The High Court Division's bench of Justices AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain yesterday directed incumbent Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Dhaka Mohibul Huq to physically appear before it today (Thursday) over the case of Col (Retd) Abu Taher trial.
The bench summoned the Dhaka DC to inform it whether was there any document of the trial, under which Abu Taher was hanged, at the DC office, Deputy Attorney General MK Rahman told journalists.
Meanwhile, two former magistrates and a habildar yesterday placed their statements before the bench of the HC over the trial and judgment's execution of Abu Taher in 1976.
The HC bench of the said two Justices recorded their statements during hearing the Writ petition filed challenging the trial, execution of Taher's death sentence and the Martial Law Regulation, under which the military Tribunal was formed tried him.
Hearing on the matter would resume today, said lawyer.
Former sub-divisional magistrate Mohammad Makbul Hossain and former second class magistrate Khondoker Bazlur Rahman told the HC that they were present in the dock of Dhaka Central Jail, where Col (Retd) Abu Taher was hanged.
Abu Taher was sentenced to death by a judgment passed by a military Tribunal in 1976 and was hanged on July 21 of the same year.
The then habildar Abdul Hye Majumder told the court that he was held probably at the last of November of 1975 and was tortured to make him agree to be state-witness against Abu Taher. But he didn't agree even after severe torture on him.
Hye Majumder, a freedom fighter, gave answers to different questions of the HC bench. In a query of following whose calling, he went to Liberation War, Majumder said, "Bangbandhu."
Following another 'repeated' query that "Joybangla slogan was the slogan of the Liberation War. Who eradicated the slogan?," Hye Majumder said, "Zia."
Then, the court asked him, "Why he (Zia) did so," the former habildar said that he did so to satisfy the Razakars.
Hye Majumder also replied another query of the court that "Ziaur Rahman was a freedom fighter during the Liberation War. Why he (Zia) later took his stance against the Liberation War?"
Mohammad Makbul Hossain and Khondoker Bazlur Rahman informed the HC bench that they have no document on whether Col (Retd) Abu Taher had given confessional statement to the magistrate over the allegation that was brought against him in 1976.
Khondoker Bazlur Rahman told the court that he reached the Dhaka Central Jail at about 3:00 pm where he saw that Abu Taher was taking a tea at a condemned cell.
"Taher told me that the law and court, under which I have been tried is not fair at all," said then magistrate Bazlur Rahman.
The jailer earlier had informed Taher that his death sentence would be executed at that night; and Taher was read 'touba' at earlier night, Bazlur Rahman said.
He said that Taher told him that "You have came. Well. Check the rope that whether it is all right."
"Taher wanted to go the gallows without wearing 'mask' but I told him that he have to wear it as per rules," he said.
Before riding over gallows, Taher recited a poem and told me carry the poem and two pipes of smoking to his brother, said Bazlur Rahman.
Then he was wore 'black mask' and he got on the gallows; before just 10-30 seconds of execution of his death sentence, he said, "Long live the country," Bazlur Rahman said.
Rahman said, "Taher was normal what I have seen."