Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir's Role During 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh

Assistant Commissioner, Mangla (Panjab), Nowshera (North-West  Frontier Province) Director, Rural Works Program, West Pakistan (Lahore), and Sujawal (Sindh) and then as Deputy Secretary Department of Education, Govt. of Sindh, Karachi, West Pakistan and thereafter as Addl. Deputy Commissioner,  Noakhali and Mymenshing, 1971, East Pakistan, and then as Deputy Secretary, Department of Finance, Govt. of East Pakistan.

During 1969-71, while in Mangla, intensively supervised the land acquisition and payment of compensation to poor farmers in Mangla, district Jhelum Panjab, on account of lands acquired by the Government for construction of Mangla Dam. Assignment in Nowshera provided scope for looking after the welfare of Bengali soldiers (army in Nowshera and air force personnel in Risalpur ) and making strenuous efforts to introduce the use of Bangla as a state language of the then Pakistan and to muster support for the Six Point Demand of Sheikh Mujib amongst the Bengalis and the Sindhi’s. At this time, liberally provided arm licenses to Bangladeshi tourists to tribal areas to get cheap and readily available firearms from that area which they took to then East Pakistan and used in most cases in the resistance struggle against Pakistan after March 25, 1971. As Director of Rural Works Program, West Pakistan planned and supervised programs for rural development and poverty eradication. While in Sujawal settled 200 farmers from East Pakistan in the irrigated area of the Golam Mohammad Barrage in Sindh. As Deputy Secretary, Department of Education, Govt. of Sindh, helped setting up Bengali Language. Department at the University of Sindh and providing employment to the Bengalis settled in and around Karachi and protecting them against the sporadic attacks and animosity against the Bengali People by the military regime of the time. Was transferred to Dhaka on 1st March 1971, immediately met Bangabandhu, and told him that Pakistanis had been sending the army to suppress popular movement in East Pakistan in support of the Six Points Demand.

 

Provided support to the Liberation War in accordance with instructions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Tajuddin Ahmed, General Secretary of the Awami League of the time. Organized civil servants to support the Independence struggle in all organizations and levels of the civil administration, mobilized public opinion by writing columns in newspapers and periodicals of the time, was present in the historic meeting of the 7th March 1971, formally pledged allegiance to Bangabandhu’s administration in a meeting of senior civil servants stationed in Dhaka on 8th March 1971 which practically brought an end to the authority of the Pakistan Government over the then provincial administration, traveled to the eastern districts and enthused Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of the Police to open up the armories for the student activists and Bengali rebel soldiers of Pakistan. Opening up the armories this way did not allow the Pakistan army to take over the rebellious districts without stiff resistance. Stayed in occupied East Pakistan to organize and help freedom fighters and to liaison with Bangladesh Government in exile. Provided arms to the Mukti Bahini in the initial stage of the Liberation War. While in Noakhali, helped Mukti Bahini to destroy navigational buoys and other aids in the coastal area and to bring a stoppage of sea-borne transportation of the Pakistani soldiers. Informed Mukti Bahini and the Bangladesh Govt. in exile about ground conditions of East Pakistan under occupation and worked on various assignments as ordered and requested by the Bangladesh Government in exile and Liberation Force. Helped the Indian naval intelligence to identify possible landing points of the Indian military along the coast.

 

While in Noakhali and Mymensing encouraged young people to join the liberation war, protected them and their families within the country and provided them with financial and material support, helped obtain arms from Nepal for the Mukti Bahini in and around Mymensing, Tangail, and Dhaka. Throughout this period organized and helped to protect properties and relations of the Mukti Bahini members in various areas of the country, from the onslaught of the Pakistanis and slowing down all administrative and social operation of the occupation regime. Organized on the spot visits of U.S. and European diplomats to sights of destruction and atrocities of Occupation Forces. Helped to signal down the landing of Indian paratroopers led by Brigadier Claire on the Tangail- Dhaka road on 10th December 1971 and signaled the location of Dhaka Government House on 14th December for precision bombing by the  Indian Air Force and forcing Governor Malek to resign as the Governor of East Pakistan and flee from the Governor’s place demoralizing the Occupation Forces. Operated in support of the local partisan people opposing the occupation Pakistani forces and their Bihari supporters. Throughout this entire period starting from December 3rd, 1971 through 16th December 1971 organized proper ground signaling and providing prior information by the Indian Air force, through the concerned civil officers and underground supporters, so as to avoid the bombing of civilian localities in Dhaka and elsewhere. As a matter of fact, after December  4th, 1971, while the Indian Air force incessantly bombed military targets in and around Dhaka, no civilian casualty was suffered. In addition (along with Nurul Islam  Anu, Private Secretary of the Governor), thwarted the Occupation regime’s attempt to hold a meeting of the senior civil officers in Dhaka’s Governors House on the 10th December that was planned to keep them in hostage and kill them to paralyze the impending administration of the free Bangladesh Government, asked majority of intellectuals to leave the city between 10th and 11th December (1971)  so as to escape their impending slaughter immediately before the liberation of Dhaka, supported and sheltered the young elements of the Liberation Forces entering Dhaka in October and November (1971). On December 16th, 1971 welcomed Major General Nagra of the Indian Army near about Savar, Dhaka and then with the help of a young Mukti Bahini’s member arranged to take a Major and 3 Jawans of the Indian army in 2 jeeps to the then Race Course to organize surrender of General Niazi and General Jamshed along with the Occupation forces to General Aurora of the Indian Army which took place at in the afternoon.

 

On December 17th, organized and convened by my brother Dr. Burhanuddin Khan Jahangir, Citizen’s Committee of Dhaka accorded a mamooth reception to the Bengali freedom fighters and the Indian Jawans at Dhaka’s Shaeed Minar. With Begum Sufia Kamal in Chair, I along with my friends and associates and in presence of Poets Jashimuddin and Shamsur  Rahman, Advocate Abdul Jalil, Dr. S.Latif, Jahirul Huq, Ahmed Sharif, and others expressed the gratitude of our lifetime to the Indian’s Army and Commander Kader Siddiki of the Liberation Forces and freedom fighter. This was followed by a huge gathering in Paltan Maidan organized by our freedom fighters on the 17th December which was followed by the meeting of the students in front of the Sergent Jahirul Huq Hall of Dhaka University on the 19th December. Just a day earlier Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib came out in freedom from her imprisonment in Road- 18, Dhanmondi. I, coming out of my brother Jahangir’s house on the same road took Major Ashok Tara of the Indian army to the house where Begum Mujib was imprisoned during the War of Liberation along with daughters Hasina and Rehana to join the nation in waiting for the return of Bangabandhu on Jan 10, 1972.

Copyright ©2020 by Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir