‘’MAULANA NIZAMI: FROM A STUDENT LEADER TO A LEADER OF MASS MOVEMENT’’
The Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami is a worldreputed leader of Islamic movement. His pioneering role in the struggle for democracy of the country will be remembered in the decades of to come. He has always been at the forefront of many popular movements risking his life including movement for Islamic education, antidictatorship movement, and movement for the introduction of the caretaker government. Because of this, he has been a subject of torture and repression. There have been many attempts of assassination. But by the grace of the Almighty, he always returned among the people. Being a victim of the fascist Awami League government, he is now made confined into the walls of prison.
While leaving from a meeting at the Press Club, police arrested him in a case related to socalled hurting religious sentiments on 29 June, 2010. He was tortured in detention in a series of false and baseless cases. Maulana Nizami has so far been implicated in 11 harassing cases. 10 trucks arms case of Chittagong, three cases in the Paltan thana of capital, one case in Ramna thana, one in Uttara thana, one in Kadamtali thana, Faruq murder case of Rajshahi, so-called ‘hurting religious sentiment’ case, and one case each in Pallabi and Keranigang. Among them, the two cases filed in Pallabi and Keraniganj have been transferred into the International Crimes Tribunal. This, one of the top leaders of the Four Party Alliance, was placed on 24-day remand under these cases. In addition, by the order of the Tribunal he was taken for a day to a so-called safe-home in Dhanmondi where he was psychologically tormented.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 framed charges against Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami on so-called ‘crimes against humanity’ on 28 May 2012. Terming these allegations as politically motivated, he categorically said on that day that he was only framed in those false and concocted cases because of his ‘crime’ of connection with Jamaat-e-Islami.
After bringing these false and concocted allegations by the government against Maulana Nizami, the mass people of his constituency in Santhi and Bera area of Pabna district are also annoyed. People of his constituency said, “He was not seen in the area during the whole time of liberation war in 1971.
There is no question of committing crime by him at that time. Maulana Nizami was implicated because of political vengeance.” Maulana Nizami was first elected the member of the parliament (MP) in 1991. After he was re-elected the member of the parliament in 2001, he successfully discharged his duty firstly as minister of agriculture and then minister of commerce. Soon after he was elected for the first time, Maulana Nizami started development activities of economically backward area of Santhia and Bera. Because of him, not only Santhia and Bera but also whole Pabna district has turned into a modern city.
The government has, in reality, taken up the ‘war crime’ and ‘crime against humanity’ issue as quelling political opponents. There have been growing criticisms against the laws and rules enacted to conduct this tribunal. Experts from home and abroad have raised questions regarding its transparency and credibility. Many individuals from international community and international organizations have given their opinions regarding this, including Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues of the US President Stephen J Rapp, the largest global body of lawyers International Bar Association, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The government has not paid heed to this; rather sometimes it claims that this is domestic tribunal, sometimes it says it is an international tribunal, other times it claims that it a national tribunal of international standard. Moreover, legal experts have clearly declared, this tribunal does not have domestic standard, nor does it have international standard; and neither it is possible for this tribunal to preserve the smallest rights of a citizen.
There was example of repression against and crack-down on Islamic movements, in various forms. Attempts have been made time and again to stop the struggle for Islam. No amount of repression could stop the onward march of Islamic movement so far; neither could it do in future insha-Allah.
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami is not merely an individual; he is the voice of religion loving people of this country, a popular leader, a torch bearer of global Islamic movement. He has continued his lifelong endeavour in the notion of the well being of the people of Bangladesh with his integrity, clear thinking and deep patriotism.
– Current Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.
– Elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) two times (1991–1996) and (2001–2006).
– Minister of the government of Bangladesh (2001–2006).
– Successful Minister of Agriculture (2001–2003).
– Successful Minister of Industries (2003–2006).
– President of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha (1966–1968).
– Elected President for two terms of All Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha (1969–September 1971).
– Kamil (equivalent to Masters) in Islamic jurisprudence [Placed Second in the First Class].
– Dhaka University Graduate.
– Prominent Islamic scholar, writer of 54 books on various issues.
– Placed among the top 50 most influential Muslims of the world in 2009 by an international institute “The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre”.
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami in the Student Islamic Movement
By accepting the invitation of Islami Chhatra Sangha in 1961, he started to play an active role in student movement. At that time, madrasah students were voicing their demands. That movement spread in the year 1962–1963. A student of the Kamil final year, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami led that student movement for the legitimate demands of the students. In the year 1963–1964, the then regime of Ayub Khan started careful vigilance on Chhatra Sangha. To strangle the Islamic movement, the government banned the Jammat-e-Islami on 6 January 1964. However, the activists of the Islamic movement declined to yield to conspiracies and repressive policies of the government and continued the political activities through COP, DAC and PDM.
