AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FREEDOM FIGHTER

August 29, 2010

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FREEDOM FIGHTER

 

I, MN Nabi Chowdhury S/o. Late Mvi. Bashir Ahmed Chowdhury of Village : Raja Pur, P.O. Enayet Pur, UP : Durga Pur, Uz : Begumgonj, Dist. Noakhali born in September 22, 1949. I got my primary education in Waseq Pur Chowkider Hat Govt. Free Primary School  and Secondary education from Waseqpur Junior High School, Cox’s Bazar Multilateral Model High School and Durgapur High English School and passed my SSC Examination in 1966. Admitted in Chaumohani Modon Mohan College in Intermediate Science but got admission in Dhaka Polytechnic Institute in the same year and passed Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical Technology) in 1970.

Since 1966 my political carrier started as a Student League activist and lead the Class, Hall & Institute as a front liner and participated in almost all the student movement at that time. My desperate move during 1969’s student movement in support of AL’s 6 – Points Charter of Demands and Release of AL Chief Sk. Mujibur Raman  and during the process the brutal killing of Shahid Assaduzzaman of DU and Shahid Abdul Latif of DPI compelled me to be more desperate like hundreds and thousand others and thus the movement turned into revolution and situation brought me to the near to the central student leaders like Nure Alam Siddique, Shahjahan Siraj, ASM Abdur Rob, Abdul Kuddus Makhon and gradually to Sk. Fazlul Haque Moni, Shirajul Alam Khan. Tofayal Ahmed, Abdur Razzak.

Consequently the gate of Bangabondhu House at Dhanmondi 32 became open for me where I met Mohiuddin Bhai and Aminul Haque Badsha Bhai and became almost a full timer in No.32 where I found Sk. Jamal very much friendly with me and I used to spent there almost 10-12 hours everyday like hundreds of other peoples during the final days of March 1971. It has become my daily routine to see the father of the nation and felt comfort when he loves me and ask something what ever it is. Even on March 25, I was there until about 11:30 PM.

At that time I used to live in a slum house of Bakshi Bazar in Urdu Road with a group of like minded young friends. Just before the mid night we tried to create barricades with push carts, Rickshows, lumber pieces and burning tires etc etc. and at one stage compelled to hide our selves in the area until morning of 27th March. And witness the killing, firing, shelling,  arson etc at University Halls specially Jogonnath Hall, Bangshal, Rajarbagh, Tanti Bazar, Shakhari Bazar, Sadar Ghat.  During the curfew brake we moved to shelter / safe house on the bank of River Burigonga at Milbarak.

Before sunset on April 01, I with my six friends crossed the river by a country boat and reached Karanigonj and started walking with a plan to go Sirajdikhan at about 8:00 evening we saw the flame of arson and sound of fire at our behind in Keranigonj. After crossing the river Dholeshwari we reached a house in a village at Sirajdikhan who gave us accommodation and food at that 3rd part of the night. We spent their the day i.e. April 02. Next morning we started for Munshigonj some way by walking some way by boat and at evening we reached and took shelter in the college, local people served us with Chira/Gur and we spent the night their. Next morning of April 03  we again start walking and riding a Votboti and reached Digir Par and waiting for transport at the evening we convinced a launch owner to drop us along with stranded hundred others with family too to Chandpur and reached at about midnight.

The local volunteers took us to the town hall and arrange some food specially some rice after almost two days of starvation. On April 05 morning we met ASM Abdur Rob the than DUCSU VP and a friend of mine Nikhil Shah a BUET student who died afterwards in an accident. While in Chandpur at noon of April 05 we witness the huge explosion at city centre where some enthusiastic young peoples were making country bombs which blow out a tin shed home, burned a good number of activists and within a few hours 5 of them were dead including one Shonkar.

The next morning we again start walking following a country road and reached Raipur of the then Noakhali after evening and met a friend of mine Engr. Jahangir Alam Bhuiyan who arrange food for us and helped to get a bus for Chaumohani my home town where we reached after mid night and took shelter in a room of Chaumohani College’s Degree Hostel. After two days meeting, discussion and consultation with my home town student and political leaders I with my accompanied friends went my village home 3 miles apart. After 2 more days my friends separated me and left me in home because my parents were not convinced to allow me to cross the boarder to participate the War directly.

But within the week I planed with my cousin Fazlu and in the 3rd part of night of April 25, 1971, we left home on walk for Kazir Hat then Kankir Hat, Satbaria Haor, Gunoboti Rail station and in the evening crossed the Chittagong road towards boarder under heavy fire from Pak Army Petrol Unit, any way at about mid night we reached the Camp of Mr. Khaje Ahmed MP at Chottakhola in Bilunia, who served us food at that night and afterwards we along with some others hired a 3-wheelar and reached Rajnagar PS of Tripura Police in the very morning of April 26. After reporting and registering in the Thana we were taken to the temporary camp in side the forest where met with my local student and political leaders like Mustafiz Bhai, Rafique Ullah, Prof. Hanif MP, SKG Rohul Amin and many other revolutionaries.

Within a day or two a lot of responsibilities were shouldered on me like providing accommodation for new comers, building camp houses, maintaining sanitation & healthcare etc etc.

From the First week of May Capt. R.P. Singh an officer of Indian BSF started coming in to the camp for providing primary training to the participants and I made a few platoons like A, B, C, D, E for convenience. Where I meet Capt. Amin Ahmed Chowdhury, Capt. Zafar Imam and other war commanders.

By the end of May we have selected 135 trainees for Guerilla training in specialized training centers and in one fine morning one secret service officer of Indian Army arrived in our camp with 4 Tata Mercedes Covered Truck and took our recruits to Agartola and put all of us in a new building constructed for a proposed glass factory in suburban area of Agartola. May be in the morning of May 30 we were taken to Agortola Airport where we boarded in a big hull super constellation aircraft and flown to Palam (Delhi) airport and than to Saharanpur base of Indian Air force after getting down we were given some junk food to eat and warm clothes to wear and again put inside an army convoy which passed through Deradhun, Lakhnow and than climbing through hilly road and finally reached the subcontinents best guerilla training centre ‘Tandua’ the 8000 ft above sea level at the early morning in frozen condition.

The Indian Army Officer (Major) accompanied us from Agortola responsively handed over us to the camp in charge Major Malhotra. From the 1st day of June we have started our training Under Major Malhotra, Major Chauhan, Capt. Rana and a good number of JCO’s & NCO’s along side our seniors like Hasanul Haque Inu, AFM Mahbubul Haque, Sharif Nurul Ambia so, so. By mid July our Arms & Demolition training completed and most of the training mates leave the camp for induction inside Bangladesh but we specially selected 40 were kept to provide higher training like Signal & Communication, Planning & Strategy etc where we had to learn Morse Code, Operation of ANGRC-9 the communication system, Map readings, Fighting Formations and many other Guerilla Techniques’ which take another 6 weeks and in the 1st week of September we were flown back to Agortola  and temporarily accommodated in the same transit camp in the Glass Factory Building and later moved to another base camp in Udoypur. On September 22, I was called back to Agortola by my leader Sk. Fazlul Haque Moni for a scheduled meeting with Major Dutta of Indian Army regarding some security measures and specially handing over the Cipher code etc. On way to Base camp at Agortola at the conabon area I met with Col. Khaled Musharraf  the Commander of Sector 2 who was waiting there for medical assistance as he was suffered injury in head & shoulder by enemy splinters.

On return back to Udoypur I was posted to Noakhali District HQ Team and were supplied with LMG, SMC, Revolver with Ammunitions, ANARGA Grenades, Explosives, Anti Tank & Anti Personal Mines. I was specially given a complete set of ANGRC-9 (Air Navy Ground Radio Communication System) with full range of accessories & tools. The next day the 26th of September, we were moved to Chottakhola near homeland boarder and started induction at night fall under some guides and in the morning I with my Greater Noakhali District Headquarter Team reached near Kankir Hat of Senbagh with a target to set up our First District HQ to operate, communicate and execute Guerilla Warfare against the enemy position and to control the local collaborators, Rajakars Peace Committee etc. Mean time we executed some small and medium operations in the region and gradually made the water hot for the enemies in the rural areas and gradually established control on whole countryside.

