Name:  Sheikh Abdul Jalil

Father’s Name: Sheikh Elahi Buksh

Vill: Chhitra, Union: Gouranga

P.S.: Rampal, Dist.: Bagerhat.

Educational Qualification: B.A.

Age in 1971: 23 yrs

Occupation in 1971: Politics

Present Occupation: Business

 

 

 

 

 

Q.     What do you know about the events of 1971 and subsequent years?

 

A   To say something about those days I have to speak of events which took place both before and after the liberation.of Bangladesh. To win freedom from the grip of the Pakistanis the people of this country voted for Awami League in 1970 inspired by a deep sense of Bengali nationalism. In those days there was a glaring disparity between the two wings of Pakistan in every sector including finance and economy. Since 1966 the Awami League was waging a political movement against this situation which was strongly supported by the people of this wing. Bengalis started thinking that through the 6-Point Movement launched by Awami League it would be possible for us to win equal rights in every field including politics, culture and economy. Such a feeling was taking roots in our hearts and it created a sense of awakening among the people. In a situation like this the 1970 general elections were held in both the wings of the country. In this election the Awami League won an absolute majority of seats in the Parliament. For the Bengalis, their movement for equal rights got a boost because of this victory. The Pakistanis on the other hand, disheartened by the outcome, rejected the results of the elections and instead started conspiring against us. They tried every possible means and technique not to hand over power to the majority party, the Awami League. This act of not transferring power intensified the hatred of the Bengalis against the West Pakistani leaders. The Bengalis had full faith in the uncompromising leadership of Sh. Mujib and they thought some day their genuine rights would be established. However, time was slipping by and the Pakistanis showed no intention of handing over power to the majority party. In this situation on Mar 7, 1971 Bangabandhu Sh. Mujibur Rahman addressed a huge public meeting in the Race Course ground of Dhaka. After his historic speech everyday meetings, processions and rallies were held in our locality as it happened in every other place. People used such slogans as “Your land, my land¾ Bangladesh, Bangladesh. Your address, my address, Padma, Meghna, Jamuna. Brave Bengali take up arms and make Bangladesh free.” These slogans inspired our young hearts like anything. Ever since the 7 Mar meeting we kept on thinking that perhaps a bloody war was inevitable. I myself was then directly involved in politics. I was the chief of the Rampal Awami League volunteer corps. The Mongla port was then under the Rampal police station. We used to campaign vigorously in the entire area of Mongla port and the outlying villages and townships. Before the elections Bangabandhu visited Mongla port. He was to arrive at Mongla at 10 in the morning, but he reached the spot at 3:30 in the afternoon. Before the appointed time the whole place was packed with people. Because Bangabandhu’s arrival was delayed, the editor of “Weekly Sunday” published in Dhaka who had already arrived and I tried to keep the morale of the crowd high by making long political speeches addressing them. In this area in those days there were a large number of Muslim League followers. Senior citizens and those who were our neighbors were mostly sympathizers of Muslim League. They had also a strong influence over the area. We had therefore carried on extensive political campaign which helped increase our hold over the people. Those who were members of the Union Council were mostly on the side of the “Basic Democracy” introduced by Ayub Khan. They were also on the side of Muslim League and military rule. Before the elections we had even issued threat to them to cow them down. It worked to some extent. Many of them came to our side. Just threat did not work; we had to convince them. Before the elections we had organized ourselves to face the situation. We also strengthened our publicity side. The speeches and statements which were made by our leaders, we re-circulated in printed form every 2/3 days later in our locality as bulletins. This had a very welcome effect on our people. They read them with a lot of interest. They used to wait anxiously for the bulletins and for current news. Once we took a public procession to Khulna from our area. I was with the procession. When we reached the area where the present Bangladesh Bank is now located, the Pak army on duty opened fire on the procession. A big procession from Khalishpur had also joined us. The procession was dispersed with the firing. Later on we took out a big procession in the Mongla area. I remember this procession was about a mile long. It was a huge procession. Most of the labor community joined the procession. We had 112 trucks, buses, motorized boats, trawlers etc accompanying the procession

 

 

Q.  What do you know about Sh.Mujib’s speech of Mar 7, at the Dhaka Race Course?

 

A.  At one stage of his speech he said, “This struggle is our struggle for independence, this struggle is our struggle for freedom our movement.” I heard his speech next morning on the radio. I was at my home then. We were all very encouraged by his speech.

