Name:†† Ayubur Rahman
Fatherís name: Late Aftabuddin Mondol
P.S.: Birampur, Dist.: Dinajpur
Educational qualification: B.A.
Age in 1971: 20/21 yrs
Occupation in 1971: Student
Present Occupation: Unemployed
Q. What do you know about the general elections of 1970 and subsequent events?
At that time I was a student of the
Q. Why did you do that?
A. The Biharis started driving the Bengalis out. They started riots. So I left for home. They used to catch young boys and kill them. The Biharis looked for me also. They even enquired about me at my village home. Naturally I was afraid of them. So I left home and walked about 5/6 miles to one of my auntís house. I stayed there for a few days and then I returned home. After I reached home some of us gathered on the steps of our home pond and recited holy verse Ďdoa yunusí to protect ourselves from danger. It was a Friday. The Biharis took a special train and came to our village and started setting fire to our homesteads. On seeing this I again ran to my auntís village. This is how we spent our time in those days.
In 1971 were you ever attacked by the
A.†† Not in the beginning. Later on when I took part in an operation against the army as a member of the Muktibahini I was† attacked.
Q.† How did it happen?
A.† Subedar Shahidullah one day told me that I would have to go into action. I would have to snap the telephone line which runs along the railway track and connects Dinajpur with Fulbari, and bring back the cable. A team was formed for this task with some others and I was one of them. I went with this team to cut the wires.
Q.† Which was this area?
A. It is near the culvert halfway between Kanchpur and Mohonpur.
Q.† Is it halfway between Dinajur and Mohonpur?
A.† Yes. We fixed explosives on the bridge which is halfway in between, and then destroyed the bridge. I just made a little mistake. I returned to see how much damage was done to the bridge and I got caught in the middle of an attack by the Pak army. Thus I was about to be captured by them.
Q.† Did the Pakistani army attack you?
Yes. But before that we snapped about 100 ft of the wire. I had a stengun with me, the others had
rifles and grenades. At night there was lightening all around, and we got
soaked in drizzling rain. When I returned to the bridge about 20 ft away, some
one screamed Ďhaltí and then came a hail of bullets from all around. My
comrades ran away without firing a single shot. I jumped on the south side. My
comrades left me and ran for cover chased by the Khan senas (Pak
troops). They thought that all the muktisenas had escaped. They had not thought that I was hit
by a bullet and I fell down on the ground. They didnít even see me. God had
given me a long life and perhaps that is why they didnít see me.† When I realized that there were no one around
me and there was pindrop silence, I slowly made for
the open field covered with tall grass. I had the stengun
with me with eight rounds of ammunition and pliers for cutting wire, and of
course the training. I couldnít afford to get caught by the Pak army. If they could get me they
would torture me more than anything else. Leaving the pliers on the ground I
started crawling forward with my left hand and holding the stengun
in my right. I was getting hurt by sharp ends of grass. Once I thought I was
being bitten by leech. Once my hand got into a hole in the ground, I became
scared of land mines, or was it a snakeís burrow? Soon I got my senses; if God
will save me who else can hurt me. Let me try. If I went to the south I could
Q.† What was the name of the village?
A.† I donít remember the name. I think the village was close to Uchitpur, somewhat in between Panchpara and Uchitpur. I saw a house in front of me. I entered the house and found that it was very badly damaged. I went to another house. I could sense that there were some people inside the house. I gathered some courage and then spoke aloud and asked for someone to come out. I said that I was a freedom fighter and I was hit by a bullet. I needed help badly. I saw three men were looking at me from behind a window.† I requested two of them to come out and help me. They came out. I told one of them to help me. He held my left hand and I had the stengun in my right hand. I quickly sensed that they wouldnít hurt me. I could sense that they had sympathy for me. And they took me to where I wanted to go.
Q. Where did they take you?
A †† The refugee camp was on the other side of the border. When I reached the camp, the whole camp rushed to see me. And then they made an improvised stretcher and transported me to the Mollardighi hospital. I was given first aid and then they reached me to the camp.
Q. Were you treated in the camp?
A. Yes, I was given treatment in the muktijodhha camp. Dr. Qayyum of Phulbari and another Kashmiri lady doctor gave me treatment.
Q. How long did it take you to get well?
A. Almost a month, may be a little more.
Q. And then what did you do?
A. After I got well I joined operations again.
Q. Why did you join the liberation war?
A. There was only one reason, the Pakistanis created discrimination within the country. They were exploiting us. We decided not to let them carry on their oppression and exploitation on us. We Bengalis are a nation, we wanted to live as a nation by ourselves. And then I saw the horrible sights of killing, murder and rape. The Pakistanis raped one of our neighbors and then they killed her. I couldnít accept this terrible situation, so I became a freedom fighter.
