Al-Badr (East Pakistan)
The Al-Badr (Bengali: আল বদর) was a paramilitary force composed mainly of Bihari Muslims which operated in East Pakistan against the Bengali nationalist movement during the Bangladesh Liberation War, under the patronage of the Pakistani government.
Al-Badr was constituted in September 1971 under the auspices of General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, then chief of the Pakistan Army eastern command. Members of Al-Badr were recruited from public schools and madrasas (religious schools). The unit was used for raids and special operations; the Pakistan army command initially planned to use the locally recruited militias (Al-Badr, Razakar, Al-Shams) for policing cities of East Pakistan, and regular army units to defend the border with India. Most members of Al-Badr appear to have been Biharis.[full citation needed].
Despite their similarities in opposing the independence of Bangladesh, the Razakar and Al-Badr had differences; Razakars opposed the Mukti Bahini in general, while Al-Badr's tactics were terrorism and political killings. All three groups operated under Pakistani command.
After the surrender of the Pakistan Army on 16 December 1971, Al-Badr was dissolved together with the Razakar and Al-Shams. Many of the members of this elite unit were arrested. However, during the time of president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, all of the collaborators, including those of Al-Badr were pardoned and in 1975 any attempt to try them was repealed.
Al-Badr perpetrated atrocities against civilians during the war of 1971, in particular, the massacre of intellectuals in Dhaka that occurred on 14 December 1971.[full citation needed] They then dumped the bodies in the Rayer Bazaar area of Dhaka. According to journalist Azadur Rahman Chandan, Al-Badr was experimentally launched in Jamalpur, Mymensingh on April 1971 as a voluntary force with Islami Chhatra Shangha activists as its first recruits to wage war against the nationalist fighters. They were enlisted and trained under the guidance of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, the assistant secretary general of Jamaat.[additional citation(s) needed]
Leaders of Al-Badr
- Motiur Rahman Nizami was convicted of war crimes and executed on 11 May 2016
- Mir Quasem Ali was convicted of war crimes and executed on 3 September 2016
- Ashrafuz Zaman Khan
- Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin
- Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed
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