He has also been pronounced guilty in two other war crimes cases
The International crimes tribunal (ICT) has sentenced razakar Mahbubur Rahman to death for the murder of Tangail philanthropist Ranada Prasad Saha, his son and 58 others during the 1971 Liberation War.
The three-member bench, led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam, of the war crimes tribunal delivered the verdict on Thursday, in presence of the accused and Ranada Prasad's family.
The court in its 235-page judgment concluded that the prosecution proved the three charges brought against Mahbubur, 70, beyond any doubt and imposed the maximum penalty for each count.
Ranadash Gupta represented the state and Gazi MH Tamim stood for Mahbubur during the hearing.
Ranada Prasad's daughter-in-law Srimati Saha expressed satisfaction over the verdict and said: "We have waited 48 years for justice, and now we have got it at last."
Her son Rajiv Prasad Saha said the case was an unbearable burden for their family and the verdict made us free from lifelong trauma.
Another family member, Sham Sundar, also expressed deep satisfaction and said all they now wanted was the swift execution of the verdict.
Prof Durlav Biswas, former commander of Muktijoddha Sangsad’s Mirzapur upazila unit, said all freedom fighters from the upazila were happy with the verdict. He also called execution of the verdict as soon as possible.
Defence counsel Tamim, however, said they would appeal against Mahbubur’s death penalty.
According to law, a convict can appeal against a verdict at the Supreme Court within a month.
The war crimes tribunal had framed the three charges of crimes against humanity — genocide, abduction, and torture — against Mahbubur on March 28, 2018.
The first one accused him and his associates from the Razakar Bahini and Pakistani army of killing 33 Hindu civilians on 7 May, 1971 in Tangail’s Mirzapur and adjoining areas on south bank of the Louhajang River. Prior to that, they had also carried out attacked the Kumudini Complex, located on the other bank of the river.
The second one accused Mahbubur and his collaborators of committing genocide at the Hindu dominated localities in Mirzapur on the same day. They also abducted Ranada Prasad and his son Bhabani Prasad Saha from their home on Sirajdikhan Road at Khanpur, Narayanganj along with three others and killing them.
Also Read- ICT verdict in RP Saha killing case Thursday
The third one accused the razakars of abducting 24 Hindu civilians from Mirzapur on May 14, 1971 and they were taken to Tangail Circuit House. Afterwards, 22 detainees were killed while the two others somehow managed to survive.
Earlier, on April 24, the tribunal put the verdict on “Curia Advisari Vult,” a Latin legal term meaning verdict could be delivered any day, after both prosecution and the defence concluded their arguments.
According to the charge framing order, Mahbub carried out the attacks alongside his father and Mirzapur Peace Committee chief Wadud Moulana and brother late Md Abdul Mannan.
Mahbub was shown arrested in a case under ICT Act, 1973, on November 7, 2017.
The prosecution submitted the formal charge against him on January 11, 2018.
Ranada Prasad: From philanthropist to martyr
Ranada Prasad Saha is renowned for being a great philanthropist and a patron of women's education. "Danbir", the name given to show his philanthropist spirit, translates to "the hero benefactor".
As part of empowering girls through education, he established the Bharateswari Homes in Mirzapur and also founded Kumudini Girls' College in Tangail, and Debendra College in Manikganj.
In July, 1944, RP Saha donated of amount of Rs250,000 to the British Red Cross Appeal Fund, and in the early 50s he financed the construction of the Maternity Ward of Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka.
When Lord Richard G Casey, the then Governor of Bengal, inaugurated a free-for-all, 750-bed hospital in Mirzapur, he named it Kumudini Hospital, after the name of Saha's mother.
Saha was born in November 15, 1896, in Kachhur of Savar, near Dhaka. His father hailed from Mirzapur, and he was the second child of Debendranath Podder and Kumudini Devi. He had two brothers and one sister.
When Saha was 16, he fled to Kolkata, and initially worked as a day labourer, a rickshaw-puller, or even as a hawker. Later, at one stage, he was also involved in the nationalist movement or "swadeshi andolon", to free Bengal from British imperialism.
When the World War I began, Saha joined the army and was posted to Bengal Ambulance Corps. After the war was over, he joined government service, retired in 1932, and started a business.
This great philanthropist's spirit lives among his successors who are on the Board of Directors of the Trust. Saha was the first Managing Director succeeded by his daughter Joya Pati. His grandson Rajiv Prasad Saha is the present Managing Director of the Trust.
Additional reporting by Abdullah Al Numan from Tangail