Q. When did the Pakistanis attack your area?
A. I donít remember the date exactly. When the third
Q. How did they attack you?
A. To start with some Biharis came to the area by train and started setting fire and then when more of them came in transports and began a reign of terror by setting fire and raping women.
Q. Did anyone of your family members become shaheed in the Pakistani attack?
A. No. Through the grace of God none of my family was killed and our village escaped unhurt. It happened because of two Bihari men. One of them was Ruhul Amin and the other was a doctor named Nurul Huda who was a friend of my father. Ruhul Amin had received a bullet injury the cause of which was not known to me. In the month of March Amin and Dr. Huda came to our village and took shelter.
Q. Did they take shelter in your village?
A. Yes, they took shelter in our village. When the Biharis rushed to burn down our village they were resisted by Amin and Dr. Huda. The Biharis were not allowed to do any mischief in our village. Thus God saved our village.
Q. † When did the Muktibahini activities begin in your locality?
A.†† After we returned receiving training, we became active.
Q. Were you the first to go into action?
A. Yes, we were the first. There was no group before us. Lutfur, Rezaul Huq and I and a few others constituted the first batch of Muktibahini in our locality.
Q. What was peopleís perception of the Muktibahini then?
A.†† The people were overwhelmingly in favor of us. Otherwise it would not have been possible to liberate the country. The villagers gave us shelter, they showed us the way to go into hiding during emergencies, they cooperated with us wholeheartedly. That is why it was possible for us to carry on.
Q. †Isnít it true that some of them were against you?
A.† Yes, the Razakars, the Al-Badrs and others like them.
Q. Who were the Razakars, Al-Badrs in your locality?
A. There were many of them. What good it is to talk about them? We donít want to discuss this issue at this stage.
Q. After independence or at that time were any of them apprehended?
A. After independence one such fellow was arrested. He spent a good many years in jail, and then he came out.
Q. What happened to the others?
A.†† They went into hiding.
Perhaps they had gone to
Q.†† Those who were caught, how did they get free?
A.†† As far as I have seen they got free in exchange of money. None of them was acquitted by a trial court.
Q. What were the areas you had fought during the liberation war?
We were stationed in Anginabad. We had an
Indian Captain as our leader. During the nine months (of war) we had two
Captains. Their names were Salahuddin Sindbad and Ranjit.† From
Q.† Was this the first one?
A. † No. This was not the first operation. As far as I can remember it took place in June or July. The date was 18 or perhaps 19 and the time was around 8 or 9 in the evening. Our action was in one sector. And then when the Indian forces arrived then joint operation started. This was perhaps the operations plan. At that time we were in Srirampur. We started operation around the nearby areas destroying road communication, blasting bridges, cutting telephone lines, carrying out sudden attacks on the enemy and such other actions. These kept us busy and soon the country became independent.
Q.† Where did you take part in the most vicious battle?
A. I was not the only one. Several of us participated in the fight for Khanpur.
Q . How many muktijoddhas were there?
A. About 30 or so.
Q. Were there Indian forces with you?
A. The Indian forces were behind us to give us cover with 2 inch mortars. But the Pakistanis were out of range of the mortars. They counter-attacked us and we were forced to jump into a nearby river and take advantage of the strong current towards south to save our lives.
Q.† Were you not able to inflict casualty on the Pakistanis?
A. No, we were not. But we had mined one of the culverts and some Pakistanis died and some lost their limbs because of it.
Q. And what happened at Mohonpur?
A. I have already told you. Returning from Mohonpur we concentrated on guerrilla operations like once we went to Boalia and raided the post office, union office and brought all papers and documents with us. We also mined the main road and snapped the telephone lines.
Q † Did you take part in the fighting in Hilli?
A † No. We didnít fight in Hilli. But we stayed there for a few days as a part of the reserve-force. And then we were transferred back.
Q. What did you see in your village when you returned after the war?
A.† Our village home was not completely destroyed. Why our home was not destroyed I have narrated before. Other homes were more or less destroyed. This is just about the story everywhere after a war.
Q. What was the condition of schools, colleges, madrashas, mosques etc?
A. These were more or less unhurt.
Q. What did you do with the arms after the war had ended?
A. All of our team returned the weapons to Capt. Shahriar.
Q.† And then what did you do?
A.† Since I had not completed my graduation I returned to the
Interviewer: Bhabendranath Barman.
Date of Interview: November 18, 1996.
Translator:† Dr. Faruq Aziz Khan
Source: History from Below, Centre for Research on
Liberation War of