of our glorious Liberation War for them. Atrocities done in the name Islam is no way accepted. Culprits must be punished so that no Bangladeshi ever dare to behave like the criminals of 1971. Rule of law must be upheld.

    Thanks to Mr Khan for presenting this write up.

  9. Alhajj Masum Billah Bukainagori

    Dear Mr. Anwar Khan,

    As a human community we must be vigilant and careful to oppose these pernicious and shameless evils, which are not justified by any sane logic, nor by the religion of Islam but those crimes took place in Bangladesh in 1971 during our liberation struggle where Jamaat-e-Islami war criminals in the guise of Muslims were directly involved and they used our beloved religion, Islam while carrying out their heinous acts on our general people. So, they are not Muslims; neither are they human beings. Extermination of them by hanging or firing is my strong demand. We should raise our voice unitedly against them in the harshest language to eradicate this menace from our society.

  10. Alhaj Fatema Begum

    Mr. Khan :

    Any Muslim who is aware of the teachings of his religion and who adheres to the directives of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) will never involve himself in such acts, because they will invoke the anger of Almighty Allah and lead to harm and corruption on Earth.

    It is the duty of the Muslim Ulema (religious scholars) to make facts clear in this respect, and to clarify that Islam never accepts such acts which were carried out by the barbarous War Criminals, especially belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami, a criminal organization already declared by the International Crimes Tribunals during our Liberation War. So, they deserve highest punishment from the courts and they be executed by hanging.

  11. Masudur Rahman

    Dear Sir,

    I read your above topic & knew the devils of 1971 & their activities.Thank you very much for letting us know about the cruel atrocities committed by the war criminals during our War of Liberation in 1971. We want to capital punishment for all criminals of 1971 like Ali Ahsan Muzahid.

  12. Mufti Rashidul Hoque

    Mr. Anwar A. Khan :

    Jonab, Aponi eto sundar korey Jamaat namer kulangerder beparey sotto kotha likechen. Eraa manush namer kolonko! Eraa manush noi; manush namey voyonkor dottiyo-danob chara aar kichunoi! Aamra eder dhongsho kamona kori. Fanchi chara onno kono bichar tader hotey parena abong aamra tai chai!

    Joy Bangla! Joy Bangabandhu!

  13. Alireza Fazl Alireza

    Dear Mr. AA Khan :

    I am bewildered to have read your piece. Bestiality was abounding in carried out to your people in Bangladesh by these culprits. There is no alternative for the war criminals but they must walk the gallows and that will be the correct punishment for them.

    I strongly condemn such activities that are against all humanist and Islamic morals. … I condemn and oppose all aggression on human life, freedom and dignity anywhere in the world.

    Please accept my deep love and respect, Mr. Khan, for penning such an experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness article which brings tears to our eyes.

    I wish to pronounce like you : Joy Bangla. Joy Bangabandhu. Long live Bangladesh. Down with the war criminals!

  14. Ruby Afrin

    Mr. Anwar A. Khan : I thank you very much what you have revealed in your piece. When I read it, tears have rolled down my cheeks automatically. I am now feeling very angry to send them to the other world in no time from where they can’t come back to our beloved motherland.

  15. Armana Hoque

    It is very frightening that we are still allowing these culprits to live in our soils which we have achieved at so much cost. No, we can’t and shall not permit them any longer to live in this country. They all should be destroyed completely.

    I thank you, Mr. Anwar Khan, for writing such a good and informative article. The young generation like us will be enlightened to read it, knowing the harrowing tales of inhuman crimes committed by these culprits. Spit upon them and their accomplices! Down with them!

    Joy Bangla! Joy Bangabandhu!

  16. Monika Biswas Matin

    Mr. Anwar A. Khan:

    It is appalling to read your article. I thank you very much for exposing the true characters of Jamaati war criminals. I wish to clearly say attacking innocent people is not courageous, it is stupid and will be punished on the day of judgement. … It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect them. It is courageous to defend one and not to attack. But they did all criminal acts without any hesitation. Death punishment by firing will be the right answer to these brutal animals.

  17. Carol A. Olson

    Dear Mr. Khan :

    Throughout history religion has been used as an excuse, or driving force, for some of the worst atrocities imaginable. From pre-history to modern history, religion is, for many people, just an excuse to kill other people. The brutalities committed by the war criminals especially belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971 are the worst of all times.

