On 9 May 2013 the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced him to death after it found Kamaruzzaman guilty of crimes against humanity including genocide, killing, rape, looting, arson, and deportation of people during the Bangladesh Liberation War.Bangladesh's Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty handed down for a Jamaat-e-Islami leader for atrocities committed more than four decades ago, the latest in a spate of rulings against the Islamist party's officials.
Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, 62, assistant secretary-general of the party, was found guilty on Monday of genocide and torture of unarmed civilians during the 1971 war to breakaway from Pakistan, by a special war crimes tribunal in May last year.
Under Bangladesh jail code, the execution of an accused could be carried out within 21 days and before 28 days of the Supreme Court's latest upholding of a death sentence on 3rd November,2014. .
"The jail authorities will start the process of his execution after getting the certified copy of the verdict," our correspondent said, adding that Kamaruzzaman can only file a review petition to "buy a little more time, or hope for presidential clemency, which is unlikely to be granted under the present government". Assistant Secretary General Kamaruzzaman was sent to the gallows on seven counts of crimes against humanity including murder, genocide, torture and forced deportation.is the senior assistant secretary general of the militant political party Bangladesh Jamayat-e-Islami convicted of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh.He is also the editor of the Militant organization Jamayat e Islam owned Weekly Sonar Bangla. In 1971, eight members of Jaritan’s family, including her husband and son, were gunned down. “They dragged my husband out of our house to the yard and shot him six times. When he wanted water, they shot him again and he breathed his last. They brought my treasure trove, my son Hashem, threw him on his father’s dead body and killed him as well. Then they stabbed my brother-in-law with a bayonet and eventually killed him shooting inside his mouth,” Jaritan thus described her dreadful experience 43 years back.
Jabeda Bewa, widow of another martyr Fazar Ali, said,“Kamaruzzaman, the leader of those who killed our men, has been sentenced to death. That is the least solace that we could have expected for our heavy hearts.”
Bewa is a title given to widows in some areas of Bangladesh.
Nure Maan Bewa, wife of martyr Jasimuddin, said: “The Pakistani soldiers did not know the area. Razakars and al-Badr members showed them the way. They are the ones who did the massacre, made us widows and killed our relatives. They told the Pakistan soldiers that there were freedom fighters in our village. Kamaruzzaman was their leader. The death sentence will give us blood for blood. We are happy.”
That infamous mass killing turned the Sohagpur village in Nalitabari of Sherpur “manless.” After that, just like uncountable other villages across the country, Sohagpur also came to be known as a “village of widows.”
These widows have all testified against Kamaruzzaman in the war crimes case.
Jalaluddin, son of 1971 martyr Safir Uddin said, they were happy with the verdict and scared too. “Kamaruzzaman’s followers have been threatening us. They said they would teach us a good lesson when there is a change in power.”A total of 34 widows of Liberation War martyrs live in the village today. For most of them, the only sources of income are the meagre allowances from the government and a few private banks which by no stretch of imagination are reasonable.
On July 25, 1971, Pakistani soldiers ran a massacre in Sohagpur village on the Indian border – some 36km from Sherpur district town. On that day, they, along with their Razakar and al-Badr collaborators, killed at least 187 men in just six hours. They broke into people’s houses and brutally killed innocent peasants and labourers. Jamaat leader Kamaruzzaman, then a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student front Islami Chhatra Sangha, was at the forefront.
Many people from greater Sherpur area testified as prosecution witness against Kamaruzzaman before the International Crimes Tribunal, which handed down death sentence to the war criminal in May last year. The Supreme Court yesterday upheld that verdict after hearing Kamaruzzaman’s appeal petition.
One of them was Manwar Hossain Khan alias Mohan Munshie. “I wanted to be a freedom fighter. But Kamaruzzaman forced said." me to become the security guard of a torture cell that he had set up in the house of Suren Babu.” Another witness Mojibur Rahman Panu said: “In 1971, Kamaruzzaman and his men picked me up from my house and took me to the Ahmadnagar camp. There they lined up many people and opened fire on them. I survived miraculously.” Sohagpur widows want execution of the verdict immediately!