On mid November we moved our head Quarter from Senbagh to Begumgonj and centred in Mirjanagar near our big target Chaumohani and on the early morning of December 06, we executed an all out offensive against enemy positions in Chaumohani and Begomgonj Chowrasta and finally Noakhali was liberated on December 06 through a massive fight in and around Chaumohani, Begumgonj, Feni, Maijdi, Ramgonj, Laxmipur, Raipur. And thus we achieved our target reached at the door step of Independence of Bangladesh on December 16, 1971.

ARMY’S Miscreant Activities and Attack on Sk. Taposh

January 30, 2010

The army is the most prestigious institution of the country. All the officers are bound under strict administrative law. Although some times some ambitious criminal officers and solders opened their dirty teeth to bite on the leadership i.e. top administration of the country and consequently the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sk. Mujibur Rahman, the most renowned and respectable 4 Political figure of the country Syed Nazrul Islam, Mr.Tajuddin Ahmed, Mr. Kamruzzaman, Capt. Monsur Ali and Great Freedom Fighters like Brig. Khaled Musharraf, Col. Haider, Col. Huda, Lt. General Ziaur Rahman, Mej. Gen. M.A. Manzur and a good numbers of Army and Air Force officers were killed so far along with latest killing of 57 Army officers inside the BDR HQ. And still the similar conspiracy is going on in side the Army.

It is the moral responsibility of Army Intelligence Departments to watch out and detect all these evil doings and find out the criminals along with their supporters/cohorts and put them to the hands of law for exemplary punishment, otherwise this kind of killing and destabilization will be continued. The bare instance of the similar incident was committed against Sk. Fazlenur Taposh the son of the one of the Architect of Independent Bangladesh Sk. Fazlul Haque Moni, the great youth leader of our War of Liberation and the nephew of our Prime Minster Sk. Hasina. Army intelligence & administration to be more vigilant & fast enough in unearthing this kind of conspiracy and crime situation to avoid any possible future attempts and also save their prestige.

IDENTITY THEFT

January 29, 2010

Identity theft is one of the vital causes of misleading, wrong doing world-wide. To avoid the complication arises out of identity proof it is legitimate legal right of every national or resident of any country to have his own Photo ID. There are two types of Photo ID like National ID and Driving License are generally issued under a common format having the Photograph, Date of Birth, Home Address, Issuing Date, Expiring Date and Signature of the owner and the Signature of issuing authority and name of the authorized department in one side, the other side with instructions and the magnetic strip like credit cards to hold required data of its owner with secret code of its genuinety etc. This ID is generally issued against Birth Certificate, SSC or equivalent Certificate etc proven documents and for Driving License the additional document of proof of passing Driving Test from the competent authority. All above things are to be processed electronically/digitally and kept saved under a database and the printed plastic ID cards to be given to its owner like the one Voter ID which can be replaced gradually with National ID or Driving License as the case may be. The developed & western countries including USA, Canada are using similar cards for their Citizens/Residents. This card can be used for the proof of identity in every spare of day to day necessity like education, treatment, home owning, banking, voting, law & order, judiciary every where.

BANGLADESH LIBERATION WAR’71

January 29, 2010

Operation Searchlight: Location of Pakistani and Bengali units on 25th March 1971. Some unit locations are not shown.

Col. (ret.) Osmani and Maj. Gen. (ret.) Majid formed part of the team that advised the Awami League leadership on military issues during 1971. As the political crisis deepened in March, many serving Bengali officers of the Pakistan Armed Forces began looking to Bengali politicians for guidance, and Col. Osmani was selected as the coordinator of these clandestine meetings.

Possible Bengali Preemptive Strike?

In the days prior to the crackdown student and youth wings of Awami League had set up training camps countrywide and trained volunteers with the aid of Bengali Ansars/Mujahids and student cadets. Talk of “independence” was in full flow, despite the fact that Awami League leadership had refrained from declaring independence on March 7, 1971. Bengali ex-servicemen of Pakistan Armed forces had also held rallies to declare their support for Awami League. Serving Bengali officers and troops also kept in touch with the politicians, seeking advice and guidance during 1971 when the political situation was becoming uncertain and confrontational. Maj. Gen (ret.) S.I. Majid and Col (ret.) M.A.G Osmani allegedly designed a military plan of action, which broadly was :

  • Capture Dhaka Airport and Chittagong Seaport to seal off the province.
  • EPR and Police to capture Dhaka city aided by Awami League volunteers.
  • Cantonments were to be neutralized by Bengali soldiers.

Bengali officers had advised the sabotage of fuel dumps at Narayanganj and Chittagong to ground Pakistani airpower and cripple armed force mobility.

Awami League leadership opted to try for the political solution and did not endorse any action or preparation for conflict by Bengali soldiers prior to the start of the crackdown. Warnings by Bengali officers that the Pakistan army was preparing to strike were ignored, junior Bengali officers were told by their seniors not to act rashly and keep out of political issues.

Despite all the political filibustering, public fanfare and alleged preparation for armed struggle, Pakistani army caught the Bengali political leadership and Bengali soldiers flatfooted in the night of March 25. The resistance Pakistanis encountered country wide once Operation Searchlight was launched was spontaneous and disorganized, not a preplanned coordinated military response under a central command structure. In most cases Bengali soldiers were unaware of the situation around the country, many units continued to perform routine duties as late as March 31 and rebelled only after they came under Pakistani attack. Some Pakistani generals suggested declaring a general amnesty for Bengali troops upon observing the situation as early as March 31 (it was ignored). Although warned of the departure of Yahia Khan and the movement of Pakistani troops, the declaration of independence by Sk.Mujibur Rahman on March 26 was given after the attack had commenced and was largely unnoticed (ironically Pakistanis picked it up). No countrywide communication reached Bengali soldiers to start the uprising, Bengali troops and officers took the initiative to rebel upon being attacked or hearing the news of the Pakistani attack.

Role of Gen. Osmani in Bangladesh Liberation War

Col. Osmani was present at the house of Sheikh Mujib when Bengali officers informed Awami League leaders of the departure of Yahia Khan and army movement. After failing to persuade Sheikh Mujib to go into hiding, Osmani himself hid in Dhaka until March 29, shaved off his famous mustache (he was often called the man attached to a mustache) then made for the Indian border and reached the area under 2nd EBR control in Sylhet on April 4, 1971. A conference between senior Bengali officers and BSF representatives were held at Teliapara on the same day. On April 10, Bengali senior leaders (Government) in Exile at Agartola appointed Col. Osmani Commander of Bangladesh Forces. Osmani appointed 4 sector commanders: Maj. Ziaur Rahman (Chittagong area), Maj. Khaled Musharraf (Comilla), Maj. K M Shafiullah (Sylhet) and Maj. Abu Osman Chowdhury (Kushtia-Jessore). The following day 3 more sector commanders were chosen: Maj. Nazmul Huq (Rajshahi-Pabna), Captain Nawajish (Rangpur-Dinajpur) and Captain Jalil (Barisal).

Pakistan Army appointed Lt. Gen. A.A.K Niazi GOC East Pakistan on the same day. With the formation of Bangladesh government on April 17, 1971, retired Colonel Osmani was reinstated to active duty under the authority of Bangladesh government and appointed as Commander-in-Chief (CIC) of all Bangladesh Forces. He was later promoted to the rank of full General during the 11-17th of July Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference 1971.

Initial Activities as CIC

Operation Searchlight: Pakistan army operation April 10 – June 19. Not to exact scale and some troop movements/location are indicative only.

General Osmani did not assume personal command of the Bengali forces after April 17, 1971. The existing Bengali fighting formations were located far away from each other, and lacking a proper command staff and more importantly a fully integrated communication network (besides everything else), exercising real-time command over the widely spread formations was impossible. Osmani instead chose to allow the designated sector commanders to fight on as they saw fit, while he toured the designated sectors, and met with Indian officials in New Delhi and Kolkata to request all possible aid, inquired about Indian plans, outlined the situation in Bangladesh, helped organize the Bangladesh forces structure and sounded out the possibility of direct Indian intervention.