 

 

Q.  What do you know and what did you hear about the attack by the Pakistan Army on Mar 25, 1971?

 

A.     On the night of Mar 25, the Pak Army attacked the Peelkhana headquarters of the EPR, Rajarbagh Police Lines, students’ residences of the Dhaka University and other areas of the city. The Pak Army indiscriminately slaughtered students, policemen, EPR personnel. On that night thousands of students, EPR men, police personnel and many thousand civilians were killed. The frightened people from Dhaka who fled to our area told in details us the same stories of atrocities carried out by the Pak Army.

 

 

Q.     Would you like to tell me something about your experience when you were participating in the liberation war of 1971?

 

A.     I had taken active part in the liberation war. I also took part in the resistance that was put up from our side against the Pakistani attack. We had collected 32  numbers of .303 rifles from the Rampal police station. One Mr.Bari was then the officer-in-charge of Rampal police station. We encircled the police station building and burnt down the Pakistani flag which was brought down by one of us named Shahidullah. And then we took over the 32 rifles. There was a retired subedar of the EPR named Abdur Razzak in our locality. He organized and trained the Ansar members of our locality and then they were sent to nearby Mongla port to fight. The Mongla port had a launch. We sent out fighters in that launch to attack the port. A little distance away from the port the Pak forces had one of their navy ships anchored at the port which was the target of our attack. The Ansars opened fire on the ship with the .303 rifles and the Pakisatni soldiers who were in the ship responded by firing shells. Due to their shelling almost the entire Mongla port was burnt down. The entire neighborhood with buildings, trees, shops, homes etc were gutted. The Ansars were forced to withdraw being unable to face the heavy Pakistani shelling. I do not remember to-day the date of this attack. Also I do not remember the names of the Ansar members who took part in this operation. Later on we again organized and consolidated ourselves. After the Pakistani Army came to Khulna, the Bengali activists of Muslim League, Jamat-e-Islam and Nezam-e-Islam jointly carried out looting of civilian homes, shops etc, and more so in the Hindu populated areas. They attacked homes of those who were linked with the Awami League or Students’ League. They robbed gold, money and took away cows, goats and everything else and burnt down their homes. In order to resist them we formed a new group. This group made necessary arrangements to guard the vulnerable homes against these attacks. We had several young men with us. Among them were Yaz, Shahjahan, Javed Ali and many others. Javed Ali was an Ansar commander. Later on he was killed. Zainal Abedin of Ghorarhat, Bagerhat was also in this group. He was a former Subedar of EPR. In the month of April he embraced martyrdom in an encounter with Pakistan Army. EPR Naik Siddiq was also with him.

In the month of April I went to India with the then chief of the voluntary corps Kamruzzaman Tuku, Advocate Anil of Perojpur, Mr. Shamsul Huq, the then leader of Bagerhat Awami League, and several others. We went to Barunhat camp. From there we went to Bashirhat and contacted the members of the Bashirhat Shahyak Samity (Assistance Council). We stayed in a hotel and 2/3 days later Kamruzzaman Tuku left the hotel and so also Mr. Shamsul Huq. I stayed back at the office of the Samity. Here I started noting down the names of people arriving from Bangladesh. While I was there I tried to contact Maj. Jalil. I also tried to find out Mr. Abdur Rahman who was elected either as an M.N.A or M.P. from Awami League. Once I found out Maj. Jalil, I went and met him one day. He had another army officer with him, Lt. Mehdi. Three or four days later I left for Calcutta. In Calcutta I found out many student activists of Khulna. Also I met many politicians. Among them were Velayet and Mosharraf of Khulna, Abul Bashir Joardar, Yaqub Ali, Salam, Tipu, Abdus Sattar, Awami League leader of Bagerhat and some others. They were all staying in a house on Free School Street. I also stayed there with them for a few days. There was arrangement for them to board and lodge in this house. I don’t know who provided this facility for them. Central Student Leader Abdur Razzak bhai, Shajahan Shiraj and many others were also residing in this house.

