Profiles of pro Bangladesh Intelligentsia of 1971

Dr GC Deb ( Philosophy Dept, Dhaka University)

This is a real story told by Begum Rokeya Sultana, the adopted daughter of Dr.G.C. Deb, a highly admired teacher at the Philosophy Department of Dhaka University, who was brutally killed by the Pakistani armed forces on March 26,1971. On March 26, the day following the genocide let loose by the military junta on the Bengalees on March 25, she was standing beside the dead body of Dr. Deb who was shot to death a few moments ago. Then her only baby girl Rabeya was in her lap.The motionless body of Rokeya's husband was also lying there.

With the baby in her lap Rokeya did not know what to do. She was benumbed with fear and shock. It was one of the many incidents of that black, doomed night --- the night that made the Bengalees a nation of fighters. The definition of death was not known to Rokeya. But she was a witness to that fateful black night of March 25. She experienced the horrors of 26th March comparable to one's dying moments only. On the morning of 26th March Dr. Gobinda Chandra Deb fell down before Rokeya's eyes because of indiscriminate shooting. Whereas moments before death, in his child-like innocence he was addressing the Pakistani soldiers as 'baba' (father, meaning 'my beloved children'). He wanted to know about the cause of their sudden raid on his residence. Rokeya found no pertinent reason behind the brutality that befell them.

During the Non-cooperation Movement of March Dr. Deb was not physically well. In February,1971 he came back from the USA with a pain in his leg. In March he used to suffer from toothache. The pain even spread to his throat. Dr. Deb usually did not participate in any discussion on politics, but the Non-cooperation Movement of March sometimes made him very thoughtful and disturbed. The Bangla word 'mukti' (freedom) had a very special meaning for him. He considered it to be related to the very existence of independent Bangladesh. On March 23, when late Abdul Quddus Makhan, a DUCSU leader, came to see Dr. Deb, he (Dr.Deb) willingly gave him (Makhan) money to buy a Swadhin Bangla flag. Later on, he said this time there would be something meaningful for the country.

On March 25 he went out for an evening walk as usual. After returning home at 8 in the evening he entered his reading room. Rokeya requested him to go to bed as early as possible since he was not physically well. Her husband late Mohammad Ali was a banker. She was busy with her B. Ed examinations. Being tired of whole day's work, her husband and Dr. Deb fell asleep.

It was 11 at night then. The non-stop sound of firing startled Rokeya. Being frightened, she called her husband. Then they were living in the premises of Jagannath Hall. Rokeya's room was at one corner and Dr. Deb's room was in the middle of the house. Mohammad Ali woke up hearing the sound of firing. They felt as if it were an earthquake. Bullets like hailstorm were hitting the house. The whole house was trembling. Mohammad Ali and Rokeya with their baby crawled into the middle room. Dr. Deb was shivering in fear and horror. Handing over the baby to Mohammad Ali, Rokeya hugged Dr. Deb. Late in the night there were so many bullets that they had to take shelter in a small room of the house. The Pakistani armed forces with their loudspeakers were giving orders to surrender. The language they used was English. By morning the sound of bullets almost ceased. For being awake throughout the night, Dr. Deb was very tired. He was about to collapse. In spite of his tiredness and exhaustion, he told Rokeya, "It's time to say prayers, Ma (mother, meaning 'my beloved daughter'). Could you make me a place for that?" The sound of firing was no longer there. Rokeya cleaned the middle room to let Dr. Deb worship. The whole house was so disorderly due to the frenzied orgy of the Pakistanis that it was almost impossible to walk from one room to another. There were many holes in the wall. Plasters of the walls were coming off. It seemed at any moment the house might break down.
Mohammad Ali was lying on the bed hugging the baby. Somehow Rokeya prepared a cup of tea with the hot water kept in a flask and brought it to Dr. Deb's room. He felt well after sipping tea.