Role of Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami in Mass Movement and in the introduction of the caretaker government
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami played a pioneering role in every mass movement in the post-liberation of Bangladesh. Maulana Nizami strongly led the mass movement that emerged in 1982–1990 against the then dictatorial regime. Therefore, he was a victim the animosity of the authoritarian regime on several occasions. Because of his bold leadership there was strong resistance against the dictatorial regime. The nation was relieved from that repressive regime in 1990. There was free and fair elections in 1991 under the caretaker government that was put in place according to the formula prescribed by Jamaat-e-Islami. That election was hailed home and abroad. To keep up this practice of free and fair elections, Maulana Nizami, as the leader of parliamentary party of Jammat-e-Islami, placed a bill to include of the system of caretaker government in the constitution. Afterwards, because of the important role played by Jamaat-e-Islami both inside and outside the parliament, the system of the caretaker government was included in the constitution.
Between 1996 and 2001, the unyielding role of Maulana Nizami against the fascist regime of Awami League infused new life to the nation. Because of his constant endeavour the Islamic and nationalists forces were united against the repressive regime of Awami League. Maulana Nizami played a memorable role against myriad subversive activities of Awami League including ruining Islam and beliefs of the Muslims, introduction of idol, conspiracy to ban madrasah education, repression of the opposition parties under the guise of infamous Indemnity Ordinance, signing of the Chittagong Peace Accord against the sovereignty and national integrity, farce in the name of Ganges water sharing treaty.
Leading funeral prayers of slain student Asad in anti Ayub movement
During the movement against Ayub, an activist of Student Union Asad was slain. Despite ideological differences, Maulana Nizami attended the funeral service of Asad. When the student leaders requested him, he led the funeral prayers. This shows political differences, at personal level; Maulana Nizami was respected by all as a student leader.
Joining Jamaat-e-Islami and served as the Secretary General for 12 years
After completing student life, Maulana Nizami joined Jamaat-e-Islami in 30 September 1971. Gradually he served as the Ameer of Dhaka city and member of the Central Working Council from 1979–1982. He was selected the Assistant Secretary General of the party in 1983 and remained in that position up to 1988. Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami served as the Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami for 12 long years from 1988–2000.
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami as the Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami was elected the Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami on 19 November 2000. He was elected the Ameer for the third time in 2003. Currently, he holds this esteemed position.
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami as the top leader of the Four-party Alliance
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami is one of the top leaders of the four-party alliance that was united against the oppressive rule of Awami League that rode on the shoulders of the nation in 1996. The four-party alliance won two-thirds majority in the parliamentary elections in 2001 and formed the government. Thwarting all plots and conspiracies, the strong role played by Maulana Nizami is well-known in strengthening the four-party alliance and keeping it unscathed. The mass people have enormous faith in the bold leadership of Maulana Nizami as a top leader of the four-party alliance.
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami in the National Parliament
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami was elected the Member of Parliament in the 5th national elections in 1991 from Pabna-1 constituency (Santhia-Bera). He will be remembered in the political history of Bangladesh for his constructive, responsible and strong role in the parliament. Argumentative and informative speeches of Maulana Nizami in the parliament on various issues drew attention of many. At that time he was a member of four different important parliamentary committees. It should be mentioned that, the people of Santhia-Bera constituency elected Maulana Nizami a Member of Parliament in 2001 for the second time. As the parliamentary leader of Jamaat-e-Islami and a senior minister of the government he played more effective and stronger role in the parliament than before.
Maulana Nizami is against extremism in the name of Islam
When the four-party alliance was successfully moving forward with the task of strengthening the economic backbone of the country and achieved success in clamping down on terrorism, right at that time an anti-Islam anti-Bangladeshi quarter orchestrated bomb attacks across the country. But Islam never endorses the extreme way of violence. However, that quarter premeditatedly perpetrated the attack to stigmatize Islam and to obstruct the course of development of the country. By the grace of Allah Almighty, a determined role played the four-party alliance government, Jamaat-e-Islami and its Ameer Maulana Nizami as well as the stance of the leading religious leaders of the country against extremism, the mask of these bomb attackers and its perpetrators was revealed before the nation.
Maulana Nizami in international politics
As the Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami and important minister of the Government of Bangladesh, Maulana Nizami has a good connection with international politics. His role in many important international issues has been lauded. Maulana Nizami has participated in various international conferences and played strong role in the many international issues.
Role of Maulana Nizami in islamisation of education and in development of madrasah education
Maulana Nizami played a sincere and responsible role in reforming the prevailing nationwide education system as well as development of madrasah education system. His role in the historic decision of the four-party alliance government to recognise Qoumi madrasah giving equivalent degrees as well as recognising the degrees of Fazil and Kamil by is known to all.
