War tapes disappeared after killing of Bangabandhu

Officials of the state-run Bangladesh Betar have said that a number of politically crucial tapes, many containing evidence of crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation, were destroyed or disappeared after the August 15, 1975 carnage.

“Many of the wartime documents containing the statements of top collaborators and leading perpetrators of crimes against humanity disappeared after the carnage,” Bangladesh Betar Director General AKM Shamim Chowdhury told the news agency.

Shamim believed that many of the missing tapes could have been used as evidence at the International Crimes Tribunal.

The then Radio Pakistan was used as a “propaganda machine”, broadcasting statements of the Pakistani junta’s several top collaborators including Ghulam Azam and those who spearheaded a massacre of Bangalees, he added.

Betar’s Deputy Director Akhtar Jahan Dolon said a senior official of Betar had removed several recorded statements of Bangabandhu and interviews of his family apparently on orders from an influential quarter after the carnage.

“These tapes were never found,” he said.

Former Betar regional director and Independence Award recipient Ashfakur Rahman said some military personnel led by Bangabandhu’s convicted killer major Dalim seized Bangabandhu’s recorded statements and locked those inside a cabinet after August 15, 1975.

“In 1994-1995, the tapes were recovered from an abandoned cabinet on a third-floor corridor,” he said.

Betar Transcription Director Kamal Ahmed said his section collected several audio documents containing issues on Bangabandhu and War of Liberation and converted those into digital format.

Source : Bss, Dhaka