While I was there I heard that a newspaper under the title Joy Bangla was going to be published. Some of them told me to work in that paper. I told them that I preferred to stay in the battle-field. Later on I went to, most likely, the Gojadanga camp of India for basic training. There were many others like me and also some politicians. Those who went for training included: S.M. Babar Ali, Habul, Masud, Khidir Chowdhury, Khadem of Satkhira, and others. Khadem died in a battle some time later. There were also others: Nurul Abedin Khokon, Siddiq Master, Abedin Bux and Mrinal. Soon after our training was over we took part in an action within the Bangladesh territory not far from the Indian border. In that operation we had with us Murad, Shah Alam, Abdur Rashid, and also Abdul Mannan, all from Jessore. In that action I was wounded, hit by a splinter of a Pakistani shell. I had several injuries on my body. Even now I have a scar behind my ear. After I was injured I was sent to Nilganj Hospital for treatment. After I recovered I took part in another operation. We frequently entered Bangladesh territory for operation. It was not our intention to engage Pak Army in open confrontation. We simply wanted to harass them and frighten them. With this intention we once went deep into Bangladesh territory to a small town called Sreepur for operation. The night before we started moving from Taki towards Sreepur, S.M.Babar Ali was our leader and I was the deputy leader. Several others, Shahadat Master, Mofiz, Kajal, Nazmul, Abedn, Patal, Habul, Masud, Mansur, Bari, Serajul, Samad, Narayan, Badar, Hossain and some others were in this group. Badar died in the Sreepur town operation. During the day we were camping in an abandoned house with mud walls. The Pakistan army suddenly encircled our camp and started shelling heavily. We did not have heavy weapons with us. We had only a few hand grenades, rifles and 55 rounds of ammunition. So we tried to save ourselves rather than fight with the Pak Army. With a lot of difficulty we could save our lives. Later on we had a fight with a Razakar platoon. This encounter took place on the west bank of a big pond. I received a minor wound on my head. This battle took place some time in October.

 

 

Q.     Why did you take part in the liberation war?

 

A.     During my student life I was an active member of the Students’ League. Later on I was the leader of the Awami League volunteer corps in Rampal. I joined the war because we wanted an independent motherland, Bangladesh. For too long the Pakistanis openly carried out acts of injustice and repression on us. We thought if we became independent that will be an end to all this and we would establish ourselves as an independent and sovereign nation. The Bengalis would keep their heads high and it would bring positive effects on all walks of our national life. I could never accept the Pakistani conduct in relation to us. I fought the liberation war to free the harmless and innocent Bengalis from the ruthless hands of the Pakistanis.

 

 

Q.     When did the Pakistanis attack your area Rampal? Will you say something about the atrocities committed by the Pak army and their associates?

 