Maulana Nizami as a writer and thinker
Despite serving responsibilities of the party and other political engagement, Maulana Nizami has played a significant role Islamic literary work and research. Maulana Nizami had a inclinations towards writing since his young age. He used to write regularly in magazines while he was a student of madrasah. His significant write-ups used to appear in annual Ovijan magazine published from Pabna. He used to regularly write for the Daily Azad, Khelaghar of the Daily Sangbad, Kachi Kachar Mela of the Daily Ittefaq. His writings also appeared in the Kishor Kafela of the Daily Millat. His creative and research-based writings drew attention of all. He earned reputation as a writer and Islamic thinker from his student life. He wrote for the Daily Sangram for many years.
Role of Nizami in maintaining healthy environment in educational institutions and bare attack on him
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami is not merely an individual, he is also an institution. Because of his strong role in the Islamic Movement, the anti-Islamic quarter hatched many plots against him. In order to ensure a healthy environment for education and to stop terror and violence in Dhaka University, the Vice Chancellor of called a meeting with the leaders of various political parties in 1991. Being invited, Maulana Nizami also attended the meeting. He was premeditatedly attacked at that time. He was heavily injured and was cured after a long phase of treatment.
By the clear order of the last repressive Awami League government, the Awami-police-force showed the audacity of beating up a veteran and senior leader like him with a baton in front of the national press club. But no amount of threat, injury and attack could make him hesitate. Because, no conspiracy can weaken the determination of someone whose sole purpose is the satisfaction of Allah.
Successful Minister of Agriculture Maulana Nizami
The four-party alliance formed the government after winning the parliamentary election with an overwhelming two-thirds majority. Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami assumed the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture of the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. He set a unique example of in reforming the corruption-laden ministry and by executing various development oriented activities as well as service to the nation. The following parts highlight some of the activities of Maulana Nizami as the Minister of Agriculture:–
Food Production: Increased by 7 lac Metric Tonn
Despite the fact that one lac 24 thousand hectare of lands of crops was devastated by flood and cyclones in the year 2001–2002, but the production of Boro paddy increased by 7 lac metric tonn compared to the year 2000–2001.0
House of Farmer a Farmhouse: Epoch-making Programme by Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami
The then Minister of Agriculture Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami took up a programme called “house of farmer is a farmhouse” with the aim of meeting the demands of own nutrition by turning every household of farmers into a farmhouse, ensuring extra income and self-dependence. The practice exists to date.
Strengthening the Seeds Wing of BADC: A Unite Decision
To meet the local demands of high quality seeds, the then Minister of Agriculture Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami took up an effective initiative to increase the amount of base seeds and licensed seeds by BADC.
Promotion of Agriculturist and Agricultural Scientists: What Generous Does
While he was the Minister of Agriculture, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami resolved the long long-clogged promotion problems of various research institutes and Department of Agricultural Extension. Besides, he regularized the jobs of many third and fourth class employees. Because of his generous heart, he took up these initiatives.
Extensive Visit at the root levels: Revolution in Agriculture Sector
As the Minister of Agriculture Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami brought life to the agricultural extension workers, scientists and farmers by his extensive visit at the grass root levels. As a result, a revolution was brought about in the agriculture sector.
Plantation of Fruit-trees: Something that No One Did before
According to the will of Maulana Nizami, fruit tree plantation, for the first time, was separately prioritized in the National Tree Plantation Programme and the programme was celebrated for weeks. This programmes is in existence to date.
Changing the Designation of Block Supervisor: A Successful Initiative
During the tenure of the Maulana Nizami the initiative of changing the designation of bloc supervisors to Sub-assistant Officers was taken.
Soil Quality Testing: A Smart Initiative
While he was the Minister of Agriculture Maulana Nizami took the initiative to expand the activities of the Soil Resource Development Institute. As a result of which, it was possible to test soil quality across the country and a manual for land and soil resources was prepared for the Upazila level.
Increase Production of Maize and Jute: Compassion for Farmers
Maulana Nizami gave directions take up necessary programmes to massively increase the cultivation of maize and jute. As a result, plenty of maize and jute are being cultivated in the country at present. At that time, the farmers also received justified price for those two types crops.
Expanding the Activities of Barendra Multipurpose Authority
In line with the directions of Maulana Nizami the activities of Barendra Multipurpose Authority was expanded to other parts of the northern districts going beyond Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj.
Successful Minister of Industries Maulana Nizami
As a result of restructuring of the Ministry of Agriculture and huge success in that ministry, the former prime minister of Bangladesh deshnetri Khaledia Zia assigned Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami to Ministry of Industries to revive and accelerate the rundown and controversial industries sector. As for the Ministry of Agriculture, Maulana Nizami also took initiatives to speed up and modernize the Ministry of Industries. Some of his success stories are highlighted below:–
Introduction of New Industries Policy
A new industries policy was introduced in 2005 for the development of the industries sector.
