About Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee

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Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (Committee for Resisting Killers and Collaborators of Bangladesh Liberation War of 71) is a socio-political organization to resist killers and collaborators and establish the sentiment and consciousness about the manifesto of the  Liberation War for Bangladesh held in 1971.    

Jahanara Imam

Making Jahanara Imam convener Nirmul Committee was founded on 19 January 1992 by forming a committee with 101 Bangladeshi activists to seek justice for the genocide carried out during the Bangladesh liberation war by Pakistani Occupational Army and their Collaborators. 

Leaders of various organizations as social, cultural and political formed a committee on 19 January in 1992 to protest the decision to elect Golam Azam, the criminal against humanity, the Amir of Jamat-e-Islami.   

The main objective of the committee, consisting of 101 prominent citizens, is to prosecute the killers and brokers of the 1971. Besides trying to prosecute the killer and brokers, the committee got always vocal and vibrant to patent the four core principle of the constitution intake which earlier had flawed by General Ziaur Rahman and General Hussain Muhammad Ershad.   

Within a few days of the formation of the Nirmul Committee, on 11 February, including 72 political, social and cultural organizations and selecting writer and educationist Jahanara Imam convener, ‘committee of implementing the spirit of freedom fight and the national coordination committee of the killers and brokers of 1971’ was formed. 

The coordination committee, on March 26, 1992, in the premises of Suhrawardy Udyan formed a Mass Trial against Golam Azam in a ‘people’s court’ and ruled that his crime was punishable by death. The then BNP run government sued 24 people, including Jahanara Imam. Jahanara Imam passed away on June 26, 1994, taking the case to the head.

After his death, the movement demanded justice for the crime against humanity got slow in its pass. That time writer and journalist Shahriar Kabir and Kazi Mukul stirred up the activities of the committee. Poet Shamsur Rahman was the chairman of the committee for a long time. Besides, Professor Kabir Chowdhury, wife of the martyr intellectuals Shyamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, senior journalist Kamal Lohani and Professor Muntasir Mamoon also played a significant role in the movement. After the War of Liberation it was the first time in Bangladesh that all the forces in favor of the War of Liberation united under the leadership of martyr mother Jahanara Imam.

It was only possible for this unity to complete the Mass Trial of Golam Azam in a mass rally of more than 5 lac people in Suhrawardy Udyan on March 26, 1992. Talking about the role played by the Ghatok Dalal Nirmul committee and Jahanara Imam for the trial of war crimes and the criminal acts against humanity the current president of the committee Shahriar Kabir said, “It was because of the effective movement led by Jahanara Imam, the demand for trial of the perpetrators of the genocide and crimes against humanity became a national issue.”

After the success of the mass court and movement of Nirmul Committee mother of martyr Jahanara Imam demanded that the politics of the party of the massacres and the fascist and communal war criminal party of the 1971 Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami  must have been banned. This movement has not only expanded step by step into the countryside, but also out-broken in the Bengali community of America, in the different countries of Europe and even in the Pakistan.

The young generation, who are born after the liberation war does not know why the liberation war was happened. They too became involved in this movement of Jahanara Imam. In fact the young generation was the main force of the movement. By this movement, Mother of Martyr re-energized those freedom fighters in the spirit of liberation war who got frustrated for various political, economic and social reasons.

To identify the war criminals, to form public opinion against them and to strengthen their demands for justice the National Mass-investigation Commission was formed with the top intellectuals of the country. The commission publicly disclosed the details of the crimes of sixteen top war criminals, most of whom were the top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islam. Some of them were elected as members of parliament after winning the fifth parliamentary election in the year of 1991.

Mother of Martyr Jahanara Imam got died on 26 June 1994. After his death, the coordination committee’s movement temporarily became slow. Soon the new leadership took hold. Within a year of her death, a jolt of young men who always had been with Jahanara Iman since the beginning announced that in the next Jatiya Sangsad elections, no killer of war criminals could not be allowed to win. In order to implement this program, the young leaders of the Nirmul Committee (elimination committee) spread themselves to the constituency of Jamaat-e-Islami and other war criminals from which they were elected in the 5th national election of 1991.