The Bengali resistance had put up an unexpected stiff resistance and had managed to derail the initial Pakistani estimate of pacifying East Pakistan by April 10. However, the initial successes were not sustainable as the Bengali forces began to suffer from lack of trained men, officers, coordination among scattered troops and the lack of central command structure, proper supplies (despite limited aid from BSF), although majority of the country was still outside Pakistani control. Pakistani army had airlifted the 9th and 16th infantry division to Bangladesh by April 10 and was poised to seize the initiative. Gen. Niazi, obtaining a brief from Gen. Raza (the departing GOC East Pakistan), implemented the following strategy:

  • Clear all the big cities of insurgents and secure Chittagong.
  • Take control and open all river, highway and rail communication network.
  • Drive the insurgents away from the interior of the country
  • Launch combing operations across Bangladesh to wipe out the insurgent network.

Against this strategy Bengali field commanders opted to go with holding as much area for as long as possible, The Bengali political leadership hoped to keep the Pakistanis confined into the cities, while the government in exile sought diplomatic recognition and the resistance prepared for guerrilla warfare and awaited the expected of Indian military intervention. Lacking everything except unskilled volunteers, Mukti Bahini fought a conventional battle against an enemy enjoying superiority in number of trained men, firepower, and complete air superiority and played to the strength of Pakistanis. Choosing to attack Bengali forces all over Bangladesh simultaneously, Gen. Niazi concentrated battalion and brigade size forces on company and battalion size defense positions repeatedly, used air strikes and artillery barrages disregarding civilian safety, employed Heli-borne troops to outflank positions and hammered through to reach chosen objectives. Pakistani troop convoys were repeatedly ambushed, but these only delayed the Pakistani advance temporarily. By mid May, Pakistani forces had regained control of most of the province, and by mid June, the battered remnants of the Bengali forces had been driven across the border into India.

India: Silent bystander or active partner?

The main reason General Forman and Yakub had opposed any military action against civilians in East Pakistan was the fear of an Indian attack, which the Pakistan army was woefully unprepared to meet in March 1971. After the crackdown, Tajuddin Ahmed met with Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on April 3, 1971 and asked for all possible aid, by which time the Indian government had already opened East Pakistan border and the Indian Border Security Force was offering limited aid to the Bengali resistance. The issue of direct military intervention was discussed between the Indian military and political leadership in April 1971. The case for intervention was based on the following:

  • Until April 10, most of Bangladesh was outside Pakistani control, and the troops were bottled up in a few cities and was facing fierce resistance. It is likely the Indian army, with proper air support, could have quickly taken control of most of the province by aiding the Mukti Bahini.
  • Indian Eastern Naval contingent (1 aircraft carrier and several warships) could have imposed a blockade of the province and cut off supplies from the sea, as the Pakistan Naval arm in the east only contained 1 destroyer and 4 gunboats.
  • Pakistani forces were flying in crucial reinforcements from West Pakistan during March 26 – May 2 and were dependent of the supply depots located in Dhaka, Chittagong and Narayanganj for fuel and ammunition. Most Pakistani garrisons were cut off from each other and reliant on supplies through airlifts. The Indian Air Force, vastly outnumbering the Pakistan Air Force Eastern contingent, could have cutoff the air-links and destroyed the supply depots (as it did in December 1971).

Against this, the military leadership had to consider the following: Indian army did not have a suitable force available for action in April 1971, and had to assemble one from forces deployed in other areas for such an operation. Could an adequate force be put in place without jeopardizing the security of the northern and western borders of India in time to make a difference in East Pakistan?

  • Could a logistical network be established around East Pakistan to support the combat force before Pakistani army took over the province?
  • Should the Indians fail to gain a quick victory, was the army and the government ready (logistically and otherwise) for a long war, especially during the monsoon season in Bangladesh?
  • Intervening in East Pakistan would make India the aggressor in International circles. Was India ready to diplomatically meet the international reaction and had India ensured the cooperation of a superpower as a diplomatic ally and arms supplier, crucial for running a long war?

Although some of the Bengali leadership hoped for and expected an Indian military operation at the earliest, a view also shared by some Indian officers, Indian army eastern command decided in the present condition such a move was inadvisable, and a full attack could only take place after November 15 at the earliest, after deliberate and extensive preparations, which was further elaborated to the Indian cabinet by Gen. Sam Manekshaw. Indian leadership decided not to directly intervene, but chose to get involved: Eastern command took over responsibility for East Pakistan operations on April 29, and on May 15 launched Operation Jackpot, a full fledged operations to provide arms, training, equipment supply and advice the Mukti Bahini fighters engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Pakistan armed forces. As an Indian diplomat commented to General Osmani, expecting direct Indian armed intervention in April was not practical.

Rebuilding the Bengali forces

***

During the period of April-June, General Osmani was busy with touring the various areas in an effort to boost morale and gather information, meeting with his Indian counterparts and setting up the Bangladesh forces command structure. The Indian army had taken over supplying the Mukti Bahini since May 15 and launched Operation Jackpot to equip, train, supply and advise Mukti Bahini. By mid June, Bengali fighters had been driven into India and was in the process of setting up infrastructure to run a sustained, coordinated guerrilla campaign. Bengali high command had begun to rebuilt and redeploy Mukti Bahini units since mid May, and now began to tackle the task in earnest. During June –July, Mukti Bahini activity slacked off and the quality and effect of the insurgency was timid and poor.

The task of planning and running the war was enormous, much more so because of the acute shortage of trained officers in the surviving Bengali forces. Of the 17,000 active duty Bengali soldiers (Army and EPR) who faced the Pakistani onslaught on March 25, 1971, about 4000 became prisoners, and casualties had reduced the number of available trained personnel even further. Retired servicemen and new trainees had boosted that ranks somewhat, but further training and recruiting was needed to achieve the maximum possible results. Having lost the initial conventional war, but having secured Indian support and set up an infrastructure to run the war, the next step for the Mukti Bahini commanders was to come up with a comprehensive strategy with clearly defined roles and goals – something that also involved creating a substantial guerrilla force from scratch.

The July 10-15 sector commanders conference was to provide much needed guidance in this regards. The conference was chaired by Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed and coordinated by Gen. Osmani, and took place at 8, Theater Road, HQ of the Bangladesh Government in exile.

The Conference: Osmani Resigns

Col. Osmani was not present during the first day of the conference -he had resigned as CIC Bangaldesh forces the previous day. A group of Bengali officers had discussed an idea about creating a War Council, with Maj. Ziaur Rahman as its head and all the sector commanders as members to run the war effort – Osmani was to be the Defence Minister. Presented by Major Q.N. Zaman and supported by Maj. Ziaur Rahman during a discussion session of all sector commanders, the officers feared that given the distance between sector headquarters and Kolkata and the poor state of communication, it might be better to have a separate operational wing to run the war effort to lessen the burden on Osmani. The facts were later probably misrepresented to Col. Osmani, who resigned as this proposal was not complementary to his leadership abilities or to his post as CIC. The following day Osmani resumed his post as CIC after all sector commanders requested him to resume his post. The meeting went on without a glitch and decisions on strategy and organization was taken – all of which were vital for the War. The major decisions were:

  • Designating the operational area, strength, command structure and role of the Mukti Bahini. General Osmani was to remain CIC, with Lt. Col. MA Rab (posted at Agartola with no combat duties) as the Chief of Staff and Army Chief, Group Captain A.K Khandker was made the Deputy Chief of Staff and Air Force Chief. Bangladesh was divided into 11 combat sectors, and individual sector commanders were selected or reconfirmed for each sector. Out of the 11 proposed sectors, 8 became organized and active by July, with sectors no 5 and 11 becoming active in August. Sector no 10 (encompassing all areas east of Teknaf and Khagrachari) was never activated. and the proposed area of operation for this sector was incorporated in sector no 1. Later the naval commando unit activities were designated as ‘Sector 10′ and commanded by Osmai himself.
  • Mukti Bahini personnel were divided into 2 broad subdivisions: Regular Forces, and Freedom Fighters.

Regular Forces: This contained the defecting Bengali soldiers and retired members of the Pakistan army and EPR troops. Organised into battalions, these later became known as Z Force, K Force and S Force brigades. Lack of trained regular troops meant majority of recruits were either ex EPR servicemen or newly trained recruits. Those trained men from regular army, EPR, police, Ansar/Mujahids not included in the regular formations were formed into sector troops – which were more lightly armed but operated as conventional force units. Army officers were in command of these detachments. Sector troops were not armed like the regular battalions, but received monthly salaries like their comrades. The regular force personnel initially operated in the border areas.

