DHAKA, March 12, 2016 (BSS)- Though the Razakar Bahini was formed aimed at helping Pakistani occupation forces to destroy the spirit of Liberation War by killing freedom loving people, a key war criminal claimed that the bahini was formed instead of Ansar to assist police in 1971.
"Razakar Bahini was formed instead of Ansar to help police," said Akhteruddin Ahmed, an anti-liberation element in his book based on autobiography titled "Nationalism of Islam: Indo-Pakistan Episode".
"Primary numbers of the Razakars were 25,000 which were later increased to 50,000. The Bahini was put under the direct supervision of army in August," the book said.
The 337-page book written by Akhteruddin, who was industries and commerce minister under puppet governor AM Malek, was published from New York in 1982, and re-published from India two years later.
The Razakar or Rezakar Bahini was formed with 96 activists of Jamaat-e-Islami at an Ansar camp at Khan Jahan Ali Road of Khulna under the leadership of AKM Yusuf in May, 1971.
Many prosecution witnesses during the trial of Yusuf, now dead, narrated the formation of the notorious force, describing its monstrous crimes against humanity.
Razakars had been used to guard different establishments, collect information of freedom fighters and other works besides killing people, the book of Akhteruddin said.
The East Pakistan Razakar Ordinance was promulgated on 1 June, 1971 by the Governor of East Pakistan, Lt Gen Tikka Khan. The Ordinance stipulated the creation of a voluntary force to be trained and equipped by the Provincial Government. This was to add to the government's forces to suppress the freedom fighters and freedom loving people who wanted independence of Bangladesh.
"The 'Rasikars' are a destabilizing element - living off the land, able to make life and death decisions by denouncing collaborators and openly pillaging and terrorizing villagers without apparent restraint from the Army", said a declassified US document.
In the sub-continent, Nizam of Hyderabad of India first formed Razakar Bahini for his self protection as he had denied to be linked with India. The 'Razakar' is a Persian word. Reza means volunteer while 'Kar' activist. In a word, 'Razakar' means volunteer.
According to the book titled `Ekattorer Ghatak O Dalalera Ke Kothay', Razakar Bahini was divided in three separate parts though it was formed with cross-section of people.
Firstly, those who considered killing Bengalees and fighting with freedom fighters as their duty to save 'Pakistan' and Islam included their names in the Bahini.
Secondly, those, who wanted to loot, take revenge and torture women enlisted their names in the Bahini. Thirdly, the poor village people, who failed to cross the border, was forced and allured to join the Bahini.
(Source: 'Rajakarer Mon' (Perception of Pakistani Collaborators) by Prof. Dr. Muntassir Mamoon)