    Jamaat people deliberately engaged in rape, murder, theft, arson, and other war crimes. Their acts rank as massacres, genocide and man-made catastrophes of limitless human suffering. The worst genocide occurred in Bangladesh in 1971 without compunction or human feeling because of these inhuman beings. Highest punishment shall be the due answer to them. I also strongly support the peoples’ stand to outlaw them and confiscate their properties. All perpetrators belong to Jamaat-e-Islami and their many death squads shall be brought to justice.

    I am utterly depressed throughout my reading of this article written by Mr. Anwar A. Khan whom I know for quite a long time.

    I am currently travelling China and shall call on you during my next visit to Dhaka.

    Wishing you and the people of Bangladesh, the best of luck.

    Very truly yours,

    Carol Olson

  18. Nawshin Ara Hoque

    Dear Mr. Khan,

    You have brilliantly exposed their masked faces. These animals are so harsh and brutal for which we should hang each and every one of them to death. The government should arrest all criminals belong to Jamaat + Shibir to bring about justice lawfully. The government should impose punitive tax on them and confiscate all properties belong to these culprits without further delay.

    The young generation of our country should clearly understand what the war criminals were. We all should be united to defeat them till their last remnant is extinguished. Thanks very much for your article.

  19. Students Group

    Mr. Anwar A. Khan Sir :

    What we have read together in your piece! We are now deaf and dumbfounded. They are simply not human beings. They are just ferocious beating animals. We can’t even think of them to be allowed to face trials. We should immediately send them to firing squad for the sake of our safety and security.



    Non-partisan Students of different Schools, Colleges and Universities:
    Zoglul Ahmed, Zinat Abdullah, Nabendu Chakma, David Das, Srabanty Barua, Nikhil Chand, Masum Ahmed, Animesh Khisha, Sanjit Roy, Shakil, Minu Hoque, Moriom Ahmed, Shushil Garo, Rea Shakil, Jakir Ahmed, Badrul Amin, Samir Barua, Antony Biswas, Jalal, Bashar, Shisir Shaozal, Nandita Mardock, Mahmud Abbas, Nasir Uddin, Bernard Sarkar, Ashish Sarkar, Mohiuddin Babul, Amalendu Khisha, Rajib Ali, Reza, Arunima Dutta, Shuvashis Dewan, Munir Mohiuddin, Jhony Gupta, Rupali Mrittika Rahman, Naila Nadi Judith, Nitish Barua,.Ratul Islam, Nahar Pasha, Mridula Chakraborty, Mohsin Ferdous, Sheikh Zaman, Ali Reza, Nandini Thakur, Mahmud Zainuddin, Kamrul Hoque, Zahir Aly, Abul Hasanat, Shopna Sarkar, Minu Ifthekhar, Jahangir Khondokar, Farid Ahmed, Bulbul Rahman, Niharika Chowdhury, Kalam Mahmud, Anisa Hoque, Noyona Amrin, Bidisha Yasmin, Badrul Islam, Shantimoy Ghosh, John Gomes, Susil Garo, Promila Sikder, Ratri Rahman and Rafique Newaz.

  20. Alhajj Idris Mohd. Noh

    Dear Mr. Anwar A. Khan:

    I have read your article. I am horrified by the events of 1971 in Bangladesh which resulted in massive killing, genocide, destruction and attack on innocent lives. I express my deepest sympathies and sorrow. I condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Quoran: ‘No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another’ (Surah al-Isra 17:15).” The war criminals mostly from Jamaat-e-Islami, a worst criminal organization, must get due punishment. I hail the government as well as the brave people of Bangladesh for their very courageous stand to try these criminals.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Khan.


    AIMN, KAL, Malaysia

  21. Ruhely Hoque Rahman

    Mr. Anwar Khan,

    I have read your article. Learning about the brutalities carried out by the Jamaati goons on our innocent people in 1971, I am now dumbfounded. These most cruel animals have no place in Bangladesh. We have no time to allow them live here. We want to get rid of them in no time by hanging.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Khan, for letting us know about the cruel atrocities committed by the war criminals during our War of Liberation in 1971.

    Joy Bangla! Joy Bangabandhu!

  22. Ahmed Rubel Chowdhury

    Congratulations to Mr. Khan for writing this timely piece. I am horrified to learn about the magnitude of atrocities committed by the war criminals mostly belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami, a worst criminal organisation. I want capital punishment for all war criminals. I demand confiscation of their all properties and sources of funds immediately.

  23. Nasir Ahmed Jashim

    Mr. Anwar A. Khan:

    I am really appalled to have read your article. Jamaati war criminals are not human beings. They are just ferocious animals. We must eliminate them by hanging or firing. Thank you very much for exposing their guile characters in a written form.

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