“This may be my last message, from today Bangladesh is independent.

I call upon the people of Bangladesh, wherever you might be and whatever you have, to resist the army of occupation to the last. Your fight must go on until the last soldier of the Pakistan occupation army is expelled from the soil of Bangladesh and final victory is achieved.”
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
26 March 1971
The people of Bangladesh have proved to the world at large that they are a heroic nation, they know how to achieve their right and live like human beings.

We have achieve our independence. So long a Bangali lives, he will not allow this independence to be lost. Bangladesh will continue to exist as an independent country in history. There is no power on earth which can keep Bangladesh under subjugation.
Those who cannot maintain law and order cannot expect to be a great nation.

Independence is not achieved with the hoisting of the flag only. Ensuring the security of people’s lives and property is also an inseparable part on independence.

It is only through agriculture revolution that the country would become self-reliant in food. The farmers must see to it that not an inch of the country’s soil remains fallow and that the yield of the land is increased.
I have waged the independence movement of Bangladesh along with seven and a half crore people. So I appeal to the people to put an end to the activities of antisocial and disruptive elements.

My dear brothers of armed forces, you belong to the people and people belong to you. You do not form a separate entity. All of you are sons of the soil. This is why you will have to share the happiness and sorrow of the masses and stand beside them in rebuilding the devastated country. Allah is with you.

Our defence-preparedness is not meant to attack anyone. It is for self defense only. We are not willing to interfere into other’s internal affairs. Similarly, we shall not tolerate other’s interference into our internal affairs.

The heartless beasts, army personnel killed the architect of BANGLADESH.
The martyrs who gifted the independence of the country will never die. The souls of the martyrs will be contended only when the people of this independent country, established through the sacrifice of the martyrs, will get enough to eat and live a dignified life.

Depending on borrowed resources no nation can ever expect to become self-reliant and great.

I have made appeals to the world for help. I want help. But not at the cost of independence.

Armed forces alone cannot defend a country. It’s people who defend a country.

It is clear today that only democracy will work in future in this country.

The Army Personnel has killed :

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Begum Fazilatun Nesa

Sheikh Kamal
Sultana Kamal

Sheikh Jamal
Parveen Jamal

Sheikh Russell
Abu Naser
Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni (nephew) Begum Arju Moni (Moni’s wife)
Colonel Jamil Uddin Ahmed (security chief) Sukanta Babu
Abdur Rob Serniabad Baby Serniabad
Arif Serniabad Shahid Serniabad
Nephew of Serniabad SI Siddiqur Rahman
Nayeem Khan Rintu 4 caretakers
3 guests 5 in neighboring Mohammedpur area killed by artillery shells (Shahabuddin, Amiruddin,Nasima, Rijia and Rasheda)
Killers of Mujib and his family
The Murder of young Sheikh Russell
Unlike the assassins of Alende of Chili, who only killed Alende but spared his family members and relatives, the assassins of Sheikh Mujib killed 31 people besides Sheikh Mujib. They killed his pregnant daughter-in-laws and did not even spare his 8 year old son, Sheikh Russell. So far we knew that the artillery soldiers shot the Sheikh Mujib family as instructed by their officers. But Dr Wajed Myan’s account on the murder of Sheikh Russell shows that the artillery officers were personally involved in the massacre: “………………Russell ran down to take shelter among the people put already in line at gun point for execution. Abdur Rahman Roma, who looked after Russell for years, was holding his hand. A little later one of the soldiers took Russell from Roma to send him out of the house. Russell, frightened to death, burst into tears and begged for life: “For God’s sake please don’t kill me. I’ll be forever your servant if you let me live. My Hasu apa (sister Sheikh Haisna) and brother-in-law live in Germany. I beg you, please send me to Hasu apa and my brother-in-law in Germany.” Moved by Russell’s tears, the said soldier hid Russell in the sentry box at the main gate of the house. Half an hour later, a major seeing Russell hiding there, took him upstairs and killed Russell in cold blood by shooting on his head with his revolver.”

Dr Wajed Miyan: Some events involving Sheikh Mujib and Bangladesh

War tapes disappeared after killing of Bangabandhu

Officials of the state-run Bangladesh Betar have said that a number of politically crucial tapes, many containing evidence of crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation, were destroyed or disappeared after the August 15, 1975 carnage.

“Many of the wartime documents containing the statements of top collaborators and leading perpetrators of crimes against humanity disappeared after the carnage,” Bangladesh Betar Director General AKM Shamim Chowdhury told the news agency.

