Published:  12:00 AM, 09 March 2016

Who is this Quasem Ali?

On November 2, 2014, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali to death for his crimes against humanity in 1971.Following this, on November 30, in the same year, Mir Quasem filed the appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the death penalty. But, finally yesterday (Tuesday) the apex court upheld the capital punishment awarded to him by the International Crimes Tribunal for atrocities committed against Bangalees during the 1971 Liberation War.Mir Quasem Ali was born to Mir Tayeb Ali and Rabeya Begum. He was born in Munsidangi Sutalori in Manikganj on December 31, 1952. He joined the Islami Chhatra Sangha in 1967 while studying in Chittagong Collegiate School.Quasem was the third most powerful man of the Al-Badr force which collaborated with Pakistan occupation forces and carried out crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh. He is known as a key financier of the political party Jamaat-e-Islami, which was instrumental to block the independence of Bangladesh.Mir Quasem Ali is a director of Islami Bank. He is the chairman of the Diganta Media Corporation, which owns Diganta TV. He is the founder of Ibn Sina Trust and director of the NGO Rabita al-Alam al-Islami.    Mir Quasem was a freshman Physics student of Chittagong College in 1971. He was the president of Chittagong Chhatra Sangha's unit. He was elected a to the Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha's provincial working council on November 6. He was als  general secretary of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha.    Al-Badr was a paramilitary force composed of Jamaat e Islami's then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha to support Pakistan army and crackdown on pro liberation groups. Al-Badr branch of Chittagong seized Mohamaya Bhaban building at Andrrkilla. The building was owned by a local Hindu family. They renamed it "Dalim Hotel" and used it as an interrogation and detention centre. Freedom fighters Jahangir Alam Chowdhury and Syed Md Emran testified at Quasem's trial that the prison was used to torture suspected members of Mukti Bahini. Mukti Bahini members "Jasim", Tuntu Sen and Ranjit Das were killed at this place. Witnesses testified at the trial that guards at hotel Dalim would announce the arrival of Quasem with "Mr Quasem has come. Mr Commander has come."After independence Quasem fled to Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Mujib banned Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh along with all religious parties. He returned to Bangladesh after the assassination of Shiekh Mujib.    Late president Ziaur Rahman legalized Jamaat and allowed Quasem to return to Politics. He became the founding president of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the Jamaat's student front, on February 6, 1977. The organization is the spiritual successor to Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha.                        

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