A.     Pakistanis attacked our area towards the end of March. I do not remember the exact date. They came by navy gunboats or by ships. They got down from the ship and attacked the homes of the Awami Leaguers and the freedom fighters. They also attacked a Muslim Leaguer’s house by mistake. The owner of the house was a dedicated worker of the Rampal Muslim League. I do not remember his name. They attacked the home of one of our close associates Zafar Ali. He was the chairman of Akua Union. The Pak troops returned after attacking a few places around Rampal police station. Later on in the month of April they attacked Mongla port in the month of April. The Pak troops came in a gunboat and launched the attack. Once the Pak soldiers came to Bagerhat sadar. They came up to Tarapara area in a gunboat and there they left the gunboat and walked a little distance and then shot and killed about 5/6 men. Muslim League leader and a former minister Mr.Amjad Hossain’s father-in-law’s home was in Tarapara. Amjad Hossain and his in-laws were very staunch supporters of Muslim League. On that day they welcomed the Pakistani soldiers holding Pakistani flags in their hands. But the Pak troops did not spare them. (In many other places they did the same thing; they thought it was a trick to fool them). In fact it was a mistake. The Pak troops carried out operation in Tarapara and adjacent areas and then left. They came back again. By the end of April the entire area of Bagerhat came under their occupation. After that they formed the Peace Committee and Razakar bahini. The Razakars carried out terrible repression and torture in the entire area. Rajab Ali, a scoundrel of the area, was one of the close associates of the Pakistani soldiers. He and his associates attacked and  killed 464 people in one day in Dakra. Rajab Ali’s gang came to Dakra by boat from Bagerhat. At that time many Hindu refugees from areas around Dakra  had gathered in Dakra to go to India. Every day people were coming to Dakra and most of them belonged to the Hindu community. Our area was also Hindu majority area. Rajab Ali’s gang launched an attack on these uprooted people. They carried out vicious repression in our area. Pak army did not go to all areas. The local members of the Razakar bahini and Peace Committee men used to capture innocent men and then mercilessly torture and kill them.

There was a jetty on the river flowing along the southern side of Rampal close to the office of the Agricultural Development Corp. This spot was used by the killers to kill their victims. They also killed a lot of people at the Mongla port. Abdul Hamid of Rampal tortured a large number of people at Banshtala and Mithakhkali with the help of the Pak Army men. Pak Army often kept company with the Razakars. The Razakars and Peace Committee men captured many Hindus and forcibly converted them to Islam. These victims were forced to perform Muslim prayers and eat beef. A lot of Hindus became Muslims out of fear for their lives. Pak soldiers ruthlessly killed Azior Rahman, secretary of Bagerhat Awami League. The Pak soldiers tied him at the back of a jeep and dragged him with the running vehicle till he was dead. The Razakars did extensive destruction to Dashani, Tarapara, Krishnanagar, Chunkati and Bajitpur. In one day they killed about 30/40 men and carried out repeated attacks on Hindu villages. The Pak soldiers and Razakars jointly looted houses and properties of the Hindus and then set fire to their homes.

 

 

Q.  At that time did any member of your family become shaheed?

 

A.  No, none of my family members became shaheed.

 

 

Q.  When did the activity of the Muktibahini begin in the Rampal area?

 

A.  Organized action started in the month of August. I have mentioned earlier that I had taken preliminary military training at the Gozadanga camp. Later on with the second group I again took B.L.F. training at the Dehradun military training centre. After completing Dehradun training we returned to Sunderbans area (Bangladesh) in August. Earlier some freedom fighters were engaged in pitched battles with preliminary training in areas such as Paikgachha, Ashashuni, Bhomra, Dakop, and Baithaghata. I was also with them several times. Those actions were not properly organized. S. M. Babar Ali, Hablu, Basu, Dinu Choudhury, Ismail, Shahdat Hossain Bacchu of Paikgachha, Daud, Abdus Sattar, and I made several incursions within Bangladesh territory. We carried out uncoordinated actions near the border area and then returned to our camp within Indian Territory. At that time I directly took part in two operations in Sreepur town in Bhomra area. That battle took place in the months of May-June. Beside these the freedom fighters carried out many operations in Paikgachha, Gazaria, Noakati, Kear Gathi, Laskar and many other locations and then returned to the base camp in India. Our camp was located in Tuladanga of Taki. In the sadar thana of Bagerhat, the Muktibahini actions were carried out under the leadership of Rafiqul Islam Khokon who was an active member of Bhasani NAP. He became active from the months of June/ July. Under his leadership some Muktibahini men fought with some Pakistani army units in such areas as Chitalmari, Mollarhat, Shial Shialkathi, Madhabkathi,, Gazaria, Santoshpur on the other bank of the river at Bagerhat. There were two other officers named Lt. Ziaudin and another officer named Kabir Ahmed Modhu who had defected from the Pakistan Army. Kabir Ahmed organized an FF camp inside the Sunderbans. From this camp he used to launch attacks on Pakistan Army contingents and Navy convoys. He also fought with the Razakar units in different areas. Troops under Lt. Ziauddin fought with the Pakistan army around Raenda area. We arrived in the Sunderbans area on August 5. There were several other fighters with me, among them were Sharoj, Jalal, Omar, Bahalul, T. Ahmed and some others. Mashiur Rahman had a camp on the left bank of the Barashaola river inside the Sunderbans at a place named Boudhhamandeer. We set up our station within this camp and trained some local youth as freedom Fighters. We had a large supply of arms and ammunition. I myself had an SLR(Self-Loading Rifle) with 500 rounds of ammunition. In this camp 330 youths received training. We also got some arms from local sources. Our trained FFs fought with the Pakistan army and navy several times. We also had to fight with the Razakars. In these encounters we managed to collect a large cache of arms and ammunition. This increased our strength. During the day we used to hide ourselves in boats or abandoned huts of local people. After sundown we used to carry out attacks on selected areas and listed Razakars and enemy agents. Some of them were killed.