Shamim believed that many of the missing tapes could have been used as evidence at the International Crimes Tribunal.

The then Radio Pakistan was used as a “propaganda machine”, broadcasting statements of the Pakistani junta’s several top collaborators including Ghulam Azam and those who spearheaded a massacre of Bangalees, he added.

Betar’s Deputy Director Akhtar Jahan Dolon said a senior official of Betar had removed several recorded statements of Bangabandhu and interviews of his family apparently on orders from an influential quarter after the carnage.

“These tapes were never found,” he said.

Former Betar regional director and Independence Award recipient Ashfakur Rahman said some military personnel led by Bangabandhu’s convicted killer major Dalim seized Bangabandhu’s recorded statements and locked those inside a cabinet after August 15, 1975.

“In 1994-1995, the tapes were recovered from an abandoned cabinet on a third-floor corridor,” he said.

Betar Transcription Director Kamal Ahmed said his section collected several audio documents containing issues on Bangabandhu and War of Liberation and converted those into digital format.

Source : Bss, Dhaka

Bangabandhu’s writ runs in East Pakistan

On this day in 1971, the whole of Bangladesh was in a state of ferment.

With each day passing by and with the central government of General Yahya Khan paralysed by the non-cooperation movement led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, it was obvious that the state of Pakistan was fast reaching a point of no return.

In Dhaka, the residence of the Awami League chief turned into the real seat of political authority, with crowds of professionals, cultural figures, students and all other categories of citizens constantly making their way to Dhanmondi Road 32 to affirm their support for the democratic cause.

In West Pakistan, except for a handful of rightwing politicians, all political quarters kept up the demand for a quick transfer of power to the Awami League as a way of preventing a political division of the country.

And in East Pakistan, which by now had become Bangladesh de facto, the authority of the central government as well as the provincial administration had dwindled into non-existence except in the cantonments. Offices, businesses and other establishments spontaneously conducted themselves under the direct authority of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The directives issued on a day to basis by the Awami League were articulated by Tajuddin Ahmed, general secretary of the party. At the universities and other educational institutions, militancy went up by leaps and bounds, the clear message being that there was no way out of the crisis except through full sovereignty for Bangladesh.

In the province, curfew was imposed in Rangpur while the security forces and the army resorted to shooting in Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna and Tongi. In Dhaka, the National Awami Party led by Prof Muzaffar Ahmed pledged its full support to the Awami League in its movement. The regime decides to take its soldiers back to the barracks.

There was yet no sign of the regime stepping back in favour of a negotiated settlement with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A vast majority of Bangalees, however, expected Bangabandhu to declare independence at his scheduled March 7 rally.

Suspense hung heavy in the air.

Author : Syed Badrul Ahsan

Bangabandhu, in sublime oratory

The die was cast. On this day in 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led the Bangalee nation across the political Rubicon. At a time when the nation and observers abroad expected him to make a unilateral declaration of Bangladesh’s independence, he trod a fine line and made it clear to the world that while he was not about to announce a UDI, he was leaving no one in any doubt that the Bangalee nation was headed for political freedom. In a speech which encompassed the history of Pakistan over the preceding twenty three years, Bangabandhu spelt out in brief and yet great detail the many ways in which the people of East Bengal had been denied their political and economic rights by successive governments of Pakistan.

And then Bangabandhu came to the immediacy of the moment. Referring to the political crisis caused by the theatrics resorted to by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, followed by the postponement of the national assembly session, which again was followed by General Yahya Khan’s invitation to political leaders to a round table conference in Rawalpindi, which subsequently was rejected by Mujib and then a rescheduling of the national assembly session for March 25, Bangabandhu spelt out his preconditions before his party could join the session. Altogether these conditions were four in number: one, martial law would have to be withdrawn by the regime; two, an inquiry must be initiated into the killings of Bengalis by the Pakistan army since the beginning of the month; three, the army would have to be taken back to the barracks; four, power would have to be transferred to the elected representatives of the people.

But a probable fulfillment of the demands, as the Bengali leader pointed out soon enough, was no guarantee that the Awami League would join the session. Bangabandhu merely told the million-strong rally at the Dhaka Race Course that he would see if he could or could not join the national assembly session. He left the door open for negotiations with the regime and yet gave out the very strong message to his people that independence was the eventual goal for them. It was oratory at its sublime as Bangabandhu concluded his address. “This time the struggle is for emancipation”, he declared. “This time the struggle is for independence.”

