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Wife of abducted witness Sukhoranjan Bali speaks out
Tuesday, 04 December 2012
Nov 26, 2012
Aruti Rani Bali, the wife of Sukhranjan Bali outside her village house

A recent interview with the wife of an abducted witness of International War-crime Tribunal (ICT) of Bangladesh has revealed ill motive behind the creation of this tribunal by present ruling party of Bangladesh.

Bali was originally a prosecution witness against Moulana Delwar Hossain Saydee , who apparently did not want to give evidence to the tribunal, and ran away to India at around the time that the trial started (November 2011), then came back – and then appears to have agreed to give evidence in favour of the defense, to the effect that his brother’s death was committed by the Pakistan military.

Bali is alleged to have been abducted by law enforcement agencies from outside the International Crimes Tribunal on 5 November. Since then he is missing.
Recently Journalist & Human Right activist David Bergman interviewed Sukhoranjan Bali’s wife Aruti Rani Bali in her house in the district of Pirojpur.

The interview seems to corroborate a number of issues relating to the alleged abduction of Bali and may well hold important information about this alleged abduction.
In the interview wife of Bali clearly mentioned that he has been missing since 5 November – the family have not received any calls from him on the 5th.

The interview also pictured the owe of Bali’s devastated family.

Bali’s son had left the village after the abduction of his father and gone, the family thinks, out of fear to Mongla port.

His wife was very distraught about her missing husband, and broke down many times during the interview. There is little doubt that she is in a terrible state and genuinely believes her husband to be missing.

Bali’s Aruti wife believes that he was abducted by those who are against Sayedee.

Aruti has revealed an interesting fact that a police OC came to her house on 6 November, the day after the alleged abduction to get her signature for a GD on.

On the night of the 5th November, Sayedee’s lawyers tried to file a GD in Dhaka but the police refused to allow them to do it. So, why did the police come to the family seeking a GD?

A visit by the police to seek this GC is an implied acknowledgement that the state accepted Bali had gone missing – in contrast to the position of the Attorney General (at the High Court during the Habeas Corpus proceedings) and the tribunal prosecution at its press conference which suggested that nothing had happened.

It is alarming issue that police simply wanted the wife’s signature on a ‘blank’ piece of paper which would have allowed the police to write on it whatever the police wanted.

Previously, according to the interview, in February 2012 the OC had come to the house and asked the wife to sign a blank piece of paper so he could write a GD. She had refused – but the daughter and other relatives did. The fact that the police came to the house to get the family to sign a GD suggests that the police were more interested in getting a GD filed than the family.

It should be noted that it has been suggested that there is a well-known practice in Bangladesh that police and others often persuade/intimidate people to sign blank pieces of paper on which false allegations are then written and filed as a a GD so the daughter and wife’s comments are perfectly reasonable. Interestingly the same practice along with vicious abduction of witness were adopted by prosecutor and police in the procedure of this Tribunal which is much claimed by ruling party to a tribunal of ‘International Standard’.

Below is a slightly edited transcript of a videoed interview published in David Bergman’s blog ‘Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal’. The interview was done in the presence of David and his assistant. It is worth to mention that none of them has any connections of any kind with the Jamaat or any of the newspapers supportive of Jamaat/BNP. The interview was in Bangla, and below is a translation. The wife generally answered the questions but when the daughter did so, it is made clear in the transcript below.