 

 

Q.     How was the impression of the general public about the Freedom Fighters?

 

A.     In the beginning this impression was not very good. Most of our people were unsure about the success of our freedom struggle. They thought our boys were sacrificing their lives for nothing. Later on when we were achieving victory, this impression gradually changed. We tried to bring this change in public impression. We used to catch and try marked agents of the Pak army in the presence of the general public. It was a part of our motivation program. Once we caught 5 agents of the army from Banshtala and tried and executed them openly in the presence of the public. In fact because of these elements the general public were afraid of supporting the freedom fighters. After this incidence public confidence in the area increased in favor of liberation war. Later on we explained to the public why we were forced to take this action. We told them that these men were our enemies and enemies of humanity They tortured and killed our men and raped our mothers and sisters, and helped the Razakars and Pak army. So it was our duty to kill them. We had no idea that the liberation war would come to an end within such a short time. We had a plan to fight an extended war and so we were preparing ourselves for that. We were recruiting fighters from different areas. We collected information about people (who could be inimical to us). We used to motivate people in favor of the liberation war. We went after the Razakars and known agents of the Pak army. As a result the general masses had reposed their confidence in us and extended their helping hand towards us.

 

 

Q.     Where were the Pak army camps and Razakar camps in your area?

 

A.     The Razakars had set up their camps in Rampal thana, Mongla Port, and Etkhola area. They also had camps in Bagerhat, Fakirhat and Badarganj.

 

 

Q.     Who were the members of the Peace Committee in your area?

 

A.     As far as I know former M.P. Aftabuddin Ahmed and Yunus Ali were in the Peace Committee. Yunus Ali was a former principal of Rampal College. He is now a government official. Several others were in the Peace Committee, Among them were Haji Afsaruddin, Ashfaq, Siddique Mia, Mihit Ali, Dr. Waliullah, Abdul Jalil, Shahdat Mreedha, Dr. Rauf, Maqbul, Yaqub Ali Molla, Abdul Bari Tarafdar. Advocate Rafiquddin was also linked with the Peace Committee. Lutfur Rahman, Gholam Mustafa, Monir, Afzal Hossain and Abdul Haji were also in the Peace Committee.

 

 

Q.     And who were the Razakars?

 

A.     In Bagerhat area known scoundrel Rajav Ali was the Razakar commander. He was a cruel and ferocious man. Tareq, Zawhar, Sajjad, Liakat, Sadar, Lutfur, Shahabuddin, Kawsaruddin, Moulana Abdul Mannan and many others were also Razakars. But these men who are named here carried out most of the cruel acts.

 

 

Q.     Where are all these people now?

 

A.     Rajab Ali went underground when the country became independent. Later on he committed suicide. Aftabuddin is now living in Tutpara of Khulna. He is now a leader of Jatiya Party. Later on he was elected MP from our area. Ansar Ali Gahzi, Siddiq Mia, and Dr. Majid are dead now. Haji Majid and Amjad Ali were killed. Golam Mustafa became a head master of a school. He is now retired. Shamsuddin Patwary is now a journalist and Yusuf is a government employee. Most likely he is UNO somewhere in Dinajpur district.