Freedom Fighters: Also known as Gonobahini, the newly trained guerrillas were part of this organization. They were lightly armed, received no monthly pay and were deployed mostly inside Bangladesh upon completion of training.

  • Political and civil organization for each sector as well as war objectives were also discussed and decided upon. Use of Guerrillas to hit the Pakistani armed forces, their collaborators, economic and logistical infrastructure was given priority.

Osmani as CIC: Leadership style

General Osmani was not a micro-manager who liked to run the day by day operations and delve on details of every plan being hatched by the sector commanders. He delegated much to the sector commanders, which gave them broad freedom of action but also increased their workload – often stretching their shorthanded sector staff beyond their limits. On the other hand, given the distance between Kolkata and the sector HQ’s and the absence of any direct links (communications had to be channeled through Indian army comm. system), General Osmani had little choice but to delegate. However, the absence of an integrated command structure made it impossible to implement a full fledged strategy timely -which was a weakness that remain unsolved.

  • General Osmani was not a micro manager obsessed with detail and control. He preferred the sector commanders to implement the broadly agreed on strategy as they saw fit. This gave them freedom of action but sometimes the lack of guidance from Bangladesh forces HQ, especially for resolving differences of opinion with the Indian sector officers, created unwanted tensions and delays.
  • A thoroughly professional soldier, Osmani lived a Spartan life, wore simple clothes, ate normal food and used camp furniture despite living in Kolkata during the war, setting up an example for his subordinates. A man of refined culinary tastes, he appreciated the meals served by Indian officers during their meetings but ever the gentleman, never insisted on this. His style of living was exemplary for his subordinates in this regard. He did insist on maintain proper protocol while dealing with his Indian counterparts. As CIC Bangladesh Forces his position was equivalent to that of  Gen. Sam Manekshaw, and his dealings with Lt. Gen. Jacob and Lt. Gen Aurora was according to this view and combined with his stubborn nature, made him a hard man to work with in Indian eyes. Osmani was pragmatic enough to not to allow his insistence on protocol impede the war effort. He did not view Indians working through Group Captain A.K. Khandker, the deputy Chief-of-Staff (whom the Indians as a pragmatic, polished, officer with a practical approach and clear grasp of strategy), as circumventing his authority.
  • Having a brusque manner and a volatile temper, he was not above dressing down his subordinates in public – something that was resented by his subordinates. He also had a habit of discussing the legal frame of the future Bangladesh army or other issues not related to the war while touring the front – much to the bemusement and irritation of his fellow officers.
  • He was against politicizing the Bangladesh forces and in this he had the full support of Tajuddin Ahmed, the prime minister. He appointed officers on merit and not political affiliation. Although for security reasons only Awami league members were recruited initially for the Mukti Bahini, Osmani opened up the recruitment to all willing to fight for Bangladesh in September with the Prime Ministers approval and support. Sector commanders had recruited non Awami league member prior to this, and Osmani had turned a blind eye despite some of the commanders being branded as leftists and insubordinate by some political leaders.
  • Osmani was aware of his image and place in the Bangladesh forces and used it to his advantage. His ability and scope to solve the problems was limited by the extent of Indian support and Bangladesh government in exiles agenda. When confronted with a deadlock, he would often threaten to resign, which would almost always result in the others giving in – another reason some of his subordinates took exception to his leadership style. Only once was his bluff called – when he threatened to resign over placing Bangladesh forces under the Joint Command headed by Lt. Gen. J.S. Aurora, Tajuddin Ahmed agreed to accept if a written resignation was submitted. Gen. Osmani dropped the issue.

Strategy for the Campaign :

General Osmani decided on the strategy for Bangladesh forces to follow and liaison with the Indian brass to keep them appraised of such decisions during July – December of 1971, and was not destined to organize an operation like the Test Offensive or lead in a battle similar to Dien Bien Phu during his sting as CIC of Bangladesh forces. His leadership and strategy was a product of his professional career and the demands of the situation on the ground, which also influenced his leadership style to a large extent.

His differences with the Indian brass was to start with the selection of his initial battle strategy. Bangladesh government had hoped to raise a regular force of 30,000 soldiers and 100,000 guerrillas during 1971 – something which the Indians thought unrealistic. There were also issues concerning the training, deployment and objectives of these forces where opinions between Bangladeshi and Indian leadership differed.

The initial Strategy (July – September 1971)

General Osmani was a conventional soldier with orthodox views and his initial strategy reflects his background. The uncertainty over the timing, scope and scale of direct Indian military intervention was another factor that influenced his decision. Osmani decided to raise a conventional force of regular battalions and use them to free an area around Sylhet, while organizing countrywide guerrilla activity as the secondary effort. Bangladesh government in exile requested Osmani to make use of the one resource available in abundance manpower, and he did not object to the plan of sending thousands of guerrillas into Bangladesh with minimal training. It was hoped that some of the guerrillas would attain the level of expertise needed through experience.

Two ways to skin a cat

The Indian planners were concerned with the quality and effectiveness of a force raised in haste. They were concerned that such a force would lack the trained junior leaders needed to run an effective campaign. They had envisioned a force of perhaps 8,000 personnel with at least 3/4 months training (leaders receiving longer training), led by the surviving officer/men of the EBR/EPR to commence operations in small cells inside Bangladesh by August 1971. The raising of additional battalions only drained away potential leadership candidates away from the guerrilla forces -undesirable for the Indian outlook.

General Osmani was stubbornly insistent, and his stubbornness did not sit well with the Indians – who thought deputy chief of staff A.K Khandkar was easier to work with. However, Indians provided support in raising 3 additional battalions and 3 artillery batteries, but also insisted that the raising guerrillas be given due attention, to which Osmani raised no objection. Indians and Osmani differed on the location of the Free area - Indians suggested Mymensingh, but Osmani opted for Sylhet. General Osmani got his way again. Thus while the EBR battalions made ready, Mukti Bahini began sending 2,000 – 5,000 guerrillas inside Bangladesh each month from July onwards. Mukti Bahini commanders had agreed to the following objectives for the guerrillas during the sector commanders meeting: Increase Pakistani casualties through raids and ambushed by sending the maximum possible number of guerrillas in the minimum possible time inside Bangladesh.

  • Cripple economic activity by destroying power stations, railway lines, storage depots and communication systems.
  • Destroy Pakistani force mobility by blowing up bridges/culverts, fuel depots, trains and river crafts.
  • The objective is to make the Pakistanis to spread their forces inside the province, so attacks can be made on isolated Pakistani detachments.

General Osmani, however, supported the Indian initiative for training naval commandos, who were an elite unit trained as per the Indian doctrine, and achieved spectacular results during 1971, demonstrating that he was pragmatic enough to accept Indian suggestions. He took exception to the creation of Bangladesh Liberation Force (BLF) the other name Mujib Bahini, a stance supported by sector commanders and the Bangladesh government in exile.

Issues regarding Mujib Bahini

General Osmani was Commander in Chief of all Bangladesh forces, but a number of units were outside the control of Bangladesh forces HQ. Bengali fighters had raised several bands to fight the Pakistani opposition in various areas of Bangladesh (Kaderia Bahini, led by Tiger Siqqiqi of Tangail is the most famous), and these operated independently of Bangladesh HQ. Osmani spared little thought on them, but the so call Mujib Bahini became a major cause of concern for the Bangladesh government in exile establishment. The Leaders of the Mujib Bahini were initially given permission by General Osmani to recruit student and youth volunteers for the war, but in fact had become leaders of a fully organized, well armed and trained force, who’s allegiance was firstly to Sheikh Mujib and then to their own commanders, not to the Bangladesh Government in exile.

