B'desh's chief war crime investigator resigns for Jamat links

"He (Matin) has tendered his resignation," Home Minister Sahara Khatun told newsmen at her office minutes after the special investigation agency chief offered his resignation letter in presence of three other ministers.

State Minister for Home Shamsul Islam Tuku said Matin submitted his resignation voluntarily to home secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikdar in the morning.

The development came three days after an influential adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alleged that the war crime probe chief was an activist of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) the then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha in 1960s while JI was opposed to Bangladesh’s 1971 independence.

The Sangha activists were believed to have massacred leading Bengali intelligentsia in a planned way forming the notorious Al Badr force as auxiliary forces of the Pakistani troops during the 1971 Liberation War.

The allegation by the premier’s political affairs adviser Alauddin Ahmed, himself a 1971 veteran, sparked wide controversies exposing the government to embarrassment.

Matin, however, sternly denied his link to Sangha and the allegation that he vied for a college student union election as a candidate of the JI’s the then student front.
"(But) since there is so much controversy centring me, I think I should not continue with this position," Matin told newsmen submitting his resignation while he again denied the allegations raised by Ahmed.

Matin earlier said "there was no student organisation named ‘Islami Chhatra Sangha’ in 1963 when I ran for vice-president of the students’ union at Barisal BM College as an independent candidate."

Ahmed, however, later apparently slightly deviated from his stance as he told the told a newspaper that he had made the comments against Matin on the basis of allegations of other speakers at a roundtable on War Crimes Trial on Saturday.

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