Rokeya looked tired as she was narrating the atroticities perpetrated by the Pakistanis. It was a cursed moment of her life - of everybody's life in Bangladesh. She said my baby also saw how her grandfather was brutally killed. The occupying forces killed Dr. Deb before the baby. "The memories of the merciless killing are still fresh in my daughter's mind, she becomes agitated when she remembers that." It was that cursed morning of 26th March. The compound of Jagannath Hall was full of soldiers. The dead bodies killed the previous night were  lying in the field in front of the dormitory building. Groans of tortured women could be heard from the neighbourhood. In a state of bewilderment, we all gathered in the middle room of our house. A few moments later, there was a knock at the main door. Somebody was shouting, "Malaun ki baccha, darwaza khol do" (You son of a infidel, open the door). It was not an order. It sounded like the roar of a fiend. Being frightened, Dr. Deb stood up very nervously. Rokeya forced him to sit dawn. The knocks at the door were gradually increasing. It seemed they were kicking at the door with their boots. The door was about to be broken down.

Keeping the baby in Dr. Deb's lap, Rokeya's husband walked towards the door. The door was not able to stand the barbaric blows. No sooner had he reached near the door than it collapsed on the trembling old man. Dr. Deb somehow managed to come out of the collapsed door. Immediately one soldier hit him in the head with the rifle. A bullet from a distance hit him in the chest. He tried to walk away from there. After a few steps, he fell down on the floor. Other members of the family had been standing in the middle room. They were only three Dr. Deb, the baby and Rokeya. Dr. Deb became so shocked and dumbfounded that he couldn't but quietly ask the invaders, "What do you want here baba"? Those were his last words. In course of this query they started shooting at him. Two bullets hit him in the head just near one ear and the other bullets hit him in the chest. They also beat Rokeya mercilessly. They were asking again and again where the rifles were in the house. Repeatedly they charged bayonet on the dead body of Dr. Deb. It was a ghastly sight. Rokeya became mentally so upset and exhausted that she uttered "Allah" quite loudly pulling the baby more close to her. She still does not know whether she survived because of that utterance. The Pakistani forces took away the bodies of Dr. Deb and her husband Mohammad Ali, and kept them among the hundreds of dead bodies lying in the playground in front of the Jagannath Hall. With this tragic killing ended the life of a beloved teacher and philosopher of Bangladesh.

 

Dr Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurta (English Dept)

Memories of my Father, Shahid Intellectual Jyotirmay Guhathakurta,killed by Pakistani Army on the night of 25th March, 1971 

Meghna Guhathakurta
Hey Dad!
The moment I look at verbenas, chrysanthemums dahlias and dianthuses, I
seem to conjure up my childhood. In the midst of this riot of colors in the chilly winter morns of South Asia, I can see my father eternally clipping away at dead branches, plucking away dead leaves from thorny rose bushes and leafy rhododendrons. The garden was my father’s natural habitat. He proudly claimed himself to be chief gardener, king of his realm and no one, absolutely no one who did not know the names of all the flowers or creepers that dwelt there or untouched by the subtle fragrance of the different kinds of jasmine that all around walls or was not sensitive to the brilliant hues of colours changing in the sunset did not dare enter! From my earliest memories, I would see bunches of nervous yet eager students troop from our house and tread rather gingerly in my father’s footsteps to be around kingdom of his. They were students of English literature who having struggled through their Keats and Wordsworth had landed up at my father’s doorsteps, eager to quench their thirst for more. But little did they know what was in store for them!!! First had to their prowess in discerning the different kinds of greens they could see reflected in the sparkling sun. Then they had to have deep knowledge of how the earth behaves when it is time to nurture the seedlings that have been strewn on them and how water is needed to enable them to sprout into tender shoots. Then of course it is a must to arrange the mauves and yellows and the pink and the reds so that they do not clash disastrously but render harmonious melody all through. And with each lesson the pages of literature, English, Bengali or whatever would come to life for the students would suddenly feel their body vibrate with the sound of my fathers voice reciting from the works of Tagore, Wordsworth and Yeats. 