No one doubted the skill of the Mujib Bahini or commitment of its members to Bangladesh or their patriotism. Trained by General Uban, an insurgency expert, this force operated under the direction of RAW outside the Bangladesh Forces chain of command and the knowledge of Bangladesh Government. Mujib Bahini members were better trained and better armed than their Mukti Bahini counterparts. Bangladeshi government and military leadership were concerned because:

  • Most of recruits of Mujib Bahini had been identified as potential future guerrilla leaders of Mukti Bahini, who had suddenly disappeared from the camps – which was first noticed by Mukti Bahini command in June 1971. Their recruitmnt into a separate force meant the loss of leadership potential for the Mukti Bahini. Operating outside the command structure and knowledge of Bangladesh leadership, their activities, successful or otherwise, often hindered Mukti Bahini operations. They would often strike in areas without Mukti Bahini knowledge, bringing in unexpected Pakistani retaliation and unhinging Mukti Bahini plans for the area.
  • Some of the activities of Mujib Bahini was creating misunderstanding and distrust in the field. Some of their members had tried to influence Mukti Bahini members to switch their allegiance, in cases had tried to disarm the guerrillas and some clashes had taken place between Mukti Bahini and Mujib Bahini members, and in some areas Mukti Bahini sector commanders arrested known Mujib Bahini members. The Indian Army and other organizations involved in supporting the Bengali resistance were also dissatisfied with the activities of this independent organization which was operating outside the existing chain of command. Bangladesh Government in exile took various diplomatic initiatives, including approaching RAW director Ramnath Kao to bring this organization under the control of the government or under General Osmani without success. By August it was clear the independent activities of Mujib Bahini was detrimental for the war effort and Gen Osmani threatened to resign unless they were brought within the command structure of Bangladesh forces. A meeting with D.P Dhar on August 29 produced an assurance that Mujib Bahini would inform of their activities beforehand to the sector commander prior to commencing their operations. Another meeting with Ramnath Kao on September 18 produced nothing about RAW relinquishing their control over Mujib Bahini.

On October 21, Bangaldesh Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed met with Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and she ordered D.P Dhar to solve the issue, who in turn informed Lt. Gen. B.N. Sarkar to meet with Mujib Bahini leaders and take necessary steps. Mujib Bahini leaders failed to show up, but sensing which way the wind was blowing, agreed to stop their disruptive activities although they continued their Guerrilla activities in side the country. I one instant  Mujib Bahini, along with the Special Frontier Force under the command of Gen.Uban, went on to liberate Rangamati in December and helped the Indians dismantle the Mizo insurgent network.

Action and Reaction: June – September 1971

Pakistan army, after expelling the Mukti Bahini from Bangladesh, had enjoyed a relatively peaceful time between June and July 1971. Mukti Bahini activities had slacked off during the months of preparation, and although the Indian army had begun shelling border outposts (about 50% of the existing 370 were destroyed by the end of July) to ensure easier infiltration into occupied territories. Bengali regular forces were not ready for operation until mid July. With the conflict largely polarized around the India-East Pakistan border region, Pakistan Eastern command began reorganizing their forces to consolidate their control of the province. The following strategic and tactical steps were taken:

  • Pakistan Army deployed the 9th Division (CO Maj. Gen. Shaukat Riza, HQ Jessore, containing the 57th and 107th brigades, which were part of the 14th division prior to March 25) to operate in the area south of the Padma and West of the Meghna Rivers. The 16th Division (CO Maj. Gen. Nazar Hussain Shah, containing the 23rd (formally of the 14th division), 34th and 205th brigades) was responsible for the area north of the Padma and west the Jamuna rivers. The 14th Division (CO: Maj. Gen. Rahim. Khan, HQ: Dacca, containing the 27th, 303rd and 117th brigades, formally of the 9th division, and the 53rd brigade) looked after the rest of the province.
  • The E.P.C.A.F (East Pakistan Civil Armed Force – 23,000 troops with 17 operational wings was raised from West Pakistani and Bihari volunteers. Razakars (50,000), Al-Badr and Al Shams (5,000 members from each unit) were organized from collaborating Bengali people. Many of the imprisoned EPR and Army troops were screened and absorbed into the Razakar organization.
  • Shanti Committies were formed rally public support and provide leadership to Bengalis collaborating with the Pakistani authorities. The police force was reorganized, 5000 police was flown in from West Pakistan and several civilian bureaucrats were posted to run the civil administration.

This vast organization was employed to control the province with an iron fist. Pakistani authorities decided to continue the terror campaign, and rejected all call for political compromise and general amnesty, and did nothing to assuage the feeling of the Bengali population suffering under the army occupation. Strategically, the army deployed in all the sensitive towns, while the other para military units were deployed around the country. The EPCAF took over the duties of the defunct EPR – border and internal security. Pakistani forces occupied 90 Border Out Posts (BOPs) that were deemed crucial, out of 390, half of which had been destroyed by Indian shellfire by July end. Often ad hoc units were created by mixing EPCAF and Razakars around a skeleton army formation for deployment in forward areas. Pakistan army probably enjoyed their most peaceful period during the occupation of Bangladesh in 1971 between late May and mid July, when Mukti Bahini was reorganizing and the Indian army was implementing Operation Jackpot in their support. From their bases the army conducted sweep and clearing operations in the neighboring areas to root out insurgents and their supporters. In absence of a fully fledged logistical system, the troops were ordered to live off the land – abuse of which led to widespread looting and arson. With the insurgency in it’s infancy – Pakistani army was most active during the months of April to June.

Mukti Bahini Response: The Monsoon Offensive

Mukti Bahini commanders had agreed to the following objectives during the sector commanders meeting : Increase Pakistani casualties through raids and ambushed by sending the maximum possible number of guerrillas in the minimum possible time inside Bangladesh.

  • Cripple economic activity by hitting power stations, railway lines, storage depots and communication systems.
  • Destroy Pakistani mobility by blowing up bridges/culverts, fuel depots, trains and river crafts.
  • The objective is to make the Pakistanis to spread their forces inside the province, so attacks can be made on isolated Pakistani detachments.

As Bengali guerrillas began to increase their numbers and activities inside Bangladesh from June onwards, sending 2000 – 5000 guerrillas across the border and began to become more active in the border areas, Pakistani army also began to adapt to the situation. Razakars and EPCAF were employed to deal with the internal security matters. Pakistan forces, unable to match the Indians shell for shell, declined to take up the challenge, relying on sudden barrages at selected areas. Choosing not to defend all the border outposts, Pakistani forces occupied and fortified 90 strategically located BOPs, while over half of 390 BOPs were eventually destroyed by Indian shellfire by July end to make Mukti Bahini infiltration easier. Pakistanis also build up an intelligence networks to collect information on Mukti Bahini activity and sent informers across the border to give early warning of Mukti Bahini activity. Denied permission to launch cross border preemptive strikes, ambushes were laid for Mukti Bahini infiltrators and artillery was used to interdict movement whenever possible. Time consuming efforts were made to defuse mines, a favorite Mukti Bahini weapon. The Mukti Bahini activity was viewed as timid and the main achievements were blowing up of culverts, mining abandoned railway tracks, and harassment of Pakistani collaborators. Bengali regular forces had attacked BOPs in Mymensingh, Comilla and Sylhet, but the results were mixed. Pakistani authorities concluded that they had successfully contained the Monsoon Offensive, and they were not far from the truth.

Silver Linings among dark clouds

The sector commanders reviewed the results of the Mukti Bahini activities during June – August 1971, and General Osmani also conducted an overall assessment in September 1971. The findings were not encouraging; Mukti Bahini had failed to meet the expectations. The reasons for this were numerous and had to be properly handled to get the war effort on course. The main reasons identified were:

  • The guerrilla network was being built and had not taken firm root in Bangladesh. Guerrillas, with only 3/4 weeks of training, lacked the experience and numbers to compensate their lack of skills. In many cases, they drifted back towards the border after a few days of operations or when under pressure from Pakistani forces. Razakar and Shanti Committees were effective in countering the Mukti Bahini activity. About 22,000 better armed Razakars had become such a threat that in some areas Mukti Bahini ceased operating, and in other areas they were forced to operate against the Razakars, which suited the Pakistanis as it kept their forces from harm.
  • Uncertainty over re-supply and maintenance had caused many of the Guerrillas cautious, they were unwilling to use up their scanty ammunition, which also hampered operations.
  • Until the ‘’Crack Platoon’’ members hit targets in Dhaka and the naval commandos simultaneously mined ships in Chittagong, Chandpur, Narayanganj and Mongla on August 15, the slow pace of operations inside Bangladesh was demoralizing for all involved – the Bangladesh issue was losing ground in the international arena
  • Bengali regular troops had attacked the BOPs with spirit, but more training, better communication and coordination with Indian army support elements were needed for launching a successful conventional campaign. The attack on Kamalpur by 1st EBR was a bloody repulse, 3rd EBR attack on Bahadurabad was a success. Likewise, attacks by 2nd, 11th 4th EBR yielded mixed results that only confirmed the conclusion.
  • Coordination between Indian forces and Bangladesh forces were poor, there were several incident of misunderstanding and the supply situation needed major improvement. In some areas relationship between Bengali and Indian commanders had degraded to the point of finger pointing and in many cases conflicting messages had come to Indian and Bengali formations regarding the same operation. These issues had further eroded the combat capacity of the Bengali forces on The ground during June – August 1971.

