Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami was hanged in Dhaka Central Jail early Wednesday for crimes he committed during country's liberation war with Pakistan in 1971, reported the Dhaka Tribune. Law Minister Anisul Haq confirmed that Nizami, 73, was executed for his involvement in killing at least 450 people, raping 30-40 women and deporting villagers of Baousgari, Ruposhi and Demra on May 14, 1971. The chief of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami was also charged with ordering the murder of at least 30 people in Dhulaura village in Pabna on November 27, 1971. He also found guilty of planning murders of several intellectuals and professionals during the same period.
Nizami was said to have collaborated with the Pakistani army and helping them to identify and kill pro-independence activists. He set up a militia al-Badr to carry out the killings. Hundreds of people gathered near his prison to celebrate the hanging.
Jamaat has called for a nationwide strike on Thursday to protest against the execution. "Nizami has been deprived of justice. He's a victim of political vengeance," Maqbul Ahmad, the party's acting leader, said. The former member of Parliament and two-time minister will be buried near his village home in the northern part of Bangladesh.