My father’s passion for gardening was not only well-known, it was legendary. Once a rumor went around that he was asked to set questions for the English paper of the College Exams. Many of my father’s students were wined and dined by these young candidates in order to seek suggestions as to what kind of essays to expect. My father’s students, no doubt, well fed for their labors, came up with one common denominator: It had to be Gardening as a Hobby!! Gleeful candidates rushed back to their midnight oil lamps to pour over arduous explanations of gardening techniques and forms. But alas to their surprise the next morning they opened their question papers to find staring at their face the instruction to write an essay on Fishing as a Hobby!! When the same sheepish students told my father the story that they had gorged down whole dinners to suggest a wrong essay, he guffawed with laughter but his eyes twinkled secretively like the brightly colored dahlias. 


Just nine months before the fateful night of 25th March 1971, we moved into a new accommodation provided to us by the Dhaka University authorities. It was just opposite the Central Shahid Minar and across the street from the eastern gate of Jagannath Hall, the student residential hall of which my father was made provost. My father always insisted on a ground floor flat so that he could keep up his dearest activity. The backyard of the flat we moved into filled with overgrown bushes and shrubs needed much work before it could be transformed into a ‘garden’. But it was a challenge that my father took up the day he entered the place. By the winter of 1970, the unwanted shrubs have been cleared, the ground all dug up and laid over by a mixture of sandy and clayey soil, the kind that would give birth to an unadulterated green lawn. The beds too were made ready for the sunny marigolds and the dahlias of various hues: biscuit, lemon, pink and dark maroon. So many passers by would stop and stare over the wall at this sight and my father’s face would beam and glow with pride like one brighter dahlia. 

But alas it was on that fateful night of 25th March, in 1971 that the soldiers of the Pakistan Army, in their mission called “Operation Searchlight” trampled over this treasured garden and crossed our threshold to look for the “professor”. It was through this much-loved piece of lawn that he was led at gun-point to the front of the house and asked to give his name and religion. As soon as my father had answered, the order to shoot was given. My father was hit at the side of his neck as he turned away his face, and once on his waist, which paralyzed him waist downwards. He blacked out and fell to the ground. The soldiers trooped out to continue their duties elsewhere in the campus, where hell had been unleashed. As soon as he regained consciousness, he started to call out our names. We realized what had happened, for until then we were under the impression that he had been arrested to be taken to the Cantonment. Neighbors helped us to bring him into the house, but for two nights and two days we could give him no treatment. Army trucks were on patrol, and bullets were being fired left and right. In the meantime, a troop of soldiers came to collect the dead for mass burial in the graves they dug at Jagannath Hall. Professor Maniruzzaman and three boys in his family were all shot dead that night and they dragged their bodies from the family who live on our 3rd floor. They forgot to count my father’s body. We could only take my father to the hospital on the morning of the 27th when the curfew broke. He was weak but still in his senses. But the doctors said his days were numbered. The injury was too critical. He breathed his last at 10.00 am on 30th March 1971.

My mother in her memories “Ekattorer Smriti” ( Memories of 1971) recalls a conversation with my father as the civil disobedience movement called by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was gaining ground, in those stormy days of March 1971. Many suggested that my father leave the campus. But my father was stalwart. He couldn’t leave as long as one student stayed on campus. Rather melancholically, he pointed to a flower-pot in our verandah and said to my mother. The flower-pot contained three biscuit-colored dahlias in three sizes. One large, the second medium and the last a small one. “See Basanti,” he told my mother, “these three dahlias represent us. I am the large one, it is old and almost dying, the medium one is you and Dola (myself) is the third one. When I am gone the two will still go on living.” My mother cut him off instantly telling him to stop brooding. But on the morning of the 25th, very ominously, the large dahlia had withered so much that my mother had cut off the stem, leaving the two on its own. 

We remember instances like this in our weaker moments, when we do not know how exactly to cope with our emotions. For me, the remaining two dahlias are symbolical of the love my father represented for the world and for humanity, something, which could not be killed with bullets or hatred. He merely wanted us to carry this love forward in our lives and thereby conquer fear and hatred. That is why whenever and wherever I look at dahlias in bloom, my heart opens out and smiles an acknowledgement… Hey Dad!

Professor Munier Choudhury (Dept of Bangla, Dhaka University)

Remembering Munier Chowdhury

Munier Chowdhury was one of the most brilliant personalities of our land. Born on November 27, 1925, his distinguished career was brutally cut short by the local killer-collaborators of the Pakistan occupation army on December 14, 1971, only a few hours before Bangladesh was liberated. He was an ardent nationalist but never a militant one. In his student days he was an active communist, a regular Party member and card-holder, but he voluntarily severed that connection years ago. He chose the life of a scholar, a professor and a writer, and in all three fields achieved enviable success.

Educated in the universities of Aligarh, Dhaka and Harvard, he first carved a name as a fine teacher of English literature. He was, however, passionately devoted to Bangla language and culture, and courted imprisonment in 1952 for his participation in the Bangla language movement, where he had, along with some others, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as his prisonmate. While in jail he assiduously studied Bangla language and literature, appeared at the MA examination in Bangla from inside the jail and came out first in the first class. On his release from imprisonment, he started teaching Bangla at the University of Dhaka, later becoming the Chairman of the Department and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, which posts he held till his tragic death in 1971. Students flocked to his class, many from other departments, as he lectured in his inimitable fashion on Meer Mosharraf Hossain, Bankimchandra and Rabindranath, among others. To this day he is fondly remembered as an extraordinary teacher who was able to kindle in his students a genuine love for great literatures.

Munier Chowdhury possessed a truly creative mind. He was interested in many things, and he left his mark in many fields. He designed a keyboard for the Bangla typewriter which was vastly superior to the earlier ones. Commercially patented by a German firm, it was known as the Munier-Optima typewriter. He wrote plays, short stories, literary criticism, scholarly dissertations and humorous sketches besides translating and adapting a number of plays from English into Bangla. However, his forte was drama, and he is rightly considered as the father of modern drama in Bangladesh. He was passionately attracted to the world of drama since his adolescence. His one-act play Rajar Janmadine (On the King’s Birthday) was performed at the Dhaka University stage when he was still an undergraduate student. He avidly read all the best plays of the world, ancient and modern, the popular works as well as the classics. He travelled widely, visiting UK, USA, Germany, Russia and Japan and, wherever he went, he made it a point to visit local theatre halls and opera houses, see some performances and meet a few contemporary local playwrights.

Munier Chowdhury’s most famous work is Kabar (The Grave), written in the background of the glorious language movement of 1952. First enacted inside the jail by a band of political prisoners on a makeshift stage soon after its composition, Kabar has been performed hundreds of times all over Bangladesh, and the trend shows no signs of abatement. Among his other plays are Raktanto Prantar (The Bloodspattered Field), a historical play in three acts; Chitthi (The Letter), a social play in three acts; Rupar Kouta, a fine adaptation of Galsworthy’s Silver Box; Keu Kichchu Bolte Pare Na, an excellent adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell; and Mukhara Ramoni Bashikaran, a brilliant translation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. All these plays have been successfully staged, broadcast or televised in Dhaka and other places of Bangladesh.

His plays amply reveal his expert knowledge of the theatre arts. They are skilfully constructed; the dialogue is racy and unflagging; and their content is characterised by a broad liberal humanism. They also reveal a sense of humour, sometimes pungent and satirical, sometimes farcical and gay, often scintillating with the aroma of high comedy.

Had he lived today in free and sovereign Bangladesh with the common people committed to the ideals of democracy, secularism and social justice, he could make invaluable contribution to our arts, culture and literature, but he was not allowed to live by the evil forces opposed to the ideals stated above. It is a great pity that those evil forces of autocracy, religious fanaticism and ruthless exploitation are still alive in Bangladesh, in fact, are flourishing undeterred. As we remember Munier Chowdhury let us all rededicate ourselves to the liquidation of those forces as early as possible. Unless we can do so, the very existence of Bangladesh will be in jeopardy.