  

  The one two punch

 

Partial representation of Pakistani forces and Mukti Bahini operational setup in November 1971. Some of the location are indicative because of lack of primary data.

The failure of the so called monsoon offensive caused Bangladesh forces high command to rethink their strategy. Since the Bengali regular brigades (Z, K and S forces) were not ready to liberate and hold a lodgment area on their own, and there were several issues with the ongoing guerrilla campaign, it was clear a long struggle awaited the Bangladeshi resistance which could be cut short with a direct Indian military intervention – which was still uncertain. Several factors changed prior to Bangladesh High Command implementing the next strategy.

  • The uncertainty over Indian involvement changed – after a meeting between Indian and Bangladesh Prime ministers in October it became clear India was likely to intervene sometime between December 1971 and April 1972.
  • The Indian –Soviet Friendship pact assures India of superpower support – and enhanced Indian capability to supply the Mukti Bahini as Russia began to send their WWII vintage surplus weapons to India.
  • The Indian Army Eastern Command began to improve their logistical network from July 1971, which also enabled getting supplies to the Mukti Bahini easier. Major General B.N. Sarkar of Indian army began coordinating the war objectives for Mukti Bahini after consulting with Indian and Bengali officers on the ground and Bangladesh Forces HQ, and distribute the same set of objectives monthly to all concerned. This eliminated the misunderstandings and coordination problems between the Mukti Bahini and the Indian army to a large degree.
  • At the beginning of the war Indian authorities officially endorsed only Awami League affiliated volunteer training, after the Soviet-Indian friendship pact for security reasons as India had security issues with some of their domestic left parties activities. After the Soviet-Indian pact, Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed opened up recruitment to all comers.

Initially, General Osmani thought about dismantling the regular battalions operating under Z, K and S forces and sending platoons from these forces to aid the guerrillas. His associates advised against this and he ultimately let them be, but deployed the Z force battalions separately to aid guerrilla actions around Sylhet. It was decided to sent at least 20,000 trained guerrillas into Bangladesh from September onwards. If even 1/3 of the force succeeded in it’ objective, the effect on the Pakistani forces would be devastating.

Effectiveness and importance

From August onwards the quality, number and effectiveness of Mukti Banhini operations showed a marked improvement. Army convoys were ambushed, police stations attacked, vital installations were destroyed. From October onwards Mukti Bahin became active bat on the border and inside Bangladesh to such degree that Pakistani resources were stretched and morale diminished to counter them. Despite the limitations and challenges rising from the state of the Indian transport system (training camps were located inside India), remoteness of the guerrilla bases, unavailability and inadequacy of proper supplies, and the decision of Bangladesh High Command to put the maximum number of guerrillas into battle in the minimum time possible (often after 4 to 6 weeks of training, sometimes resulting in only 50% of the personnel receiving firearms initially), the 30,000 regular soldiers (8 infantry battalions, and sector troops) and 100,000 guerrillas that Bangladesh eventually fielded in 1971 managed to destroy or damage at least 231 bridges, 122 railway lines and 90 power stations, while killing 237 officers, 136 JCOs/NCOs and 3,559 soldiers, of the Pakistan army and an unspecified number of EPCAF and police and an estimated 5,000 Razakar personnel during the period of April-November 1971, the majority of which occurred after September. The Mukti Bahini efforts also demoralised the Pakistani Army to the extent that, by November, they left their bases only if the need arose. The Naval commandos had managed to sink or damage 15 Pakistani ships, 11 coasters, 7 gunboats, 11 barges, 2 tankers and 19 river craft. Logistics was becoming a serious problem, of the minimum 600 tons needed by the Pakistan army daily, Mukti Bahini activity was hampering a substantial portion from going through. Against this move the Pakistani high command decided not to yield any territory and deploy their forces along the whole border. The grouping and regrouping of forces to secure the border and deal with the Mukti Bahini inside Bangladesh led to a loss of cohesion among Pakistani units, especially among the infantry, artillery and mortar regiments. The loss of maneuverability exposed them to a one dimensional battle. This stretched them thin without any effective reserves, and they became vulnerable to selective Indian and Bengali strikes when the Undeclared War started from mid November. The prolonged exposure and steady casualties also sapped morale and reduced the effectiveness of the troops considerably.

Foot Note :

The total BDF in War of ’71 (Army, BDR, Police) : 25505

Died in War                                  :   3,731

Civilian FF in War of ’71 (short trained and guerilla) : 210581

Indian soldiers died                    : 8,772

Post-independence activities Of Gen. Osmai

General Osmani held the title of Commander-in-Chief until his retirement in April 1972, when the Bangladesh Forces officially dissolved during the final Sector Commanders Conference into three independent regular forces, the Bangladesh Army, the Bangladesh Navy, the Bangladesh Air Force and the creation of Bangladesh Rifles. After the country’s independence, Osmani retired from service 7 April 1972. He was then included in the cabinet of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as Minister of Shipping, Inland Water Transport and Aviation. Osmani was elected a member of the national parliament in 1973, and was included in the new cabinet with charge of the ministries of Post, Telegraph and Telephone, Communication, Shipping, Inland Water Transport and Aviation.

He resigned from the cabinet in May 1974 after the introduction of a one-party system of government through the Fourth Amendment to the constitution. Along with Barrister Mainul Hosein, both elected MPs resigned from the Awami League, protesting at the abolition of democracy in Bangladesh by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

M.A.G. Osmani was appointed an Adviser to the President in charge of Defense Affairs by Khondaker Mostaq Ahmed (then President and Law Minister currently) on 29 August 1975, but he resigned immediately after the killing of four national leaders inside the Dhaka Central Jail on  November 03, 1975.

RIGHTS AND FACILITIES OF FREEDOM FIGHTERS

January 26, 2010

                                                                                     

Recently the Prime Minister Sk. Hasina reaffirmed “There is also a government directive for preserving 30 percent quota for the Freedom Fighters and the children of the martyred Freedom Fighters in government service,”  She also said the Freedom Fighter’s quota in government jobs is not maintained in many places and the government would take necessary steps so that it is maintained. The PM also ordered, and even incase of non availability, the quota of Freedom Fighters will remain open and must not be filled up from any other means.

Besides, Sheikh Hasina said, the highest 32-year age has been fixed for the Freedom Fighters’ offspring for entering into the government jobs.

Disputes: The age limit must be 37 years because they were deprived of the facility since lat 37 years.

The Prime Minister also affirmed a project has been undertaken to build Muktijoddha Complex in each district side by side with formation of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Kalyan Trust for the greater benefit of the country’s best sons.

Disputes: There must be a Veteran Muktijoddah home (dormitory type/shelter) in each district with full facilities to accommodate in secured freedom fighters within the proposed complex.

She said that the government took different steps for welfare of the distressed freedom fighters. Honorarium of the freedom fighters has been increased to Taka 1,500 from Taka 900 in 2009-10 fiscal year and the process for increasing the allowances is going on. Besides, she said, the number of recipients of the allowances has been enhanced to 1.25 lakh from 1 lakh.

“The allowance for martyred Freedom Fighters’ families has been raised to Taka 7,020 from Taka 5,850″, she said.

Disputes: Not enough because of prevailing market situation.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has also waived the 200 unit electricity bill and gas bill with one burner of the war-wounded Freedom Fighters and martyred families.