SME Policy Strategy Taken Up
The SME Policy Strategy was taken up in 2005 for prompt development of small and medium sized industries. Growth in the Industries Sector Reached to 10.45 per cent In the fiscal year 2001–2002 the growth rate for the industries sector was 5.49 per cent which reached to 10.45 per cent in the fiscal year 2005–2006.
Freely Distribution of Fertilizers
In the last five years, uninterrupted production, import and distribution of fertilizers were ensured.
Two New Fertilizers Factory Established
To meet the demands of mixed fertilizers in the country, two new fertilizer factories of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP–1) and Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP–2) were established in Chittagong with the daily production capacity of four hundred metric tons.
Opening Closed Industries
Closed caustic chlorine plant of Karnaphuli Paper Mills (KPM), Khulna hardboard mills and Rangpur sugar mill were reopened.
Setting up Industries City: A Revolutionary Step
In order to improve the environment of Dhaka city the tannery industries of Hazaribagh was moved to Savar where a new tannery industries city was set up. In addition to that, plans were taken to set up separate pharmaceuticals industries, plastic industries and automobile workshop cities.
Approximately Tk.70 Crore Profit in Sugar Industries
Bangladesh Sugar & Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) in the sugarcane cultivation season of the year 2005–2006 made Tk.70 crore of profit for the second time in the last 17 years.
Employment Generation for One Lac 32 Thousand Three Hundred 75 Persons
BSCIC generated employments for one lac 32 thousand three hundred 75 person including 90 thousand two hundred 97 persons in small industries sector and 42 thousand in the cottage industries the year 2005–2006.
Increased Export Income from Small and Cottage Industries Sectors
BSCIC industries units produced products worth 11 thousand 39 crore taka in the fiscal year 2004–2005, and among them products worth three thousand six hundred crore were exported.
Salt Production: Highest Record so far
Against the demand of 11 lac metric ton salt in the country, 15 lac 75 thousand metric tons of salt was produced in the year 2005–2006 exceeding the local demand which is the highest record so far.
Modernization of BSTI: An Initiative Praised by All Quarters
The country-wide campaign anti-adulteration drive is strengthened in order to prevent duplicate products and adulteration under the auspices of BSTI which was greeted by all irrespective of political differences. In order to strengthen and modernize BSTI a project was implemented.
Formation of Food Fortification Alliance
In order to enrich flour and edible oil with vitamin A, Bangladesh Food Fortification Alliance was formed.
Formation of National Accreditation Board
National Accreditation Board was formed in order to receive recognition of different international standardization and certification authorities for different Bangladeshi products, industries and services and to prevent adulteration and duplicate products.
Preservation of Patent: A Constructive Step
In order to preserve national patents, the current patent office and trademarks registry office has been merged and new patent, design and trademarks department has been formed.
Productions in Various Organizations: Reaching the Target
In the last fiscal year 2005–2006, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC), and Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) produced beyond their targets.
This is how he spent five years in serving the people thorough transparency, accountability and efficiency giving his fullest intelligence and abilities. But now he is incarcerated into the four walls of prison because of heinous political vengeance.
Maulana Nizami in Development of Pabna
55 Villages and 27 Thousand Acres Land of Crops Saved by Jamuna Embankment Protection Project worth 250 Crore Taka
The scenario of Bera-Santhia has changed with the touch of Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami. He is the mastermind behind the development of Santhia-Bera. Because of his initiative and his direction, alongside massive development of schools, colleges and madrasahs, many roads and highways as well as bridges and culvert have been constructed. Everywhere there is his touch. The people of Santhia-Bera are surprised by unimaginable development. Not only Bera and Santhia, he has unique contribution in the overall development of Pabna. By implementing Jamuna Embankment Protection Project worth 250 crore taka, he contributed by saving 55 villages and 27 thousand acres land of crops.
Touch of Development Everywhere in Road and Highways
Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami and former minister Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami brought about revolutionary changes in the communications sectors of his constituency. Neglected
roads and highways received the touch of development. There were so roads and highways that were not touched by modernization. Because of continuous development, it is now difficult to separate Santhia-Bera from Paurashavas. Apart from the development scenarios performed by him, there is a little left to mention. He developed hundreds of miles of roads.
Construction of Educational Institutes Turned Santhia-Bera into an Educational Town
Maulana Nizami has mentionable contribution in education sector development. He has inclination for education and therefore, he built many schools, colleges and madrasahs to present an educated nation. He supported many educational programmes. In addition to government fund, he built educational infrastructure with private grants and took initiatives to reform hundreds of neglected educational institutions. As the result, neglected Santhia-Bera was turned into a town of education. Pabna became enlightened. No one ever imagined that those tin-shed schools and colleges and madrasahs will become buildings within such a short
time. Now, there is no educational institute in Santhia-Bera where the touch of development by Nizami cannot be seen. Not only his constituency, there is a touch of development in other Upazilas of Pabna as well.