KABIR CHOWDHURY (The New Age, 14 December, 2003)

Lest we forget Prof Munier

This 14th December 2003 was the 32nd Anniversary of my illustrious brother's kidnapping. My brother and I were watching from the outer balcony of our ancestral home in Central Road, the Indian fighter jets flying right over our head, apparently hurling rockets at a house where presumably the then Commander of the Pak Armed Forces General Niazi had taken refuge. It was now 1145 a.m. the shelling and rocketing which began around 7 am had come to a sudden halt.

My mother called out from the inner yard of the house opposite the outer verandah on the ground floor, "Now that there is some respite from the air raids, the two of you should have a quick shower and have lunch. I am laying the table". At this we both came down and my brother went for his bath at the makeshift bathing place which was located at the inner yard of the house having a bucket, a plastic mug and a water tank capable of storing about ten to twelve buckets of water on a six by three feet of concrete platform.

At about this time as I was waiting for my brother to finish his bath and make way for me I saw a microbus camouflaged in mud had stopped right in front of our main outer entrance and about three or four young men alighting from the bus, all in militia uniform. All had rifles in their possession. The two of them were making rattling sounds beating on the lock hanging from the large gate made of wrought iron apparently trying to attract attention of the inmates of the house. I was watching all this from the window of one of the rooms on the ground floor, which provided a clear view of the gate and the front yard including the street right across.

My first reaction was to ignore, wait and watch and at the same time hoping that they would give up and disappear. No such thing happened. They seemed determined and now even began to shout. Seeing this I finally came out and decided to face these people who appeared from nowhere. Besides I was quite apprehensive of their purpose since the entire city was under curfew imposed by the Pak Army. As I approached the gate one of the three people now standing on the outer side of the closed gate asked me to open the gate to which I responded by saying that I would like to know the purpose of their visit. The three of them said in one voice that they had me to see Munier Sir. I was now getting somewhat nervous and told them that they could not see him since he was unwell. At this, one of them looked at me angrily and asked me to open the gate in a terse voice. I felt I could no longer resist them from coming into the yard. After some exchange of words leading to arguments and counter arguments about my brother being sick and his inability to meet them, I finally asked these people (who I later learned to be Razakars) to wait till I inform my brother.

As I went in, I found my brother standing in front of the glass window located on the middle section of the stairs, still in a vest and a Lungi. Before I could say something, he wanted to know if these people had come to see him. Having had confirmation from me he asked me to tell them to wait. A little while after he returned wearing a Punjabi (a traditional long sleeved shirt reaching way below the knee) and the Lungi and in a pair of slippers. As he approached the Razakars , they greeted him and said that they had come to take him to the Police station for some questioning. At this my brother wanted to see their authority by way of a Warrant of Arrest. After considerable exchange of words the Razakars could neither persuade my brother to accompany them nor could they produce any document in support of his arrest. As matters came to a pass my brother refused to accompany the Razakars. As I was watching the proceedings standing beside him, one of the Razakars all too suddenly rushed behind my brother and held the gun pressed at his back ordering him to move. I was completely dumbfounded at the sudden turn of events and followed my brother to the entrance door of the bus. And now as he was entering the bus he turned to me and said " Rushdi (a name by which my family used to address me) I better go."

Epilogue

32 years have gone by, since that frightful incident, I have neither seen nor heard from him. To this day I keep asking myself: "Is he dead, if so who killed him and why? Was he tortured to death? Who was he thinking of before the end came? Was he thinking of his mother whom he left waiting at the dining table to join her? Or was he thinking of his wife and children whom he had left behind?" My mother has left this world (June 2000). I am glad that at least her long and painful wait for her son was over. As for me the gaping wound caused since my brother disappeared still remains, yet I feel no real pain. I have learnt to live and cope with the tragedy. But what I find even harder to deal with is the current state of our beloved Homeland. The tragic state of our country has long overshadowed my personal loss.