After long 35 years, the Prime Minister said, abandoned houses were given to 142 war-wounded and martyred Freedom Fighters’ families at a token price like that in 1972. The holding taxes of the houses up to 1500 sft of the war-wounded Freedom Fighters and martyred families have also been waived, she said.

Disputes: What about the others? Within the ministry there must be a cell to invite application from freedom fighters to rehabilitate either in abandoned homes or flats. Among the Freedom Fighter if any one intended for or really in-need of a plot of land or residential plot in any residential area or housing complex, he must get it one special consideration at a token money or specially subsidized prices.

The Prime Minister also said that training and micro-credit facilities are being provided to the insolvent Freedom Fighters and their offspring for self-reliance through BRDB and Youth Development Department.

Regarding the burial of Sector Commanders at Chandrima Uddayan, she expressed doubt over the presence of the body of Ziaur Rahman into the coffin as his (Zia) wife, sons and all others could not see it at the time of burial. So, she said, doubt also prevails about other sector commander’s desire to be buried at the Chandrima Udyan. “As Ziaur Rahman killed sector commanders Colonel Taher and Brigadier General Khaled Mosharraf, so their family members would not agree to bury them beside Ziaur Rahman’s grave,” she said.

Disputes: Govt. must arrange and specify a plot of land for the final rest of the Sector Commanders at their choice in the city centre even in the Osmai Uddayan without any controversy and no body should forget Gen. Ziaur Rahman also was a Sector Commander.  

The Minister in charge of Muktijoddah Montronaloy said, the government will unlist 62,000 fake freedom fighters from the list who were included during jote government and a final survey will conduct to include if any genuine freedom fighter left behind or not included in the list.

He also assured the number of Freedom Fighters will increase for availing honorarium from 100,000 to 125,000 very soon. The total number of disabled Freedom Fighters is 5,300 in the country.

He also said the government also planning to set up a 50 bed modern hospital for the treatment of Freedom Fighters and their family and 4% of toll collected from the markets of nation wide was also go directly to the Muktijoddah Songshod for distributing to the needy Freedom Fighters for their house building, marriage & education of their children.

Disputes: As most of the Freedom Fighters already reached minimum at their 60’s, so they are almost at the door step of their final journey/ destination and at this circumstances they need no individual hospital facility, rather they need in every hospital through out the country should maintain 2 to 4 beds (based on the size of the hospital) reserved for the sick Freedom Fighters. No public or private hospital could deny any service including providing 100% free treatment to a Freedom Fighter. It is the right of a Veteran Freedom Fighter world wide. No body should forget that the beneficiary of independent Bangladesh and the position and the opportunity are being hold either those in power or in opposition or in administration because of the supreme sacrifice and total devotion & utmost contribution of the Freedom Fighters!

CONCLUSION

Keeping so many organizations like Muktijoddah Kollyan Trust, Muktijoddah Songshod and many more for only 100,000 – 150,000 Freedom Fighters do nothing for the general Freedom Fighters but encourages the misappropriation of money, crime, grouping, lobbing etc among some of the freedom fighters which need to be abolished. All activities for the welfare of Freedom Fighters should be placed under a single organization either the Ministry it self or a High Powered Cell under Prime Minister’s Secretariat (most deserved) and executed through Zilla & Upo-Zilla administration. For over all services to be rendered to the Freedom Fighters an amount like 0.5% of national budget to be kept reserved to spend for the welfare of the Freedom Fighters. In addition recover all the enterprises and properties of Muktijoddah Kollyan Trust or collect the cost at present market value and deposit in an account for Freedom Fighters in Bangladesh Bank and the proceeds to be spent for the wellbeing of the Freedom Fighters.

A Computerized Digital Data-Base of the Freedom Fighters under a multipurpose application software must be made and stored in respective levels of service position after a quick and final scrutinizing search nation wide followed by colored photo ID like that of voter ID and secured Credit Card to ensure the services they ought to get even any cash subsidy allowed by the government like Food Stamp/Lone Star.

There should be a get-together/reunion of all the Freedom Fighters with the head of the Government at least once in a year under government management and expenses to show the honor and respect to them possibly on Independence Day or Victory Day celebration.  

Covering all the existing, proposed & future facilities to be awarded to the Freedom Fighters, there should be an Executive Order immediately followed by a law to be passed in Parliament at the soonest to pay due respect & moral duty to the golden sons of the soil, the Veteran Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh.

Priority for renewable energy must

January 23, 2010

 
BANGLADESH is now passing through a crisis period when short supply of power and energy seriously hampers production in agriculture and industry. The country almost entirely depends on conventional sources of energy like oil and gas to meet its energy demand. But imported oil is too costly while proven gas reserve that now fuels some 80 percent of power generation is likely to exhaust within three to four years. The situation demands harnessing other energy resources including windmills, solar panel, bio-gas, sea waves, river current and nuclear power.

Coal has a high prospect for power generation. The country has a proven reserve of 2,086 million tones of quality coal, which is enough to generate 5,000 MW of electricity per day for up to 90 years. The local coal is safer environmentally and will save about US$500 million spent for annual oil import. But Bangladesh’s coal potential is still untapped in the main.

According to a projection, Bangladesh will need some 10,000 MW and 15,000 MW of electricity by 2015 and 2020. But this is not likely to be achieved depending only on conventional resources.

 According to sources, Bangladesh government has a target of meeting 500 MW and 1,500 MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2015 and 2020 which is inadequate even for planning only and it should be at least 1,500 MW & 3,000 MW. Annual average wind speed at 30 meter height along the coastal belt is above 5 m/s. According to latest technological development, as much as 13 MW of electricity can be produced from a single windmill. According to reports, some 2,000 MW of power can be produced installing 30 windmills per Sq. Km along the 724 Km coastline. Use of latest technology can increase it further.

 The number of solar-home-systems already installed at some two lakh homes can also be increased. According to reports, the government is contemplating to produce 3,000 MW of electricity from wind-based and another 2,000 MW from solar sources in the near future. Efforts must be geared up to harness maximum benefits from all possible renewable resources.

 It is now the time to switch our energy generation sources from conventional bio-fuel like diesel, furnace oil & natural gas to renewable/green sources of energy like Wind Mill, Solar Panel, Bio-Gas and as much as possible from hydro-electric plant, the cheapest and least maintenance source of green energy.

 For the purpose the country need to explore immediately the use of water resources of the rivers of Bangladesh and specially the flow of river Padma the biggest source, which may give us at least 6,000 MW of electricity from a single source. Along side we need to build few more coal based combined cycle power plants of at least 4,000 MW and if possible Nuclear Power Plants to enable to closing down the existing fuel oil and gas based power plants gradually and to divert the gas saved thereby to other use of industrialization and other civic needs and dependency on imported fuels.

The per unit generation cost of power were calculated as under :

Fuel Oil                         $0.35/Kw

Natural Gas                  $0.10/Kw

Nuclear                          $0.05/Kw

Hydro Electric             $0.02/Kw

Windmill                         $0.03/Kw

Solar Panel                     $0.02 /Kw

WARID TELECOM’S SHARE TRANSFER

January 22, 2010

বিটিআরসি চেয়ারম্যান জিয়া আহমেদ বলেছেন, ওয়ারিদ টেলিকমের ৭০ শতাংশ শেয়ার ভারতি এয়ারটেলের কাছে হস্তান্তর প্রক্রিয়ায় কোনো অনিয়ম হয়নি।বিটিআরসির চেয়ারম্যান বলেন, ওয়ারিদের নেটওয়ার্ক সম্প্রসারণের জন্য এয়ারটেল ৩০০ মিলিয়ন ডলার ব্যয় করবে। আর এই শেয়ার হস্তান্তরের জন্য ওয়ারিদকে টোকেন মূল্য হিসেবে এক লাখ ডলার দিয়েছে।
How funny! What is the value of Warid Telecom’s 100% shares in Bangladesh and thereby how much for 70% shares as per Chairman of BTRC it is $100,000.00! Which is the declared money. The rest, I don’t now how much may be a billion or even more has been transferred under hand and thereby country lost handful amount of revenue and that is for BTRC! He said Air Tel will invest $300 million for upgrading the system, improving the equipment. They will do that for their business expansion, but where is the cost of the business? The cost is one lac dollar for 70% of shares. Shudu churi to noi, PUKUR Churi. What did BTRC chairman thought? The 160 million Bangladeshi are stupid? No sir, peoples are not stupid like you. Please don’t play game with People’s money. Area bhai a to dekhchi Tarek, Babor er cheo boro chor! Deshbashi Jagoooo!!!

