ICT to deliver verdict on Ranada Prasad killing Thursday

Published: June 26, 2019 13:58:20 | Updated: June 26, 2019 17:19:07

The war crimes tribunal is set to deliver its verdict on Thursday in a case over the killing of Tangail philanthropist Ranada Prasad Saha, his son and five others during the Liberation War.

The accused, Mahbubur Rahman, 70, is charged with genocide, abduction, and torture.

On Wednesday, a three-member bench of the International Crimes Tribunal led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam scheduled the announcement of the judgment for Thursday.

Earlier, the court kept the case pending for verdict after hearing the arguments of the two sides on April 24.

Prosecutor Rana Das Gupta represented the state while Gazi MH Tamim stood for the accused, according to a bdnews24.com report.

According to the prosecution, the accused was the president of Mirzapur Peace Committee, a unit formed to collaborate with the Pakistani forces during the war.

Mahbubur and his brother Abdul Mannan were members of the Razakar force.

The prosecution brought three charges against Mahbubur, Rana said after the hearing, adding, "We believe we've been able to prove all three charges beyond any doubt. As many as 13 witnesses testified in the case."

The prosecution has sought maximum punishment, which is death penalty, of the accused.

“Everyone who testified in the case said RP Saha went missing. No witness has said he was killed. There was only one witness of the prosecution. He also said he had seen RP Saha being picked up. The witness did not even know RP Saha,” the defence lawyer Tamim told bdnews24.com.

“So it is proved that justice is being done through false testimony. I think the prosecution could not prove the charges against my client. I seek acquittal of my client," he added.

Behind bars since the beginning of November, 2016, the charges against Mahbubur were framed on March 28 last year.

Mahbubur, a Jamaat-e-Islami adherent, attacked the house of Saha with the help of local Razakars in Narayanganj on May 7, 1971, with 20-25 members of the Pakistani occupation force, according to the ICT’s investigation agency.

“They picked up seven people including Ranada Prasad Saha, his son Bhabani Prasad Saha, close aide Goura Gopal Saha, Rakhal Matlab and a guard, killed them and dumped their bodies in the Shitalakhya River. The bodies were never found.”

British government recognised Ranada with Rai Bahadur title for his philanthropic activities. Bangladesh government honoured him with posthumous Swadhinata Padak, the highest state award, in 1978.

Ranada, a native of Tangail’s Mirzapur, established a number of educational and charitable organisations.

Mahbubur carried out crimes near Bharateswari Homes, Kumudini Welfare Trust in Narayanganj and Tangail Circuit House during the Liberation War, ICT investigation agency's senior coordinator Mohammad Sanaul Haque had said.


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