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15th August: Unknown chapters


Published : Saturday, 24 August, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 178
Musa Sadik

15th August: Unknown chapters

15th August: Unknown chapters

However, due to an error in planning it was not possible for the Freedom Fighters of Dhaka to distribute the leaflets everywhere in the city. In the first attempt myself with limitless courage took a new olive colour Toyota car belonging to Mr Shushil Babu a Hindu businessman of Motijheel who was a beloved of Bangabandhu's Principal Secretary Mr Ruhul Quddus (then in London under treatment) and entered Dhaka Cantonment on August 29 at 11 at night having loaded the car with leaflets. The driver did not know what the car contained. Before that re reconnaissance inside the Cantonment was done for two days. It was found that after 10 at night the streets inside the Cantonment are deserted due to fear.

Officers and subalterns retired to their homes before 10. Therefore in accordance with an agreed plan he entered the Cantonment formally dressed on the plea of an appointed meeting with CGS Khaled Musharraf armed with a pass issued by the latter's COD Maj Hossain (shaheed). Inside the Cantonment I asked the driver to drive at top speed and began scattering the leaflets on both sides of the streets furiously with his two hands. After scattering the leaflets containing a call for toppling the government of the murderers Moshtaq-Dalim-Faruq I was able to escape through the Officers Quarters gate to the north of Cantonment. (That gate was closed when General Mahbubur Rahman became Army Chief).

Within the Cantonment I faced no obstacle (alhumdulillah), which was fortunate. Virtually, the reality of those days was that its streets became deserted after 10 at night. The army too was too afraid to move out. All security activities then centred on Bangabhaban and the four leaders held at Nazimuddin Road.

Since Kumar Shankar Hazra was the officer of killer President Moshtaq, was given responsibility to distribute the leaflets in Bangabhaban, the nest of the killers. Today, we congratulate war hero Hazra for his outstanding courageous performance in distributing leaflets in different rooms in Bangabhaban at night on August 29. Which created earth quake in around Bangabhaban on August 30 onwards. Killers got the tough message that they are not safe in Bangabhaban.

The duty to distribute the leaflets in secretariat at night on the same date fell on Mujibnagar Freedom Fighter officers Mr Rabindranath Tribedi, Mr Gazi Monsur, Mr Ali Tareq and two followers of Sheikh Moni Bhai, Fakir Abdur Razzak, Mr Shafiqul Aziz Mukul who joined as Information Officer when Banglar Bani closed. They did enter the Secretariat with the leaflets at ten at night with a PID micro but they sensed the unusual presence of NSI, SB in the Secretariat they left their micro and were able to threw same leaflets quickly and sneak out through the door beside the Secretariat mosque (then tin-shade) past the derelict pond behind the Press Club.

But the brunt of the failure fell on the officer in charge of Mujibnagar cell of the Establishment Ministry, Rakhal Bhattacharya. After a few days of this incident Rakhal-Da was caught by order of Zia, tortured and thrown in prison. Within the prison too he was persecuted and tortured and died later on. Yet he did not give any information about Freedom Fighters. We salute him. This great patriot and valiant Freedom Fighter who can be ranked with Khudiram.

The impact of distribution of this leaflet on August 29 was far reaching which could not imagine at that moment. The Dhaka cantonment and Bangabhaban were in great panic in those days. None could ever think that any outsiders would be able to penetrate into the security of cantonment or Bangabhaban and distribute leaflets urging Army men to resist and eliminate the killers of Bangabhaban. But when leaflets were found in the early morning of August 30 in Dhaka cantonment most of the Army men including those who participated in liberation war themselves own those leaflets.

They claimed that it was they who distributed these leaflets. They urged others to disown the killers. The so called claim by the killers since August 15 that the killing of Sheikh Mujib and his family were done by the members of the Army, Navy and Air Force together started to exposed thoroughly. The Army men of Dhaka cantonment sent those leaflets to all other cantonments in the country and opinion had quickly formed against the killers in all cantonments.

This however had resulted in the division of the Armed Forces into two parts in all the cantonments and bases. In such a situation the Army of Dhaka cantonment and all other cantonments raised to unified demand that the Junior Officers of Army, who were in Bangabhaban should be brought back under the chain of command of their respective Regiments. But killers gang, the Junior Officers keeping President Khandaker Moshtaq in their grip issuing various orders in the name President without consulting their senior Generals and Brigadiers of the Armed Forces.

When the Army H.Q. issued formal orders asking them to report they refused to report to their respective Regiments. At this stage the killers with their forces in Bangabhaban and Armed Forces in Dhaka cantonment under the leadership of Senior Generals stood face to face.

The Armed Forces who were against the killers stood behind General Khaled Mosharraf to stage a counter-coup on 3rd November 1975. Those leaflets which were distributed on August 29 was the main spark of fire, which culminated in the counter-coup. The counter-coup though did not succeed it however brought the final defeat of the killer Moshtaq-Rashid-Faruk-Dalim gang and destroyed their dream to rule the country timelessly.

On the other side, Gen Latif, DG of DGFI submitted report in 1977 that Mr Musa was responsible for distributing leaflets on August 29, 1975 in Dhaka cantonment. (Freedom-Fighter Officers congratulated the sharpness of their memory box in their heads.) On the opportunity of 1977 coup, they brought charge against me "Mr Musa said coup is successful and President Zaiur Rahman is dead. It's good news. Let us celebrate it."

Abdus Sobhan, Deputy Secretary issued letter to me on 24/10/1977 to explain my anti-state conspiracy activities and derogatory remarks about the Head of State. But meanwhile DGFI started searching me everywhere. (Editor Mr Reaz Uddin Ahmed used to ask me even today "how you have escaped death?") They also reached Bangabhaban. Mr Noor Mohammad, CSP (enjoyed lot of blessings of my mama), Principal Secretary to President saved me by giving Tk 10,000/- from cashier of Bangabhaban and forced me to leave Bangabhaban within 2/3 minutes from the gate of Ittefaq and instructed me to cross the border before sun set.

I left Bangabhaban in rocket speed, and following his instruction, crossed the border of Comilla at dead of night and reached India. Thus I survived, otherwise the charge they brought against me, contained only one punishment i.e. death sentence. Thus I walked out the door of martyrdom second time in my life. It was during liberation war on Thursday, December 02, 1971, I was caught by Pakistan Army at Chachra, Sector 8, tortured, bayoneted and left me unconscious among dead bodies.
Sudden Artillery Shell of the Allied Forces there forced Pak Army to retreat hurriedly and advanced Bengal Regiment under command of Capt Nazmul Huda, who later rescued me with another one and placed us in Indian field hospital. Thus, I survived from the door of martyrdom first time in my life in 1971. In this connection Prime Minister Taj Uddin Sir had left a report in his file in the Ministry of Defence in 1971.

The writer is a War Correspondent of Swadhin Bangla Betar and Former Secretary, Government of Bangladesh

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