AREA OF DHAKA CITY & EASTERN BY-PASS

January 20, 2010

The latest decision announced by our Prime Minister to increase the Dhaka City’s boundary covering 1528 Sq. Km. from Gazipur at the north, Dholeshwari River at the south, Bongshi & Dholeshwari at the west and Shitolokkhya & Meghna including a part of Sonargaon UZ at the east. It is further clarified that the bigger city boundary will be consisting of present Dhaka City Corporation and Narayangonj, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar, Kadam Rasul, Siddirgonj & Tarabo municipal areas and the part of Sonargaon UZ upto River Meghna. And of course it will be a good plan even for next 50 years to come with a proposed implementation period of 20 years including few satellite towns.

Before that, the very important project of construction of only 50 Km. long Dhaka Eastern Bypass-cum-Flood Protection Embankment : Demra-Keodhala-Mousaidpur-Joydevpur with 2 major link roads Keodhala-Baridhara and Mousaidpur-Tongi should be constructed immediately without loss of any time. The proposed most important project remain un-implemented since last 20 years.

The proposed project if implemented will recover another half of Dhaka City which will immediately resolve the accommodation problems of 30-40 lacs of citizens. The over all cost of the project must not be over $150.00 Million with 4-lane road, connecting inside roads, drainage system and logged water transferring system etc and thus very quickly the recovered area will be inhabited up till Shitalakkhya & Balu river.

If any body interested I could provide Summarized Project Plan.

CLIMATE-BANGLADESH PERSPECTIVE

January 18, 2010

  CLIMATE  DISASTER - BANGLADESH 

 A recent World Bank report lists Bangladesh as one of the 12 countries most at risk for climate-related problems. It is seriously at risk for all of the five main climate threats: drought, floods, storms, sea-level rise, and agricultural crop loss. A one-meter rise in sea level as the result of the melting of the Himalayan glaciers and Greenland ice sheet could flood one-third of the country and displace as many as 40 million people. In other areas of Bangladesh, climate change may contribute to salinity intrusion and increase the likelihood of winter drought. In both of these scenarios, a shortfall in crop production would ensue, threatening the food security of a society that is highly dependent on agriculture.

 CLIMATE – FUNDINGS  

Peoples of Bangladesh do not know actually what commitments our government obtained from the rich & developed countries, which are liable for damaging the environment and thereby destroying the only earth to live. Any way, our Prime Minister recently made an appeal to the rich countries to release their share of contribution to the weather related suffering countries. This request of our PM to the world society indicates she received some favorable assurance from the big leaders to get some initial fund for the purpose. We don’t know how big or small that commitment which is best known to our PM.

COPA – 15 THE BIGGEST SHOWDOWN 

Before and during the course of COPA 15 in Copenhagen, the big showdown of the leaders of sufferers and creators of sufferings to the human being, we have heard the suffering countries will get a handsome amount of money from the rich and developed countries as compensation towards the mitigation of suffering of the peoples of affected countries for building infrastructure for future protection along with necessary steps to be taken to stop green house gas. But during the final stage the world saw nothing came out from the conference but to carry out negotiation in the future only.

REALISATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

Here, my point is that, whether we know how much we are suffering now and how far these sufferings will go by the next 40 years and what preparation we are taking to protect our peoples and our country?

In this perspective, it is my consideration very first we pay our attention to stop deforestation and rush for huge forestation trough out the costal belt as well within the whole country.

The second important is the production of required Green Energy/Clean Energy like Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Hydro Electricity, Nuclear Energy etc and thereby divert the existing use of hydrocarbons like Gas, Coal, Diesel, Petrol, Furnace Oil for the generation of electricity and thus this diverted hydrocarbons may be use in other fields of development. The large scale production of Clean Energy so far is possible either from Hydro electric projects (using water resources) or by Nuclear Power Plant and out of these two the water resource is the best and cheapest, long lasting and almost permanent. The estimated power production cost from Imported Fuel - US$0.35, Natural Gas – US$0.10, Nuclear - US$0.05 & Hydro Electric - US$0.02.

In this regard I draw the attention to utilize the huge water resources of Padma, if found feasible & possible by building a big dam in and around  or down to the Maowa  Point which may give us huge electricity for the total requirement of the country even for next 100/200 years. If it is possible to implement, it will solve the other burning problems like communication, transportation, flood control & irrigation, fishery, navigation etc. Means it will be the golden gate for Bangladesh and its nationals and huge contribution to the world environment and economy! Alternatively we can go for 5 or 6 Nuclear Power Plants of at least 1000/1200 MW each which the other nations doing.

The third phase, I believe, construction of two tire barricade/embankment (Levi), Sea Wall at least 40 feet high in the whole of the costal line with earth and RCC as and where it needed.

Dredging of all or most of our rivers, cannels, lakes to control flow & accommodate more water for the flood protection & irrigation as and when required.

Construction of earth quake proof Multi-storied combined disaster centers for the accommodation of at least 50% of any neighborhood during emergency and convertible to Schools/Colleges, Satellite Clinic for primary & emergency health care, Growth Centre, Market Place, Local Government offices like Union/Ward Council, localized food godown with good road, tele/satellite communication under local government management. Due care must be given for availability of pure drinking water and sanitation.

Construction of direct & faster road, rail and water way communication facilities whatever possible from Capital to Zilla Sadar–UZ and such Centers.

Crops diversification for required food production with improved food habit etc.

The Government must have a master plan and phase wise plan and without late should start with own resources and gradually use the fund available from other sources. Due care must be given to protect the whole program from misappropriation and corruption.

The comprehensive 20 years $100.00 Billion plan on item-wise investment forecast for setting up an ambitious disaster management project considered in the perspective of Bangladesh and estimated on bare requirement of the country which need to be completed by 2020.

01. Controlling of Nation Wide Deforestation and  Creation of Dense Costal Line Forestation 2010-2015 $  5.00 Bn.
02. Green Energy sources-Padma Dam/ Nuclear Power Plants, Solar Energy & Wind Energy System (10,000 MW Min.) 2012-2020 $20.00 Bn.
03. River Dredging, Embank Protection,  Forestation & Irrigation System 2010-2020 $  5.00 Bn.
04. Construction of Costal Area Infra-Structures with Emergency Shelters with Health Care, Pure Drinking Water, Sanitation  & Communications     2010-2015 $  5.00 Bn.
05. Construction of Costal Line High Water surge protection Embankment /Barrage / Levi, Sea Wall etc. 2012-2015 $ 10.00 Bn.
06. Nationwide Communication (Rail, Road, Water way–Telecom, Satellite, Internet) with Priority to Coastal Belt   2010-2020 $ 10.00 Bn.
07. Crops Diversification & Intensive production for Improved Food Habit 2012-2020 $  5.00 Bn.
08. Nationwide Improved Healthcare & Dieses Control   2012-2020 $ 10.00 Bn.
09. Disaster Management Administration & Training with collection of Helicopter Squad, Amphibious Vehicles, Hoover Craft etc. to carry out Emergency Rescue and Relief operations. 2012-2020 $ 10.00 Bn.
10. Emergency Disaster Fund 2010-2020 $ 20.00 Bn.

P.S.    Any idea, conception, direction, guidance from any quarter onthe subject will be highly appreciated.

FIRST YEAR OF AWAMI LEAGUE IN THE GOVT.

January 17, 2010

The Govt. of AL already passed their one year term of almost successful operation. But by this time they did not achieved anything exceptional rather they had to face most notorious activity like killings in BDR headquarter.

For maintaing smooth political environment the Govt. must upgrade their fuel policy like the availability of Electricity, Natural Gas, LNG, LPG, Coal as and when required. They also  need to ensure availability of food grains, cooking oil, sugar, salt and common spices as well must keep the prices of essential commodities stable and mean time to improve buying capacity of general mass.

They also need to pay due attention to the law and order situation of the country by way of controlling party members, members of sister concerns like BCL, BSL, BJL etc as well the mugger, toll collectors and other criminals and offenders.


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