Sector Commanders’ Forum, the platform of the war commanders of the liberation war of 1971, on Thursday said that they were shocked at the government’s silence on trial of war criminals.
‘The government remain totally silent when the war criminals dare to make audacious comments over the country’s independence and sovereignty. They have shown the impudence to labelled war of liberation as a “civil war”. The government was supposed to take proper legal actions against them. But they didn’t. It was shocking,’ said AK Khandaker, convener of the forum and second in command of the liberation war, at briefing at Liberation War Museum.
‘The chief adviser of the government, the chief election commissioner and the chief of army staff had opined for the trial of the war criminals in the past. Unfortunately, no realistic moves were seen from the government’s part in this regard,’ he said.
We demand trial of the war criminals as per legal process to show respect to the conscience of the nation not from any vengefulness. We want to unburden the nation from the guilt through prosecuting the war criminals,’ he said announcing the National Convention of the forum on March 15 at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre.
‘The convention will discuss the characters of war crime, the process of prosecution and its barriers, review the past movements and decide the future course of action.
Representatives from different class and professions from across the country including freedom fighters, teachers, students, intellectuals, journalists, lawyers and cultural activist will be invited to the convention,’ he said.
Sector commander Abu Osman Chowdhur, former chief of army staff Harun-or-Rashid, and freedom fighter M Hamid were also present at the briefing.
Harun or Rashid said the state has to take the responsibilities of trying the war criminals.
‘We demanded formation of an international commission on war crimes in Bangladesh and that commission will identify the war criminals. We want legal prosecution,’ he said.