March 7, 1971 was to change the course of history for the people of what would soon be a free, sovereign Bangladesh.

Author : Syed Badrul Ahsan

Bangabandhu’s finest hour . . .

IT was his finest hour. As Bangaban-dhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman rose to speak before the million people gathered at the Race Course in Dhaka, indeed before the seventy five million people of Bangladesh on March 7, 1971, something of the electric was in the air. Over the preceding few days, reports and rumours had been making the rounds about an impending declaration of independence by the man whose party, the Awami League, had secured a clear majority of seats (167 out of a total of 313) in Pakistan’s national assembly at the general elections of December 1970.

What should have been a journey to power as Pakistan’s prime minister on Mujib’s part had by early March 1971 been transformed into a movement for Pakistan’s eastern province to prise itself out of the state created through the division of India in 1947. The reasons were all out there. They had to do with the intrigues which had already been set in motion to thwart the assumption of power at the centre by the Awami League.

In the event, the speech Bangabandhu delivered at the Race Course served the very crucial purpose of bringing home the truth that Bangladesh was on its way to political freedom. At an intellectual level, the speech was a masterpiece. Within its parameters, Mujib deftly negotiated his way out of a bind, one in which he had found himself since President Yahya Khan had injudiciously deferred the scheduled March 3 meeting of the new national assembly in a broadcast on the first day of the month. Almost immediately, the fiery student leaders allied to the Awami League cause moved miles ahead to demand that Mujib declare Bangladesh free of Pakistan.

Over the next few days, such demands began to be echoed in other areas, eventually persuading everyone that the Bengali leader was actually about to give in to the pressure for an independence declaration. His rejection of an invitation to a round table conference called by General Yahya Khan for March 10 was seen as evidence of his intended action. Besides, there had been no perceptible move by him to restrain the students of Dhaka University when they decided to hoist the flag of what they believed would be an independent Bangladesh.

And yet those who stayed in touch with Bangabandhu, or watched the way he handled the situation in those tumultuous times, knew of the difficulties he had been pushed into. Caught between a rock and a hard place, he needed to find an acceptable, dignified way out of the crisis. On the one hand, a unilateral declaration of independence would leave him facing the charge of secessionism not only from the Pakistan authorities but also from nations around the world. He knew that as the leader of the majority party, he could not have his reputation destroyed in such cavalier manner. There were before him the poor instances of Rhodesia’s Ian Smith and Biafra’s Odumegwu Ojukwu, images he was not enthused by. Besides, any UDI would swiftly invite the retribution of the Pakistan military, at that point steadily reinforcing itself in East Pakistan.

On the other hand, Mujib realised that as undisputed spokesman of the Bengalis he was expected to provide his people with a sense of direction, one that would reassure them about the future. A recurring image is of Bangabandhu taking slow, ponderous steps as he went up to the dais on that March afternoon. It was the picture of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. There is every reason to believe that he was still shaping his ideas, those he would soon give expression to before that crowd of expectant Bengalis.

And then he began to speak, in oratory that was to prove once more the reality of why he had over the years scaled the heights in the politics of Bengal, of Pakistan. In that one speech he painted the entire history of why Pakistan had failed as a state. Even as he did so, he laid out his arguments in defence of what the Bengali nation needed to do. He mocked the conspiracies then afoot to deprive Bengalis of political power. With prescience, he told his people that even if he were not around, not amidst them, they should move on to protect the land, its history, from those who would trifle with it. Every moment bubbled with excitement. Bangabandhu soared, and we with him, as he defined our path to the future. The man who only minutes earlier had seemed wracked by deep worry now offered us a clear path out of the woods and into a very bright blue yonder.

“The struggle this time is the struggle for our emancipation. The struggle this time is for independence,” declaimed Bangabandhu. We cheered. We whooped for joy. We knew that he had not declared independence, but we were made aware that he had set us on the path to freedom. He had refused to be a secessionist; and he had abjured all ideas of a UDI. He had told us, in precise, unambiguous terms, that liberation was down the road, that it was a mere matter of time. We were content. As we went back home, with loud refrains of Joi Bangla around us and in our souls, we told ourselves that life for us had changed forever.

On March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu gave us reason to believe in ourselves once again. Because of him, we remembered our heritage. Because of him, we were Bengalis again. And because of him, we reached out to one another, to the world outside the one we inhabited, to build our own brave new world.

Author : Syed Badrul Ahsan, The writer is Executive Editor, The Daily Star. E-mail: