Our nation was born in genocide in 1971.
Military dictators Gen Ziaur Rahman and Hussein Muhammad Ershad had ousted Bangladesh politically of its secular nature achieved through a bold-bath by stomping the original constitution of 1972 to appease the so-called Islamist political parties like Jamaat-e-Islami, the war criminals, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury like sub-human war criminal to hold on tightly or tenaciously to power.
Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, better known as Saqa, always boastfully uttered that nobody would be able to touch him for his despicable role in 1971; the question of arresting him is a piece of snuff only; he used to laugh away it loudly. But when the time came, he suddenly fled away from his Dhanmondi residence as a little rat in disguise and hid himself to a Banani house from where he was dragged out and arrested by police. This brazen-faced fierce criminal then faced trials in ICT-1 for committing human disasters during our glorious Liberation War in 1971.
Saqa was indicted charges by ICT-1 for abduction of seven Hindu minority and killing six of them on 4 and 5 April 1971; accompanying Pakistan army at the time of killing Maddhya Gohira Hindu Parha in Raozan on 13 April 1971; killing of Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya owner and social worker Nutan Chandra Singha on 13 April 1971; accompanying Pakistan army at the time of killing about 32 people, arson, looting and raping; complicity in killing of Satish Chandra Palit on 14 April 1971, burning his house and deportation of his family; and combined attack with Pakistan army to Hindu populated Shakhapura village at Boalkhali and killing of so many people. He was also accused of forcefully converting a number of Hindus to Islam.
He is a man who is devoid of all human qualities as we assess his character and the man himself. His pertness is well known throughout the country. His is ill-famed for his vulgarly jocose towards our glorious Liberation War; our country's flag, our national anthem and the supreme sacrifices of our millions of people for which Bangladesh was born.
We know that the regulation of parliamentary behaviour and ethics standards is an essential element to secure public trust in the efficacy, transparency and equity of democratic systems, as well as to foster a culture of public service that favours public interest over private gains. But as ill luck would have it, a person like Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury became a Minister in General Ershad's regime. He was also a BNP MP and Begum Zia, a very close ally of the war criminals' outfit, Jamaat-e-Islami, did not bother to make him as her Senior Political Adviser in order to achieve her own personal political gains.
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant said: "Act in such a way that always the action treats humanity never simply as a means, but at the same time as an end." Kant distinguishes between perfect and imperfect duties. Perfect duties must always be done - do not commit suicide, do not kill innocents, do not lie, etc. Imperfect duties must only sometimes be done - develop our talents and ourselves, contribute to the welfare of others. But look at this ugly and cruel guy in guise of a human being! What he did to the innocent people of the country in 1971. He simply slaughtered our people to achieve his brutal means. Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury used to fling with other people every now and then. He is out and out an impudent! He made the horrendous episode of atrocities directing attack on the civilians in the Chittagong area.
Saqa Chowdhury was sentenced to death by hanging by ICT-1 on 1 October 2013 for nine out of the 23 charges brought against him, including torture, murder and genocide of some 200 civilians and collaborating with the Pakistani army during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, Chairman of ICT-1 said: "We are of the unanimous view that the accused deserves the highest punishment for committing such crimes that tremble the collective conscience of mankind." The judge said that Chowdhury should remain "hanged until death".
It is a well-established fact that 'Those who perpetrated inhuman brutalities on the freedom fighters, raped women and or handed over women to their mentors for being raped as well as those who unleashed terror to thwart the liberation war under the cover of Islam are greater criminals than their Pakistani counterparts and deserve no leniency.' Saqa Chowdhury deserves capital punishment for the grave misdeeds he committed in 1971. ICT-1 correctly handed-down him with death sentence by hanging. He appealed against his conviction in the Supreme Court Appellate Division and the apex court on Wednesday upheld the ICT-1 verdict, as expected by all the pro-liberation forces of the country. Now, all are waiting for the execution of his death penalty in shortest possible time.
Anwar A Khan is a writer and political commentator