 

 

Q.     Who were the members of Al-Badr and Al-shams Bahinis in your area?

 

A.     One man by the name Islam was a member of this group. As far as I know he is now a teacher of the Dhaka University. I heard he is now a house tutor of the S.M.Hall also. He was a very brilliant student of the Rajshahi University. The educated ones were in the Al-Badr Bahini. From our area several of them, namely, Lutfur Rahman, Mohiuddin, Abdul Bari and Jabbar Kazi most likely were members of this bahini. Kazi Shahadat of Rampal P.S. was also a member of this group. These men are now employed as teachers in different Madrashas (Muslim Religious Schools). Others include Moulana Habibur Rahman, Abdul Halim, Moulana Zulfiqur Ali, the Imam of the Mongla Port Mosque Ruhul Amin. They were members of the Al-shams group. Moulana Zulfiqur Ali is now a resident of Dhaka. These people are now connected with different political parties. Some are in BNP, some with the Jatiya Party and others with the Jamat-e-Islam. They are all very active in politics.

 

 

Q.     Were they arrested after the liberation war?

 

A.     Many of them were arrested in our area. They were released later on. Majority of them had cases against them under the “Collaboration Act”. Later on for want of evidence, witness and through loopholes of law they managed to get release. Many of them were released under “General Amnesty”.

 

 

Q.     What did you do with your weapons after the war?

 

A.     In 1972 most likely on Jan11, we deposited our arms to the authorities in presence of Bangabandhu. 534 of us went to Dhaka from Bagerhat and deposited our weapons.

 

 

Q.     Do you remember any memorable incident which took place during the liberation war?

 

