†Name:†† M.B. Sattar
†Fatherís Name:†† Rahimuddin Howladar
†Vill† Kalaghar† P.O,†† Kaliganj Bazar
†Age in 1971† 32, Educational Qualification in 1971 B.A.
†Occupation in 1971† Head Master, High School
†Present Occupation:†† NGO Worker
Q. Were you attacked in 1971?
A.††††††† Yes, I was attacked in
different places at different times. We tried to prevent the Razakars while looting and they attacked us. After this the
Q. When did the Pakistanis attack your area?
A. Most likely in July/August. These attacks were launched through the Razakars†† and members of the Peace Committee. Our Manik Chowdhury of Garuria Union was killed and so were many others. Their leader was Mujibur Molla who was a senior leader of the Peace Committee of Barisal district. Even personally he tortured many people. In Kaloshkati also people were subjected to torture. Houses were burnt down. It happened in Garuria also. Many houses were burnt down in areas around Kaliganj. Ruposhi village was completely reduced to ashes. The Pak soldiers did not know anything about the area. The Razakars and the so-called Peace Committee members showed them the way to these areas where there were concentrations of Mukti bahini and to launch attack on them. In my area they killed many people, raped women, and looted and burnt homes. The well-known Zeminder of the area who was known as B.Roy Chowdhury or Natu Babu was also killed.
Q. What do you know about rape?
A.††† †††††I know about several rape cases. But I will not disclose those because of social† implications. Within my knowledge there are 7 or 8 of them that I know in my area. It happened more in the Hindu area of the village Ruposhi.
Q.† †††††††In your area when did the Muktibahini become active? What was peopleís perception about them?
became active in the month of April or May. I think it started in the beginning
of May. In the beginning the operations started first in my area in Bakherganj
Q.†† ††††What are the areas you fought?
A.†† †††††I did not go anywhere beyond Bakherganj. Wherever there was a fight between the Pak army and Zafar bahini, I was with them. I have already mentioned about Shyampur. I also participated with them in Kalshkati operation.
Q.† †††††How many members of your bahini became Shaheed in those actions?
During the capture of Bakherganj
Q.† †††What was the primary impression of the people about Muktibahini?
A.† In the beginning people were somewhat skeptical about them, how they will fight against the Pak army. They had lack of confidence but slowly as time went by that impression faded. When this happened the villagers started respecting our freedom fighters. They extended all kinds of help and cooperation. They were mentally prepared to be with us. They offered us food, drinking water and even they used to enquire if we needed bidi (country made cigarillos)† and cigarettes. In short they gave us all-round help. Those who were against our independence they never bothered to come near us. Common people, in other words almost 98 percent of the people, had sympathy for us.
Q.† ††††Who were the Razakars in your area and who were in the Peace Committees?
†††††In our Bakherganj
and Shahu of Padreshibpur. They were
commander and deputy commander. Almost every village had Razakar.
The number of Razakars was quite high in Barapasha village. Mujibur Rahman Molla
and Abul Hashem Howlader, Khairul Alam Khan and †Abdul Malek Jamadder of Muslim League and many others like them were in
the Peace Committee. In short those who were in the Muslim League and P.D.P
were active in the
Q.† ††††What did you do with your arms?
A.†† ††††We returned our arms to the base commander Rafiqul Islam Zafar. Later on he surrendered them as the chief of the bahini.
Q. ††††††What did you do after the war?
A.†† †††††Since I was a Head Master I returned to my teaching job.
Q.† ††††How many groups of Muktijoddhas were there and who were the leaders?
††††I have said before we had
three groups. R.S.M. Rafiqul Islam Zafarís group was known as Zafar bahini, Capt. Nasirís group was
known as Nasir bahini. In
reality Capt. Nasir was an officer of the Navy. I do
not know what was his real designation but he was
known as Capt. Nasir. Three groups were active in
this area. But when we attacked Bakherganj
Q.† †††††Which were the areas where frontal war was fought with the enemy?
A.†† ††††It was mostly fought in Shyampur, not so much in Jhalakathi. In Garuria also there was no frontal war. In the eastern zone our navy had taken position in the river and had engaged the enemy in a frontal war.
Q.† ††††At this moment can you say something about your experience while fighting the enemy?
†††††I remember the Shyampur war
more than others. Subedar Moslem exhibited great
courage in that engagement. As long as Bangla(desh) will remain, people of Bakherganj will exist, Subedar
Moslem will be respected. For example, we were no where near capturing the Bakherganj
became President of Bangladesh during the rule of
† Nationalist Party (BNP).
†Interviewer:†† Niranjan Dasgupta Anu
†Date:†† 6 and
†Translator:† Faruq Aziz Khan