Bangladesh’s security forces have arrested a Jamaat-e-Islami activist who was on the run for a decade and sentenced to death in absentia by a tribunal for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested 70-year-old Abu Muslim Mohammad Ali from Demra area on the outskirts of Dhaka on Saturday.
“He was an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971 during the (1971) Liberation War when he was involved in mass murders, arson, rapes and looting in (northwestern) Gaibandha,” a RAB statement said.
The International Crimes Tribunal sentenced him to death in 2017 after a trial in absentia but he went into hiding in 2013 when a legal initiative was launched against him following complaints by one of the victims of the atrocities during the Liberation War.
“We have arrested him from a slum-like abode where he was living while keeping a low profile,” RAB’s Lieutenant Colonel Arif Mohiuddin Ahmed said.
Ahmed said Ali was an active member of the Islamic Chhatra Sangha, Jamaat’s then student wing.
He never appeared before the tribunal to face justice.Ali’s arrest came nearly 10 days after the RAB arrested two war criminals in separate raids in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur and Mugdha areas.
One of them was Zasisar Rahman Khoka, 69, while the other was Abdul Wahed Mandol, 69.Both were given capital punishment for committing crimes against humanity.