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Appeal hearing: Mir Quasem Ali was not in Chittagong during occurrences: State documents
Thursday, 18 February 2016

The prosecution has submitted cuttings from Dainik Ittefaq, Dainik Azad, Dainik Pakistan, Dainik Sangram and Dainik Azadi published in 1971 in the form of documents against Mir Quasem Ali. These newspapers published his speeches and statements he made at that time.

Referring to newspaper cuttings during hearing on appeal today, Mir Quasem Ali’s lawyer SM Shajahan pointed out that Mir Quasem Ali was not in Chittagong at the time of occurrences. Then he stayed in Dhaka. 

He told the court that the 10 charges on which Mir Quasem was found guilty and sentenced, all these crimes were committed between November 19 and December 16, 1971. But these newspaper cuttings amply make it clear that he had been staying in Dhaka from November 7 and as general secretary of Islami Chhatra Sangha he had participated in political programmes, issued statements and addressed rallies of students in different parts of Dhaka, including at Baitul Mukarram area. His addresses and statements were published in newspapers regularly from November 8 of 1971. It is evident from the documents submitted by the State side, SM Shajahan told the court.

According to news published in Dainik Ittefaq, Mir Quasem Ali addressed a student rally at Baitul Mukarram area on November 7. So, he had no link with the Chittagong’s Dalim Hotel centered occurrences of kidnapping, repression and killing of 1971, the lawyer claimed.

Advocate Shajahan said before being elected general secretary of Islami Chhatra Sangha East Pakistan unit on November 6, 1971, Mir Quasem Ali was president of organiation’s Chittagong unit. Immediately after being elected general secretary of East Pakistan unit, he came to Dhaka, which is proved by the news published in Dainik Azadi that the prosecution has submitted.

Dainik Azadi published Mir Quasem’s designation as ICS’s Chittagong unit president till November 6 but from the following day they mentioned name of Abu Taher as president of ICS Chittagong unit. It also proved Mir Quasem was not in Chittagong during the occurrences took place in Dalim Hotel.

Above all, advocate Shajahan said, the state side could not prove or could not show any document that Mir Quasem Ali went to Chittagong or had been there during the period between November 7 and December 16 of 1971. Investigation officer also admitted to the Tribunal that they had no document to this effect, in support of their claim.

The counsel said for being elected ICS East Pakistan unit general secretary Mir Quasem stayed at his sister’s house at Agamashi Lane in Dhaka till March of 1972 from November 7, 1971. During this period, he did not go to Chittagong and he was never member of Al Badar. And even, the state too has not said he was member of Al Badar.

A five member bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumer Sinha heared the appeal on Wednesday.