Bangladesh Parliament member sentenced to death for crimes against Hindus

RNS () — A court in Muslim-majority Bangladesh sentenced an Islamist member of Parliament to death for genocide and other … Continued

RNS () — A court in Muslim-majority Bangladesh sentenced an Islamist member of Parliament to death for genocide and other crimes against Hindus during the country’s 1971 war for independence.

Salahuddin Chowdhury is the first opposition party member of Parliament to be convicted by the Dhaka-based International Crimes Tribunal.

Prosecutors accused him of committing atrocities against Hindus and forcefully converting a number of Hindus to Islam, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported.

“We are of the unanimous view that the accused deserves the highest punishment for committing such crimes that tremble the collective conscience of mankind,” said the tribunal’s chairman, Justice Fazle Kabir.

Chowdhury, 64, must “hang until death,” Kabir told the court on Tuesday (Oct. 1).

After Chowdhury was sentenced, his supporters rampaged in the capital, Dhaka, and in the port of Chittagong, his hometown, assaulting government party officials and smashing and burning vehicles, police said.

Chowdhury’s lawyers said they would appeal to the Supreme Court.

In 1971, Muslim-majority Bangladesh was known as East Pakistan and ruled by West Pakistan, which also had a Muslim majority but was more than 1,000 miles away and separated by Hindu-dominated India.

An estimated 500,000 to 3 million people, mostly Muslims in East Pakistan, perished during the war, which included West Pakistani troops fighting for nine months in the east supported by local militias.

Finally, in a 13-day blitz to support Bangladesh’s independence, India invaded East Pakistan and simultaneously bombed West Pakistan into surrendering.

Traumatized Bangladesh needed decades to stabilize before starting the trials in 2010.

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  • Sullivan D

    For historical correctness, the facts was bulk of these people who perished were Muslims. The massacres that went unreported were the Hindu India’s covert operations to exploit the situation created by the incompetence of the Pakistani army who ruled the country at the time. This was by covertly killing thousands of Bengali Muslims through the Hindu lead groups India sponsored such as Mukhti Bahini and also, directly, and blame the same on Pakistani soldiers from Punjab. There was reactionary violence from the Pakistani side on Bengalis due to the troops not being able to decipher that it was India that was leading the massacres to spark retribution against the largely Punjabi troops from Pakistan.

    Such was the penetration of India that one bengali residing in my neighbourhood here in US said to me that one Bengali guy who came to teach his children the Koran (Muslim religion), turned out to be a Hindu when East Pakistan fell to India. This Bengali Hindu teacher who posed as Muslim when Pakistan ruled returned to massacre an entire Pakistani and Bengali Muslim family including pregnant women and Children for reason the family was saying bad things about India when Pakistan ruled what is now Bangladesh.

    This accountability process will not complete until those Hindus working for the Indian government who committed massacres of Muslims and the current prime minister of Bangladesh and her cohorts are also brought to justice for their role in all this. The current legal process is politically motivated and is a biased.

    At least Bangladesh has a process going albeit politically motivated and biased that might see the Pakistani oriented perpetrators punished but not the Hindus including Indian Hindus who participated in these massacres. India does not even have a process to bring to books thousands of Christians and Muslims it killed in India since independence including the 250000 Kashmiris and over 75000 Sikhs.