High Quality Medical Treatment and Massive Change in Healthcare
Maulana Nizami brought total change in the backward healthcare sector of Santhia-Bera. There was a time when people of these areas had no other option other than going to Pabna General Hospital or Rajshahi Medical College Hospital for petty medical treatments. Because the only two Health Complex in Bera and Santhia was in rundown condition. The number of seats was also very limited. Because of unavailability of seat there, patients had to stay and take treatment in the porch. Doctors were not available when required. Many critical patients died while transferring to remote hospitals as local ones lacked emergency medical equipments. Because of Nizami’s contribution, the number of seats, doctors and span of healthcare services increased in those two hospitals; ambulance has been added. Besides, the victims would lose everything before the firefighters could reach from 40 kilometers away from Pabna, if there was any incident of fire. Maulana Nizami set up a fire service which was a local demand for a long time. Thus, Maulana Nizami has acquired a place in the hearts of the people of Santhia and Bera. Visiting the area it was learnt that popular leader of neglected Santhia and Bera area Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami actually started working to reduce the hardship when he was elected the Member of Parliament for the first time. The activities speeded up when he became a Minister.
Setting Rare Examples in Social Development
The role that Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami played in social development, has broken the previous records. There is no such mosque, maktab, temple, graveyard, Eid ground, playing field, clubs, societies and library that did not receive grants from Maulana Nizami. He developed these institutions through governmental and non-governmental organizations including TR and Food for Work project. He never considered political affiliation while endowing grants to these institutions. He engaged in the development activities by collecting information on his own. There were such incidents when people hesitated to come to him for grant because of opposing political ideologies, in such cases, he gave them grant by calling them up.
Meeting Long Time Demands of People of Pabna by Constructing Modern Circuit House, Auditorium and Judge Court Building
Not only Santhia and Bera, Maulana Nizami has worked hard for the development of the whole Pabna district. He engaged in various development activities even before demanded by the local people. He has relentlessly worked to make Santhia i.e. Pabna a model. He created a new trend in development by constructing court in the district town to speed up the trail process, and by building modern auditorium and circuit house. Something the local people never imagined. Because of these developments, his name is uttered in all quarters of Pabna.
Extending Hands of Assistance for Everyone Regardless of Religious Belief and Political Affiliation
Not only Santhia and Bera, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami was openhearted with regard the people of Pabna. He extended his hand for all regardless of political affiliation and religious belief. No one returned from him empty-handed. He stood by the people of his locality from young age during their happiness and sorrow; he extended his hand of assistance. He never differentiated based on Muslim, Hindhu, Buddhist and Christian identity while helping people. Especially, he has respected freedom fighters very much. He provided employment for many destitute freedom fighters. He played a strong role in fighting terrorism.
Former convener of Pabna district Muktijoddha Sangsad and brave freedom fighter Shamsul Alam says, Nizami always respects the freedom fighters. While he was an MP, he used to respect freedom fighters when they visited him. He never refused if he could assist them in any way. He built an office for the freedom fighters in Santhia spending eight lac taka. Before that, applications were submitted to many for its renovation. But no one came to help. However, Nizami constructed the building for freedom fighters when help was sought from him. I believe that the freedom fighters of Santhia will remember that forever.
Former Member Secretary of Pabna district Muktijoddha Command Council and brave freedom fighter Ahmad Shafiq said, the things that were done during his tenure were not done in the times of other ministers or MPs. He erected a building for the freedom fighters in Santhia alone spending eight lac taka. The freedom fighters of Santhia gather there. As far as I know, Nizami generated employment for many freedom fighters and helped them with cash.
Former Vice President (VP) of RUCSU (Rajshahi University Central Student Union) elected from Chhatra League and fellow freedom fighter Abdul Wadud Khan says, “no matter what ideology I belong to, there is no harm in saying the truth. Mr. Nizami is a very good man. There is great scarcity of such good persons like him in our country. He has respected and helped freedom fighters. I have heard that he bought cycle-rickshaw and cycle-van to many destitute freedom fighters.”
Two times elected former chairman of Bera Upazila and a freedom fighter Md. Rowshan Ali said in an interview with the Daily Sangram before he passed away, “regardless of what ideology I subscribe to, to tell the truth, he is a superman. He is an honest and spiritual person. He respects us a lot. When going past us, he pulls over his vehicle and show us respect.”
Former chairman of Jatsakhini union and freedom fighter MA Gani Fakir says, “I was stationed at the Nagarbari ghat. Nizami has honoured me a lot after I was introduced with him. In fact, he is a real gentleman. If there were 50 persons like him in the country and if those 50 persons were given the responsibility of running 50 ministries of the government, then, this country would turn into a gold mine.”
