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Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Chaitra 11, 1421 BS, Jamadius Sani 3, 1436 Hijr

Pak Army killed 200 students, 10 teachers at DU on March 25
Published : Wednesday, 25 March, 2015,  Time : 12:31 AM,  View Count : 49
Pakistani occupation forces carried out a planned massacre on the Dhaka University (DU) campus on the dark night of March 25, 1971 with killing over 200 students, 10 teachers and 12 employees.

Jagannath Hall (non-Muslim dormitory) and Iqbal Hall (now Sergeant Zohurul Haq Hall of Dhaka University, Pilkhana, Rajarbagh Police Lines, and Hindu-prone areas of the old Dhaka were the main targets of the "Operation Searchlight" on the black night of March 25, 1971.

Then public relations officer of eastern command of Pakistan Siddiq Salik in his book "Witness to Surrender" came up with the opinions.

In another book (novel) written by Prof Anwar Pasha "Rifle Roti Awrat" mainly narrated the barbarism carried out by the Pakistani troops on Dhaka University campus.

According to the novel, Professor Fajllur Rahman and his two relatives were killed at building no-23 situated at Nilkhet.

Different evidences showed that a Pakistani convoy comprising 18 Panjabi, 22 Beluch and 32 Panjabi regiment and several battalions carried out the deadly attacks on DU campus.

Armed with heavy weapons such as tanks, automatic rifles, rocket launchers, heavy mortar, light machine gun, they encircled Dhaka University from east (unit 41), from south (unit 88) and from north (unit 26).

Professor Rahman's wife escaped because she was not in the country. Pakistani army also attacked the house of Professor Anwar Pasha and Professor Rashidul Hassan (English Department). Both of them survived by hiding under beds, but were killed later at the dawn of independence by Al-Badar militia. Professor Rafiqul Islam of Bangla literature department was at building 24.

Two wounded women with their children stayed in the entrance of the building for some time.

When the army came they found blood on the stairs and, surmising that other groups had done the massacre, left.

This way Professor Rafiqul escaped. Later, he stated that there had been one East Pakistani professor at that building, who left home before 25 March. All other non- Bengali families did the same without informing others.

At 12 Fuller Road, the army called on Sayed Ali Noki (Professor Social Science).

They allowed him to go but killed Professor Abdul Muktadir (Geology) who was a resident of the same building. His body was found at Jahurul Huq Hall (then Iqbal Hall).

He was buried at Paltan by his relatives. Professor K. M.A Munim (English Literature), the house tutor of Salimullah Student Hall, was injured at Salimullah Hall.

Professors AR Khan Khadim and Sharafat Ali of Mathematics department were killed in Dhaka Hall. At Jagannath Hall they attacked teachers' residence and harassed Professor Mirja Huda (Economics) and Professor Mofijullah Kabir (History). When Jagannath Hall, a student dormitory for minority Hindu students, was attacked, university staff quarters were also affected.

The army killed ex-provost and famous professor of philosophy Dr Gobinda Chandra Dev with his Muslim adopted daughter's husband. They attacked and killed Dr. A.N.M. Moniruzzaman, Professor of Statistics, along with his son and two relatives.

Professor Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta the provost of Jagannath Hall was severely injured by army attack and died at hospital later. Dormitory electrician Chitrabali and eye witness Rajkumari Devi stated that the doctors of Dhaka Medical College Hospital recognized Dr Guhathakurta and buried him under a tree near Dhaka Medical College morgue. Assistant house tutor Anudoipayon Bhattacharya was also killed at that dorm.

Professor Anwar Pasha who was later killed by Al-Badr in December.

According to the DU sources, the Non-cooperation Movement was organized under the banner of "Independent Bangladesh Students Movement Council" from Zahrul Hoque Hall of DU.

The first target of Operation Searchlight was this student hall. By March 25, all leaders of Chhatra League had left the hall.

After 12 o'clock, the army entered Jagannath Hall and initially attacked the hall with mortar and began non-stop firing.

They entered through north and south gate and killed students indiscriminately in each room. Around 34 students were killed at that time. Some students of Jahannath Hall were resident of Ramna Kali Bari.

Among them, only Ramonimohon Bhattacharya was recognized. Many guests of students who were in those dorms were also killed. Including Helal of Bhairab college, Babul Paul of Bajitpur College, Baddruddoza of Jagannath Hall, Jibon Sarkar, Mostaq, Bachchu and Amar of Netrokona.

Archer Blood, the then consul general of US Embassy in Dhaka, wrote in his book "The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh" that fire broke out at Rokeya Hall (girls' dormitory) and, when the students tried to escape, the military started firing. From the conversation of military control room and army unit 88, a total of 300 students death was estimated."

The convoy that attacked Jahurul Huq hall initially killed EPR guards guarding the British Council building. They killed hall staff -- Shirazul Huq, Ali Hossain, Shohrab Ali Gazi and Abdul Majid at the University teachers lounge. At Rokeya Hall, Chottor Ahmed Ali, Abdul Khalek, Nomi, Md. Solaiman Khan, Md. Nurul Islam, Md Hafizuddin, Md. Chunnu Miya were killed with their families.

The convoy that attacked Shahid Minar and Bangla Academy also attacked Shahidullah hall, associated teachers' houses, and the home of Madhushudhan De. At building 11, Md. Sadeq, a teacher of University Laboratory School, was killed.

The army left around 50 dead bodies, including some police officers (escaped from Rajarbagh Police Lines), Bengali EPR members guarding President House and general people from Nilkhet Basti on the roof of university residential building-23.

Between March 25 and 27 , the Pakistan Army destroyed three temples. Those were Arts building, Ramna Kali Temple and Ramna Shiva Temple (Hindu), opposite to Shahid Minar. That night, staff of Philosophy department Khagen Dey, his son Motilal Dey, university staff Shushil Chandra Dey, Bodhiram, Dakkhuram, Vimroy, Moniram, Jaharlala Rajvar, Monvaran Roy, Plumber Rajvar and Shankar Kuri were killed.

In early March, the vice chancellor Justice Abu Sayed Chowdhury was in Geneva to join "United Nations Humanitarian Conference". In the middle of March, he read news about death of two students.

He immediately wrote his resignation letter to State's Education Secretary and fled to London leaving the conference. There he worked for Bangladesh liberation. After the independence of Bangladesh, he became the country's second president.

By Maloy Dutta/QH

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]