15th August: Unknown chapters
One of the main architects of 1975 coup, Taher Uddin Thakur prepared a 3/4 page baseless and fabricated "BRIEFINGS" (cyclostyle) for character assassination of Bangabandhu along with false and fabricated bank loot activates of Sheikh Kamal, so called abuse of sexual assault on the wife of Major Dalim and discovery of hundred Kilos of gold at the house of Bangabandhu at Road number 32 at Dhanmondi. Now, question is who will sign the cyclostyle sheet, either Principal Secretary Mahbub Alam Chashi or Cabinet Secretary H T Imam?
The secrets were given to me by Mr Abdul Mannan, APS to President, when conflict started between Principal Secretary Mahboob Alam Chashi and H T Imam. The dispute was created between them on the question of singing the 3/4 pages ugly, dirty briefings (cyclostyled) against Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib and his family, which would be sent to the civil servants of all tiers of administration all over the country and all the Govt-Semi Govt offices with strict instructions to brief all the Officers and employees on the subject-matter every day one hour before of the closing of office hour.
Mr Mannan told me, "Cabinet Secretary tried to avoid signing it on the plea that in the Presidential form of Government, Principal Secretary signs it. But in the Prime Ministerial system of Government, Cabinet Secretary signs it.
Chashi (was an young foreign service cadre who lost job for spying for China sitting in Foreign office in Islamabad in 1960) countered him by saying all the district BCS Officers are under the direct control and command of Cabinet Secretary. He shall have to sign it, otherwise BCS Civil Servants will not recognize it, and follow it and implement it. Trusted friend of Chashi, Taher Uddin Thakur (both Comilla gangster) extended his support to Chashi. At that point of time balance inclined against Imam and both of them convinced Killer Moshtaq to put Imam behind the bar for showing disloyalty to the President."
When Imam saw Chashi had signed it and none is talking to him about it anymore he panicked. He observed lull around him. Kumar Shankar Hazra, PRO to President told me, "He called the President the day before night he was arrested. Imam felt danger and begged for his life to killer Moshtaq. He begged and gave arguments after arguments to Moshtaq to explain how he cooperated with him and placed highest loyalty to him."
Gen Latif, who was prominently known as "Baba Latif" since he used to affectionately call the Army Officers, including Officers of his tank regiment as "Baba". He was one of my distant relatives and migrated along with us from West Bengal to the then East Pakistan. When he was posted in Jessore Cantonment during the period of Pakistan my father Imam Moulovi Ahmed Ali conducted his marriage with a lady of Satkhira in our house. He used to enjoy lot of affection of my mother Bibi Amina. Although his first wife died while giving birth to her baby.
Later on, he married second time in Dhaka. After the killing of Bangabandhu, he tried his best to bring Faruk-Rashid back in his command to bring chain of command in the Forces. Both Faruk- Rashid who belonged to his tank regiment disclosed most thrilling information to him and said, "We were encouraged, inspired and advised by many Ministers and Secretaries of Sheikh Mujib to save the country by hook or by crook, even by eliminating whole cabinet of Sheikh Mujib. They mentioned the name of Food Secretary, former Establishment Secretary (a relative of Col Farooq) Cabinet Secretary and DG, NSI etc.
Those Secretaries and some Ministers including Shah Muazzem, Obaidur Rahman, Yousuf Ali, Bhola Mia, Sohrab Hossain etc categorically told them to take care of Sheikh Moni before killing Sheikh Mujib. Otherwise by killing Sheikh Mujib you can't overthrow the Government. Sheikh Moni is a revolutionary figure and capable of protecting the Government. Following many of their demands and advices Dalim-Farooq-Rashid-Zia changed their original blueprint not to kill any others but Sheikh Mujib only. They made this blueprint since long time to ensure spontaneous support in favour of their revolution that none of the Civil and Army officers would be killed.
So that the whole Government machineries and all the members of Armed Forces and all the civil servants will welcome and bless them and come forward to support them. But at the last moment before getting out of Dhaka Cantonment they decided otherwise, to go for whole massacre but they decided to spare Additional Secretary Mr Syed Hossain, another husband of the sister of Sheikh Mujib. They decided not to hostile civil bureaucracy by killing any of their members. They were also very adamant not to kill any Army officer and rankers. But they had to kill Col Jamil as he reached Dhanmondi and tried to resist them with automatic machine gun in his hand."
Gen Latif further told me, "Conl Farooq-Rashid mentioned to him it was some Secretaries, who injected ideas to kill more. On August 15 at 12.30am when Major Dalim contacted some of them and they suggested him categorically, "Keeping Shiekh Moni alive you can't take power even after killing Bangabandhu." Thus killers included name of Sheikh Moni and Mr Abdur Rab Serniabat in their killing list. But they didn't include name of Syed Hossain, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Establishment (now Human Resources) since they had decided from the beginning of their conspiracy not to kill anyone but Bangabandhu. Particularly, no Civil-Army Officers and rankers would be touched, so that they remain with them and support their revolution against corruption and misdeeds of Sheikh Mujib."
The then DG NSI had kept NSI blind about the conspiracy. He suggested them to go for total massacre, otherwise their revolution would be jeopardised and they had to face counter coup. Conl Farooq-Rashid told about his and some other Secretaries and Ministers recommendations to Gen Latif. Particularly, he suggested Syed Hossain should be killed, otherwise, Killers won't be able to get the command of administration since he is the key man in the Establishment. Although he is the Additional Secretary, but he is all in all in the Ministry of Establishment. Although that was not the whole truth. He had some personal grace against Syed Hossain Sir.
Mr Hossain used to live in a small flat in Kalabagan Government quarter allotted to him Deputy Secretary. His family members had been enjoying the accommodation as it was nearer to the house of Bangabandhu. In the month of July end, 1975, Ministry of Works allotted him an abandoned independent house at the corner of Dhanmondi field.
DG NSI had been living there since independence as an allotte, also got a new same kind of Government house in Dhanmondi. But he was extremely angry and unwilling to live the house as it was slanted face to face of big Dhanmondi field. Syed Hossain Sir was scheduled to shift there on August 18 keeping that schedule date in �.. DG, NSI indirectly was indicating those killers to eliminate Syed Hossain. But they turned down his suggestion and spared him.
The writer was a War Correspondent of Swadhin Bangla Betar and a Former Secretary, Government of Bangladesh