Brave freedom fighter Advocate Hamidur Rahman says, “Mr. Nizami respects us a great deal. He is a liberal person. There is no such case that someone went to him for help and he refused them. He has helped many freedom fighters with cash in their daughters’ wedding, generated employment and assisted in medical treatment and building their houses. In my knowledge, he bought a vehicle to destitute freedom fighter of Sonatala village of Santhia. He is really a good man. I don’t know if a good person like him would born in Pabna again.”
Maulana Nizami extended his helping hand during the need of Hindus.
Maulana Nizami gave grants to Kali temple of Bongaon and endowed grants in the construction of many Hindu temples including Sonatola temple, Santhia temple, Karmoja Rishibari, Ataikula Haribari Kali temple and Madhpur Kali temple. Besides, he personally helped during the daughter’s wedding of Kala Kundu of Chhachania bazaar, constructed house for Nimai Ghosh of Sonatola, Kanai Pal, Nipin Pal, Poriksha Haldar and Golok Ghosh, financially helped Haripad Saha, Kartik Saha and Narayan Saha of Bongram as well as Sri Ranjit Kumar Saha of Monmothpur.
Sri Ranjit Kumar Saha of Monmothpur says, “regardless of what religious faith I have I cannot tell lie. I cannot forget the favour of Nizami. I was neither minister nor MP at that time. I was in great trouble with my brother. At that time the Minister from Santhia was Prof Abu Sayeed. First, I went to him for assistance. But the turned me down without any help. I returned home with great despair. Then, someone suggested me to go to Dhaka to meet Nizami and told me to introduce myself to see if he can do something for me. According to his advice I went to Dhaka and told him about my problem. He (Nizami) made a phone call and managed free eye treatment where I was likely to pay one lac taka. Truly, Nizami is a good person. I shall tell the truth, I don’t care if the folks of my religion cremate my dead body or lay on the ground.”
The President of Bangram Banik Samiti Haripad Saha became destitute when his shops were burnt in fire. Maulana Nizami rushed from Dhaka and financially helped him including Kartik Saha, Narayan Saha. Haripad Saha said at that time, “I had no idea about Nizami. But we cannot forget the way he extended his helping hand during our hard time. He is truly an altruistic person. We pray to Bhagwan [God in Hinduism] for him.”
Arrest, Remand and other forms of Repression
Some media distorted a report of speeches of a seminar arranged by Chhatra Shibir on Quran Day on 29 June 2010. Revolving this incident, a case was filed on so-called hurting religious sentiments. Leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami including Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami were charged in that case. It should be mentioned that none of these leaders were present in that meeting. However, a metropolitan magistrate’s court issued arrest warrant against them in that so-called case.
Within hours police arrested three top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami including Motiur Rahman Nizami. They were forced to sleep on two sheets of blankets at the DB (Detective Branch) office. Despite repeated requests, they were not allowed to meet their families.
Harassment in every step
Despite the fact that the leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami including Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami got bail on 30 June in the so-called case of hurting religious sentiments, but they were shown arrest at once in five different old cases filed against various police stations in Dhaka. Later on, the government kept Nizami imprisoned in cases of Kadamtali, Rajshahi, Keraniganj and 10 trucks arms haul. The government is harassing this top leader with new cases despite getting bails on all previous cases.
Torture in remand
The police applied for 50 days of remand in five different cases to metropolitan magistrate’s court charging Maulana Nizami. The court granted 16 days of remand in five cases. In addition, later on he was to another taken three-day remand in a case no. 57(4) 10 in Kadamtali thana. This is the first incident in the country to oppress the top political leaders in remand for long time. During remand the leaders including Maulana Nizami were kept in a dirty room of the DB office; were given two pieces of blanket with mites to pass the night. They were not given any pillow to sleep on. Besides, high powered bulb was kept turned on in the room. The government has psychologically tortured the physically weak leaders due to old age in the name of investigation. They were deprived of medical treatment at that time. Because of these inhumane behaviour Maulana Nizami often fell sick and his blood pressure rose during investigation; his diastolic pressure often rose up to 220. At the same time, he was attacked with viral diseases like herpes during his stay in prison because of mental and other causes.
Two writ petitions were filed in the High Court on 14 and 15 July to ensure the basic rights of Maulana Nizami. Justice Dastgir Chowdhury and AKM Zahir Ahmed ordered to in accordance with the High Court (supplying pillow and physiotherapy on own expense); but despite that taking him to three-day remand on Uttara case no 31(2) 10 is a clear violation of the High Court order.
During the remand they was mostly asked political questions and there were few questions about the related cased on which remand was asked. Even, they were taken into remand during the Ramadan; then, they fell so sick that the police were forced to inform their family members. He was kept on standing for three hours in the court and not given a chair to sit on. At one point, they sat on the floor.
