Abul Kalam Azad, an ex-member of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was today found guilty of rape and murder. The verdict was handed down in absentia in Dhaka by Justice Obaidul Hassan as the 66-year-old Azad is absconding.
“We should not forget the millions of victims who deserve that their tormentors are held accountable,” Hassan and two fellow judges said in written summary of the judgment. “The passage of time does not diminish the guilt. Justice delayed is no longer justice denied.”
As British colonial rule ended in South Asia in 1947, East and West Pakistan were separated by 2,000 kilometers (1,241 miles) of Indian territory. Pakistani troops in 1971 attempted to quell a nationalist uprising in the east that was triggered by the jailing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who had led his Awami League to victory in elections.
The war ended nine months later with the creation of Bangladesh after Indian forces helped defeat Pakistan’s army. Jamaat-e-Islami supported staying with Pakistan during the war and several of its leaders are among 10 people being investigated by the tribunal on charges they collaborated with Pakistani forces.