Going door to door they told voters about their misdeeds during the War of Liberation. By this way they campaigned extensively in 30 constituencies then. Besides, to inform the younger generation about the true history of the War of Liberation the leaders of the Nirmul Committee formed a Memorial Conservation Center of the War of Liberation in collaboration with the country’s leading artists, literary and intellectuals. Its main program was to establish library in every Upazilla based on the liberation war and the sentiment of liberation war across the country.

Leaders of Nimul Committee in collaboration with Library Committee and other like-minded socio-cultural organizations leaders and staff ‍started a campaign from the month of December in 1995, the results of the campaign was focused on the election of 12 June 1996. In this election, the movement of Nirmul Committee played an important role in the land slide backdrop of Jamaat-e-Islami. In 2000s, the Nirmul Committee was reorganized by making poet Shamsur Rahman as president. From that time up to the year 2010, Nirmul Committee formed organizations all over the country and worked for gathering public opinion by arranging various meetings and publishing booklets, leaflets, posters, etc.

In this case, many organizations came together including the ‍Sommilito Sanskritik Jot (Cultural Alliance), Projonmo 71 (Generation 71), Muktijoddah Songsod (Federal of Freedom Fighters) and many others.  When the BNP-Jamaat alliance formed the government in 2001, demand for justice of the criminals against humanity gained momentum. In 2007, even in the time of caretaker government the organization was vocal in its claim. In view of this movement all the political parties except the BNP-Jamaat alliance supported the demand for justice criminal against humanity in the election of 2008.

Awami League and its allies winning the election, started the trial of war criminals by setting up international criminal court on 25 March, 2010. After the death of Jahanara Imam in 1994, the coordinating groups of the coordination committee got busy with themselves.

After the death of the Imam, on the situation, Shahriar Kabir writes, “After the death of Jahanara Imam on June 26, political parties lost interest in the movement. At that time, Jamaat also participated in the Awami League movement demanding elections under the caretaker government. As a result, the demand for the trial of war criminal Ghulam Azam was also dashed. There were many meetings of the Coordinating Committee in the year of 1995 and 1996, where not even a hundred people attended. The activities of the National Coordination Committee were completely dependent on the cooperation and participation of the political parties of the coordination. When the activities of the Coordination Committee were almost halted due to the non-cooperation of the political parties, we started fresh from the neutral position. I planned to continue the movement of Jahanara Imam by reorganizing the committee.”

The organization pulled the War Crimes Trial Movement from the year 2000 to 2010 after being reconstructed. With them the Cultural Alliance, Generation 71, Freedom Fighters Forum, a few women organizations were active and finally the Sector Commanders Forum, a progressive intellectual group, media activists joined the movement.

From the year of 1995, the task of institutionalizing Nirmul Committee began. Though the trial of crimes against humanity was initialized at a stage, keeping the prior consciousness of the War of Liberation in the mass scale and taking Bangladesh in a non-communal stage and battling militancy was the main challenge and focus of the committee.

For this reason, committee formed two associate organizations. One of these is the ‘Liberation War Memorial Conservation Trust’ and the other is the “South Asian Mass gathering against communalism and fundamentalism’’. Among the members of the trust artist Aminul Islam, barrister Shafiq Ahmed, writer and journalist Shahriar Kabir, artist Hashem Khan, professor Muntasir Mamun are notable. Its principal coordinator was Kazi Mukul. With his efforts, it has been possible to set up seventy libraries across the country.

The main purpose of this library is to establish the spirit of liberation war and creating the mind set against fundamentalism and militancy. Forty libraries were vandalized during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government. In 1998 Nirmul Committee started fair on Liberation war. The then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair and a commemoration called ‘Jyotu Jahanara Imam’ was made on the occasion.

Besides Dhaka, Nirmul Committee organizes meetings, rallies and seminars all over the country. The committee has more than two hundred publications on war crimes, fundamentalism, sectarianism, militancy, and constitution. Committee published a White Paper named ‘1500 days of minority torture in Bangladesh’ on the torture of religious minorities during the BNP Jamaat Alliance government.

Writer and Journalist Shahriar Kabir produced documentary on the behalf of Nirmul Committee to uphold the main sentiment of liberation war and defend humanity. During the disaster, Nirmul Committee distributed relief across the country. With the help of well-wishers, Nirmul Committee routinely helped the poor freedom fighters and their family members of the country.    


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