Shamsher Choudhury (The Daily Star, December 15, 2003)

Munier Chowdhury denounced the title 'Sitar I- Imtiaz' awarded to him by Pakistan Government (1966) during non-cooperation movement (1971).

 

Anudwaipayan Bhattacharya (Applied Physics Dhaka University)

ANM Muniruzzaman (Reader, Statistics dept)

 

Dr NAM Faizul Mahi

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education and Research (IER), Dhaka University

Born in 1939 at Feni, Dr. Faizul Mahi, a tall handsome man was known to his friend circle as a progressive looking personality. He was not vocal compared to many of his colleagues in the university but very much dedicated to the cause of war of liberation that was going on from March to December, helping the freedom fighters from within keeping a low profile, a very difficult job indeed. But he could not keep secret of his real identity from the watchful eyes of his collaborator colleagues within IER. During non-cooperation movement or '69 mass movement he had been always with us in our little effort to strengthen the nation wide movement for autonomy rapidly turning into a movement of independence under the charismatic leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib and fiery Maulana and other national leaders.

Faizul Mahi an intimate friend of mine on personal level, used to live within the same locality where I lived. We meet almost every day at DUTA office room or DU club discussing the then existing situation in the country. He was a very knowledgeable man of deep understanding.

Mahi joined Institute of Education and Research in 1968 after obtaining Ed. D (doctorate in Education) and then soon became Senior Lecturer. He was a dedicated teacher.

The barbarous Al Badr group picked him on 14th December early in the morning from his residential quarter never to return to his family.

Let us pay homage to this silent but gallant freedom fighter to day.

 

Dr Fazlur Rahman Khan, Senior Lecturer in Soil Science, Dhaka University   

Dr. Fazlur Rahman was born in Mymensingh in 1939. He was a silent but dedicated teacher of the department. He joined the department in 1963 as a lecturer after obtaining M.Sc. degree in soil science. Subsequently he proceeded to London University, UK for higher studies obtaining degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1968. He immediately returned to the University of his own.

I knew him as a dedicated researcher, a very rare quality we do not find in our younger colleague these days.

On the dreadful night of 25th March '71 he was brutally killed by the members of the Paki army in his residence in Nilkhet area during an army raid in the university campus. His dead body was left for several days, finally taken away by the army engaged in cleaning.

 

Mofazzal Haidar Choudhury, Reader in Bangla, Dhaka University


A mild soft spoken and naturally shy, Mr. Choudhury could be killed by Al Badrs was beyond imagination. He was not an activist in any sense, nor was he a publicly known figure- even then the Al Badr Bahini picked him up on 14th December from his residence where he was hiding. It is now known that Al Badrs came to his residence at Fuller Road area and forcibly took his male servant who was looking after the house during their absence. The servant was tortured and forced to take the Al-Badr hitmen to the professor in his hiding place.
Mr Choudhury was my neighbour just living opposite to my residence before the dreadful night of 25th March. Then we parted on 27th March immediately after the curfew was withdrawn. He was so kind hearted that, knowing that I had not much acquaintances or relatives in Dhaka he offered me their help which I politely declined as I did not want to put him in a more dangerous situation in keeping me with him an activist like me and, worse , a Hindu.
Mr. Choudhury, born in Noakhali in 1926, joined department of Bangla in 1955. He studied at London University for couple of years in linguistics. He was awarded 'Sahitya Bharati' by the Viswa Bharati University, Santiniketan. He became Reader in Bangla 1970. His famous writings include Bangla Banan o Lipi Sanskar, Rabi Parikrama, Colloquial Bengali, Bhasa o Sanskriti, Sahityer Nava Rupayan etc.