Allegation of War Crime and its Reality
The Stories behind Karmoja and Brishalika massacre
False allegations have been brought against the Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and former minister Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami. He has been strategically implicated in various incidents of his own district Pabna. But the people of the locality say, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami is harassed because political vengeance. He has been kept in prison in false cases. They say, he did not go to his locality during the whole time of the liberation war. Many did not even hear name before the parliamentary election in 1986. This information has been found after visiting many places of Pabna and interviewing people.
Many people got compassionate by the fact that a person like him who did not commit any crime is being tormented. At that time the Head Master of Santhia High School was Khorshed Alam (80) of Karmoja. On the attempt to implicate Nizami with the incidents of that time, he commented, “Nizami was not even seen at that time. We knew that he was very good student. Now, he is being implicated because of political vengeance. He talks about Islam and calls people towards good deeds; perhaps this is what his crime.” He added that, there were 76 rakazars in Sanila. They are now affiliated with Awami League. They are not being punished. They are doing just fine.
Next door neighbour of Megha Tagore Lal Mia (54) commented about the attempt to implicate Maulana Nizami, “this is actually done because of political motive. We never heard his name at that time.”
Alauddin (73) of Hatighara area of Bera is a former government employee. He said, “we didn’t know Nizami at that time. We heard about him in the 1980s. I heard his name in 1983-1984. When he took part in the elections in for the first time in 1986, I was a presiding officer.” He added, “the incident of Brishalika where he has been implicated is not correct. Nizami is a superman.”
Abdul Karim Sarker (62) of Choto Payna area of Bera used to work in the survey department in Dhaka. He said, “I returned home leaving job after the call of Sheikh shaheb.” He added, “Nizami has no connection with the incident of Brishalika. This is being said to stigmatise his character.” He also added that, “someone who does not hurt a dog without a reason, he is said to have killed people. There is not another good man like him in the area. People of this areas did not know him before 1986”
Former government official of Bera Upazila ATM Fazlur Rahim (55) mentioned, “I did not see Nizami in the nine months of the liberation war. The allegations brought by Dablu are controversial, questionable, apparently baseless and outright false. I know Nizami as a good human being. It is difficult to find another good person like him in Pabna.”
President of Bera Banik Samiti (Businessmen Cooperative) and reputed social worker Md. Fazlur Rahman Fakir (67) said, “no one knew that someone call Nizami exists in Bera-Santhia. Therefore, the massacre was perpetrated by the order of Nizami is not correct at all.” He added, “I knew about him for the first time when he participated in the parliamentary election in 1986. Later on, I got to know him better through his various development activities after he had been elected a Member of Parliament.” He said, “Nizami is a good human being. He is a true religious person.”
Former elected VP (Vice President) RUCSU (Rajshahi University Central Students’ Union) and fellow freedom fighter Abdul Wadud Khan (74) said, “I came to my locality leaving my job in order to assist in the liberation war. I helped the freedom fighters in many ways. But I did not heard about Nizami from anyone at that time. Moreover, no one can prove evidence that they knew him”
Valiant freedom fighter of Bera Upazila Md. Ferdous Hossain Bachchu (61) mentioned, “I did not hear about Nizami in Santhia-Bera during the liberation war. I came to know about him when he was as candidate in the election of 1986. No one can prove that he was in this area at that time. I can challenge that. If anyone says that, he/she is totally lying because of political vengeance.” He added, “He has no blemish. It is difficult to find a good person like him.”
Reputed businessman and member of Bera Bazar Bani Samiti Alhaj Sharif Khan (54) mentioned, “There was no sight of Nizami during the war of liberation. No one in our area used to know him at that time. The allegation that Dablu brought about Brishalika is not true at all. Five individuals were killed in Brishalika with the aid of Pakistani forces by Asad and Afzal. Later on, freedom fighters physically punished and killed them.”
Two times elected chairman of Bera Upazila and freedom figheter Md. Raoshan Ali (60) said to the Daily Sangram before he died, “I came to know Nizami for the first time during the movement against Ershad. I came across no prove that he was involved in the massacre. No one can prove that either. If anyone says that out of political motive, he/she must be lying. During the war, I was Secretary of Sangram Parishad of Jatsakhini Union. Therefore, I was in constant touch with other freedom fighters of the district. There were some massacres in Nagarbari area that were perpetrated by Pakistani occupation forces. But no one knew anyone called Nizami, neither was his name known.”
Former chairman of Jatsakhini union and valiant freedom fighter MA Gani Fakir (61) said, “I never heard his name during the war of liberation, let alone knowing him. No one can claim in front of me that he/she knew him or heard his name. Although I heard his name during the election of 1986, but I knew him after the parliamentary election of 1991. I was stationed at the Nagarbari ghat during the liberation war. I never heard of him from anyone.”
