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Krishnakanth asked: What is the historical and contemporary significance of recent judgements by Bangladesh war crimes tribunal?

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  • Anand Kumar replies: The tribunal is looking into war crimes related to the Liberation War of Bangladesh that was fought in 1971 by the Mukti Bahini. When atrocities on the people of East Bengal increased, India supported their cause and subsequently fought shoulder to shoulder with the guerrillas. In the Liberation War, some Bangladeshi organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami sided with the Pakistani army and committed atrocities on their own population at the behest of their Pakistani masters. These people were not punished in the immediate aftermath of the liberation. Now the law in Bangladesh is trying to catch up with these war criminals who over the years have managed to gain legitimacy in the Bangladeshi society. The present war crimes tribunal is geared towards the trial of such elements.