Muhammad Murtaza (Doctor)
Medical officer, Dhaka University

How could I forget him? I owe my life to him. He saved me from the probable onslaught at the hands of the Pakistani bahini (Pakistani occupation army). I was then hiding in a residential flat of a good friend of mine at Dhanmondi some time in the first week of April. A military jeep came at about 2-30 pm with some army officials. They enquired to my host who happened to be a medical practitioner whether a professor of DU was hiding here. He somehow managed to impress upon them that no such person was residing in his residence. In fact I was not staying within his flat, but to an adjacent small flat behind but adjacent to the main building. My friend advised me that it would not be safe for me to stay there as the army might come back if they had positive information. We decided that the best safe place would be, for to night at least, my university quarter. Because before coming over here the army must have checked with my original residence. Just before the curfew was re-imposed in the evening I quietly moved to the university flat unnoticed- a barren, deserted and dreadfully calm place then. But Dr. Murtaza, who lived just opposite to my flat on the ground floor, noticed my arrival from his window. Immediately he came to my place knocking the door with a whispering voice asking me to open the door. I didn't put on any light. He advised me to leave the place fast, preferably early in the morning tomorrow as soon as the curfew was lifted. When I argued that when he could stay there why should I not, he replied that he was not a high profile activist, - he was primarily a Maoist theoretician plus he was a medical doctor. He further advised me that so long I could not move to a safer place, I must not get out of the flat he would do the necessary domestic things. He also asked one of his aids to find me a place of safety. I left the flat a couple of days later to a new hiding place.
But alas, the doctor could not hide his own identity from the watchful eyes of the Pakistani collaborators. They new that the gentleman under the disguise of an innocent doctor was helping the cause of our liberation by treating the injured guerillas operating within the city and supplying emergency medicines to the freedom fighters.
He joined the Dacca Medical Centre as a medical officer in 1955 after obtaining MBBS degree from Dacca Medical College in 1954.
He was a serious writer, a dedicated communist. His notable works are Chikitsa Shastrer Kahini, Prachin Vijnaner Kahini, Hunaner Krisak Andolan, Pak-Bharater Yuddher Tatparya, Jana Sankhya o Sampad, Shanti na Shakti.
He was picked up on 14 December by a group of Al Badrs from his university residence. He was taken blindfolded with a 'orna' of his beloved little daughter Miti.
I lost not only a great friend of mine but a true well-wisher in a most critical time of my life. How could I ever forget him!

 

Muhammad Sadat Ali
Lecturer in Education,Institute of Education and Research (IER), Dhaka University
 

Honestly speaking I didn't know much of him, although we had nodding acquaintance. Born in 28th January in 1942, he hailed from Narshindi. Mr. Sadek after returning from USA with Ed. D degree from American Colorado State College joined IER as a lecturer sometime in 1970. He was a professor in Narsingdi college before he came to DU.
He left his Dhaka residence on 26 April '71 presumably for his village home, but since then no trace of him found. It was heard later that on his way home to Narshingdi he might had been arrested by the army and killed.

 

Muhammad Sadek
Head Teacher, University Laboratory School

Mr Sadek was born in Bhola in 1939. He was a Head master in charge of the University Labratory High School. He used to live in Fuller road area on the ground floor of Building number 11.
In the morning of 26 March 1971 under curfew the army raided in our area and entered the flat of Mr. Sadek forcibly. He was immediately shot at before he could disclose his identity. He was left at his residence profusely bleeding without any medical aids. Ultimately he succumbed to his fatal injury.
On the 27th Morning when curfew was lifted for a few hours, his body was temporarily buried in a lawn just behind the building.

 

Rashedul Hasan
Department of English, Dhaka University


A very good friend of mine, Rashedul Hasan, born in 1932 at Birbhum district in West Bengal migrated to this part of the subcontinent then under Pakistani rule in 1949. He obtained BA (Hons.) and MA in English from DU in 1957 and 1958 respectively. He taught at various colleges including Narsingdi, Pabna Edward College and Krishna Chandra College of Bhirbhum in West Bengal. Finally he joined English Department, DU as a lecturer in 1967. Rashedul was a good orator- his thoughtful eloquent speech on many occasions in DUTA meetings earned praise from his colleagues.
He was a liberal democrat and a life long fighter against fundamentalism and communalism.
A close friend of Anawar Pasha, Rashedul Hasan was picked up together with his friend Anawar from the same flat within the DU campus. The two families were then living together in a flat in Isa Khan Road area within the campus.