A.     An incident which took place in Sreerampur often comes to my mind. I have already described parts of this operation earlier. But I think I should narrate the whole story. The night before it happened we had carried out an operation in Sreerampur. We had planned to hurl grenades at the Pakistani army camp and then quickly escape from the spot. But our plan was not successful. We could not hit at the target. Then we decided not to return to Taki without completing our planned operation. We took shelter in an abandoned house. Several of us were in one room and 8/10 of us were in another room. Both the rooms were facing towards the south and on the east side there was a wall. The room on the west-north side was open. There was a young Date tree on the south-eastern side and there was a Tamarind tree in the south-west. The court-yard of the house was very slippery with ferns grown all over it. We were very hungry. Some of us were very tired and had already fallen asleep. We were trying to get some water and food. An old man had guided us to this house from the river bank where we had arrived in a small boat. We did not know when this man had disappeared leaving us in that house. That old man informed the Pak army about our presence and guided them to the spot. We had no clue about it. The room that I had occupied had torn down strip-bamboo walls with mud layers on them. The broken door was coverd by a woven strip bamboo cover. Most of us were very tired and about to fall asleep while 2/3 of us were still awake. I had kept watch on the area through the holes in the strip bamboo wall. I was shocked to see the old man who had fair skin guiding some Pakistani army jawans towards our shelter. I could see the old man showing our shelter to the army jawans who were taking position to attack us and some were advancing towards us. Then I went behind the house where there was another room with half-walls. I could see that already two of the army men had come very close to our shelter. They had Chinese rifles in their hands. I immediately alerted the others while the army started firing at us. The walls on the western side was hit by bullets. It was cloudy and raining. I thought if we fire back at them all of us would be killed. We were quite few in number and had few arms to defend ourselves against the heavily armed Pakistanis. We had only 6 rifles, one sten-gun with fifty bullets and 4/5 grenades. I signaled my comrades not to fire and slowly retreat backwards to save our lives. I was the first person to sneak away. Little did I know that one of us Habul who was in the adjacent room was hit by a bullet and injured. He was lying on the ground somewhat unconscious. He had a piece of arms with him. It was lying on the ground beside him. I tried to pick it up but I couldn’t because of enemy fire. The sten-gun was in the possession of Babar Ali, our leader. I was the second in command. Later on Babar Ali became MP of this area. After the firing started Babar Ali managed to escape through a narrow opening behind our room but he couldn’t return. The Pak army which was close by suddenly opened fire. On the south side one of our comrades was lying hit by a bullet. The Pak army was firing heavily. I jumped out and took shelter behind a date tree which was close by. The Pak army was hardly 15-20 yards away. We had courage but not much training. Solely depending on our courage we had gone for this operation with very little arms. When we took our basic training we were told that bullets fly overhead. If one lies down the chances of being hit by a bullet is very little. That is why we had lain on the ground when the Pakis opened fire at us. Later on I fired three rifle shots at the Pak army but I do not know whether any harm was done to them. The Pakis were firing heavily and I managed to crawl to the other side of the room where there was no Pak firing. There were many banana trees and other wild growth giving some sort of cover against shooting. Soon a few Pak soldiers covered by raincoats walked past very close to me shouting, “Nurullah, Shafiullah”. There was nothing I could do. And then I heard sourds of brush-fire. I then thought that excepting me perhaps all my comrades were dead. In the afternoon more clouds and more wind and rains came down pouring and it became dark all around and the Pak soldiers left the area. A little later I could  hear the voice of Babar Ali somewhere near by. He was calling out the name of Qamrul who was one of us. Later on we found out that quite a few of us luckily escaped from the attack unhurt. My throat by then was choked and I could hardly speak a word. I could not stand up from lying position. With a lot of difficulty I managed to crawl up to nearby bamboo grove and on the other side of the grove I found some of my comrades had gathered, some sitting down on the wet ground; the dead body of Narayan, one of our comrades had been brought there by some of us who had luckily survived. The rest of us slowly gathered there, eight of them wounded more or less. We couldn’t find Nazmul Abedin Khokon, we presumed he was dead. The day after his dead body was found floating in the river. He was given a burial in Taki. Nazmul’s father was an Inspector of a processed food factory of Kushtia. His native home was in Nalta. Two more of our comrades Mofizuddin and Kajal had also died in this action. Their dead bodies were not found. Mofizuddin was an engineer. Kajal hailed from Palashpur, Satkhira. After we returned to Taki, Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed and Ashapurna Devi came to visit us in our camp. Our experience of that incident was dreadful. We saw death from a very close distance. Soon after I went to Dehradun for training. On return I was posted in the Sunderbans. I would like to narrate another experience. One day 27 of us crossed a canal in the Sunderbans called Mithakhali-Perikhali to arrest a Razakar named Keramat. We didn’t find him at his home and we went to Durgapur village within Rajnagar Union and wanted to rest in a building. Soon we were surrounded by a band of Razakars. Earlier we had sent a man named Latif with sixteen taka to buy some food for us. This man betrayed us and had informed the local Razakar members about our presence. We had come to know about this betrayal later on. A pitched battle started between us and the Razakars. One of the Razakars named Iqbal died in this action. We faced a problem in this action. Some of us gone on the back side of the Razakars and as a result we had problem in firing at the Razakars who were blissfully located between our two groups. If we had opened fire then we would be killing our own comrades. Luckily the Razakars fled and we were saved from a very difficult situation. It happened in the month of Ramzan. Another incident: Once at mid-day we were having lunch in a house when some Razakars surrounded the house. We had lain down our weapons beside us. Somehow we managed to pick up our arms and jump into a pond nearby and take position. But there was no fighting on that occasion. The Razakars retreated firing aimlessly. We also did not attack them because we were very few in number. Later on we waited for the Razakars taking position at a particular spot as we came to know that the Razakars would be going back in that direction for their camp and thus giving us a chance to ambush them. But they did not return that way. I have many such stories in my memory which often come to my mind when I recount my past days of our Liberation War.

 

Interviewer:  A. K. M. Fazle Khoda

Date of Interview: May 03, 1997

Translator: Dr. Faruq Aziz Khan

 

 

Source: History from Below, Centre for Research on Liberation War of Bangladesh, p.213