The Stories behind Arson and Plunder in Some Houses Of Monmothpur
“Someone we have never seen to be involved in any offence is now being falsely accused. It is difficult for an honest person like him not only in Santha but elsewhere.”, said hundred years old Nefaz Uddin Pramanik of Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami’s own village Monmothpur. The similar statements were given by the residents of Monmothpur, Sonatola and adjacent villages. It was the razakars who set fire on houses of Monmothpur. The local people also said their names as well. The elders also said that there was no incident of arson in the nearby village. They said, “Despite the fact that Nizami hails from Monmothpur, but he rarely visited his own house. And he never visited his village during the whole time of the liberation war.” The villagers are angry at the false allegations that are brought against him.
Hundred years old Nefaz Uddin Pramanik of Monmothpur commented, “we have never seen him be involved in any injustice. An honest person like Nizami cannot be found in not only in Santhia but elsewhere.” Other villagers from the same area Mongol Pramanik and Nabal who bother are above eighty years old said, “These all are concocted. Nizami cannot be involved in these.” Kobad Ali Pramanik (70) commented, “The false accusations are brought against Nizami for political reasons.” He said, “He used to ask about our problems. Now, no one comes.” Md. Rostom Ali (81) is very close to Maulana Nizami. He said, “Nizami is younger to me and was one class junior in school. But because of the fact that he was very good in studies, he got double promotion and promoted above one class. We have never seen him in
the area during the war.”
Alhaj Iman Ali (86) of Sonatola, Md. Kasai Sardar (82), Md. Abdul Hakim Pramanik (81) said, “in fact, there was no such event of setting fire on the house of Anil Kundu. Whatever is said against are blatant lies. Nizami was not even in the area at that time.” Md. Abdul Jalil (68) of Sonatala said, “we didn’t hear about Nizami at that time. There were Dain razakar, Sattar of Fakirbari and Asad who plundered.” The same was said by Zohrul Haque (60). Alhaj Motaleb Hossain (70) of Salandi said, “We used to know that Nizami studied in Shivpur madrasah but we never saw him. Some who gave away his house, how can he kill people?”
Maulana Kasimuddin was killed by Pakistani forces – The attempt to implicate Nizami is politically motivated
Former convener of Muktijoddha Sangsad of Pabna district and brave freedom fighter Shamsul Alam said, “The freedom fighters who were killed in the nine months of liberation war, was mostly killed by Naxals. The Naxals killed the freedom fighters collaborating with the Pakistani forces. At that time, our main fight was against the Naxals. Nitu Biswas was the leader of Naxals in Pabna.” He added, “I never heard of Nizami nor did I know him at that time. I knew him for the first time in 1986. He participated in the parliamentary election from Santhia-Bera constituency at that time. I came to know him from that time. If someone says that he’d be lying. He always respects the freedom fighters. As far as I know, I used to respect any freedom fighter who went to him for some reasons while he was an MP and minister. He never refused if he could be of any help. Nizami build an office worth eight lac taka for the freedom fighters in Santha.
Former Member Secretary of the Muktijoddha Command Council of Pabna district Ahmed Shafiq (65) said, during the war of liberation I received training in India and was later stationed in Najirganj union of Sujanagar Upazila. He said, “during the nine months of the liberation war I never knew Nizami and never heard of him from anyone. Since no one knew him, therefore, the accusations of crime against humanity that were brought against him were not true at all. If anyone brings allegations against him, that are nothing but outright false. If anyone says that, then, it is out of political vengeance.” He added, “The things that were done during his time were never done during the tenure of other MPs and ministers.” He said, “After I got to know him, I know him as good man. I don’t know whether anyone better than him would come to Pabna.”
Brave freedom fighter Advocate Hamidur Rahman (70) said, “The massacres that were perpetrated in Pabna were mostly done by the members of Communist Party. They killed civilians and freedom fighters and set fire on houses.” He added, “I did not hear about Nizami at that time, let alone seeing him. Nizami is being accused in the massacres in Pabna because of political reasons. This strategy is taken merely to weaken political opponent.”
Massacres Army Camp was perpetrated by Pakistani forces in Pabna and by Biharis in Ishwardi Liberatin flag maker of the Gopalpur area of the city and former commissioner for 28 years Firoz Hossian said, “I did not hear about Nizami at that time. I did not know him. I heard his name from people when he participated in the election.” He added, “The accusations are brought against Nizami because of political motive. There is no place for good people in our society now. The country is full of crooks. There is no one to tell the truth.”
Ahmad Ali Molla (63) of Dilalpur area of the city lives right behind the fire service office of Pabna. He said, “We did not hear about Nizami at that time, let alone knowing him. Whatever is being said about him is outright lies.” He commented, “no matter what political party or ideology I belong to, I cannot tell lies in front of others. How long shall I live? You won’t hear lies from me at the end of my life. Whether you accept my statement or not, it does not matter.”