 

Sharafat Ali
Lecturer in Mathematics, Dhaka University
 

An ex-student and a junior colleague of mine in mathematics department was killed by the army in a predawn military operation (search light) directed against Dacca Hall near Curzon Hall area. Sharafat was then residing in one of the rooms meant for junior and bachelor teachers in a two storied building adjacent to dining hall of the students' dormitory. He was brutally killed by a group of soldiers forcibly entering his room. His dead body together with his colleague Mr. Khan Khadim was left unattended for several days before the army men carried it away.
Sharafat, born in 1943 hailed from Comilla. He obtained B.Sc (Hons) and M. Sc degrees in Mathematics in 1966 and 1967 respectively. He was appointed Lecturer in Mathematics in 1968 and subsequently an assistant house tutor in Dacca Hall.
Who thought a subdued and mild natured innocent boy, a potentially brilliant teacher were be a sacrifice at the alter of our independence. How could we ever forgive those war criminals?
But we did, and failed to bring those war criminals to justice. Not only that, the day might be awaiting us when those demons would have to be praised or worshiped for trying to save disintegrating so-called Pakistan. Why not, if collaborators could share power today within the government, is it a utopian thought?

 

Santosh Bhattacharya
Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Dhaka University
 

Son of a distinguished Bramhin family of a village just on the other side of river Buriganga- a village called Jantrail, Shree Santosh Bhattacharyya was born on 30 August, 1915. The family was notably well known for its knowledge in Sanskrit language and studies. Mr. Shantosh had his BA (Hons) and MA in history from Dhaka University in 1937-8. After serving as a professor of history in JN college for over 10 years he subsequently joined history department of DU as a lecturer in History in 1949. He became senior lecturer after a few years.
Santosh Babu, as he was popularly known among his friend circles, was known for his scholarship particularly in the discipline of ancient Indian history, Sanskrit language and literature. He had a powerful pen in English as well as in Bangla. He was an expert of Maurian period of Indian History with special expertise in Chanakays' works including 'Kautilya's Arthashastra' (Poltical and Economical treatise of Kautilya).
After the army crackdown in the dreadful night of 25th March, Santosh Babu moved to his village home in order to escape army assault. He had seen in his own eyes the ferocity of army operation. But he dared not stay back in his home because as per directives of the army he had to join the university as a loyal citizen and returned to his university residence within the campus. His friends failed to induce him that to stay in the campus was not safe for him. They further requested him to cross over to India to which Mr. Bhattacharyya declined saying 'I shall not leave my motherland, why should I? I have not done anything wrong.' He had to pay for his decision.
On the 14th December together with his other colleagues, Al Badrs picked him up from his Isa Khan residence. His disfigured body was discovered by his friends from the Rayer Bajar killing spot.
Santosh Bhattacharyya was my respected teacher in Dacca Hall. I had greatest respect and love for him. He was our house tutor from 1954-1957. He was a very lovable person with open arms and heart. He could mix with his students very freely irrespective of their age and difference in cultural and economic status.

 

Sirajul Haque Khan
Senior Lecturer in Education, Institute of Education and Research (IER), Dhaka University
 

Dr Sirajul Haque Khan was born in 1924 in the district of Noakhali. He graduated in Education in 1949 and then he obtained MEd degree from IER, DU in 1965. Later he obtained Ed. D from the State College of Colorado, USA in 1967 after which he joined IER, Dhaka University as a senior lecturer in the following year.
Honestly speaking, I had only nodding acquaintance with him as a neighbor living in the same area within the campus.
A group of Al Badr members took him forcibly in a bus in the morning of 14th December to an unknown destination from where he did never return to his beloved family. The brutal collaborators (the Jamatis and the Muslim leaguers) killed him, yes killed this fine and honest straightforward gentleman.


 
Reference: Dr Ajoy Roy: A Homage to my martyred colleague
 

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