largest Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami - facing charges of
targeting unarmed civilians during the 1971 war - has now accused
India of killing a score of academics 39 years ago, a day before
the country celebrates its Bijoy Divas (Liberation Day).
The charge by Jamaat-e-Islami leaders came on the day the country
paid homage to a group of Dhaka University teachers and artists
who were pulled out of their homes and killed on the night of Dec
This act was allegedly carried out by Pakistan Army personnel with
the help of Islamist militia - Al Badr, Al Shams and Razakars.
The joint command of Indian and Bangladeshi forces secured the
surrender of the Pakistan Army's 93,000 men Dec 16, 1971, ending a
14-day military campaign in the then eastern Pakistan.
"The intellectuals had stayed in the country till December 14,
1971, as they felt safe here. They were against a war being fought
from India. That big power realised that they won't become its
agents," Jamaat's acting secretary general A.T.M. Azharul Islam
"So, it cannot be said that the big power (India) was not behind
the killings of the intellectuals as the trial for the crimes was
not held," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.
Jamaat held a discussion at its party office, while thousands of
people paid tributes at the Martyred Intellectuals' Memorial in
Mirpur and the Rayerbazar Mausoleum in the national capital.
The top brass of the Jamaat, which had opposed Bangladesh's
liberation, is now in jail and facing trial for "war crimes" by an
International War Crimes Tribunal set up by the present Sheikh
The government Wednesday moved the tribunal to issue arrest
warrant against Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, a senior leader of
the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), accused of
organising killings of academics and minority Hindus in 1971.
Chowdhury, who leads an Islamist group within the BNP, is
considered close to party chief and former prime minister Khaleda
Hasina alleged at a rally Tuesday - organised to remember the
killed intellectuals - that Zia was "in league" with the Islamists
as she had lent support to a strike call Dec 26 by the Sammilita
Olama Mashayekh Parishad, a body of Muslim clergy.