Name: Sheikh Abdul Jalil
Father’s Name: Sheikh Elahi Buksh
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?
say something about those days I have to speak of events which took place both
before and after the liberation.of
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?
On the night of Mar 25, the Pak Army attacked the Peelkhana headquarters of the
EPR, Rajarbagh Police Lines, students’
residences of the
Q. Would you like to tell me something about your experience when you were participating in the liberation war of 1971?
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
In the month of April I went to
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
Q. Why did you take part in the liberation war?
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,
Q. When did the Pakistanis attack your area Rampal? Will you say something about the atrocities committed by the Pak army and their associates?
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
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?
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 (
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?
had set up their camps in Rampal
Q. Who were the members of the Peace Committee in your area?
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
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?
One man by the name Islam was a member of this group. As far as I know
he is now a teacher of the
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?
In 1972 most likely on Jan11, we deposited our arms to the authorities
in presence of Bangabandhu.
534 of us went to
Q. Do you remember any memorable incident which took place during the liberation war?
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
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