Dhaka University in the Emergence of Bangladesh– Part- VII

Armed War Organisations and Eminent DU Personalities

Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury

13 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Armed War Organisations and Eminent DU Personalities

Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury

Initially, a coordinated war was conducted under the leadership of Colonel Osmani by dividing Bangladesh into four sectors. Major Abu Osman Chowdhury, a graduate of Comilla Victoria College affiliated with Dhaka University, was one of the four commanders. Later, two out of the 11 sector commanders namely Colonel Abu Taher and Major Rafiq were students of the Social Welfare department of Dhaka University and Comilla Victoria College respectively. Captain Abdul Halim Chowdhury was also a student of Dhaka University. Apart from the three sectors' heads, valiant fighters like Mohiuddin Jahangir, Ashfakus Samad, Aftabul Quader, Khaja Nizam Uddin Bhuiya who sacrificed their lives were one time students of Dhaka University. Additionally, Sheikh Kamal, Zafar Imam, Humayun Kabir, Jahangir Osman, Syed Mohammad Ibrahim, Fateh Ali Chowdhury, Shahadat Chowdhury, Shahidullah Khan Badal and many were contemporary students, having a variety of roles in the frontal encounters. Some other students of Dhaka University having glory of martyrdom in the liberation war were Mrinal Kanti Bose, Zillur Morshed Mitu, Badiul Alam, Ajit Roy Chowdhury, Atiqur Rahman, Abdur Rahim, Abdullah Baki, Abdul Aziz, Abul Kashem, Amirul Islam, Alauddin Mohammad Jahin (Chinku), Mohammad Wahidur Rahman, Nazrul Islam, Nizamuddin Azad, Manowar Hossain, Maksudur Rahman, Rezaul Karim Manik and others. Among the naval commandos, Dhaka University had an honourable share. Prominent among them were Alauddin Ahmed, former Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University, Momin Ullah Patwari and Shahjahan Siddiqui.

Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir received the topmost heroic Award of Bir Shrestha, followed by Khaja Nizam Uddin Bhuiya, Aftabul Quader, A.M. Asfakus Samad, Major Abu Taher and Major Rafiqul Islam with the Bir Uttam title. Hafiz Uddin, Zafar Imam, Mahbub Uddin, Taufiq Elahi Chowdhury, Mofazal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Shahjahan Siddiqui who earned the Bir Bikram title. Syed Mohammad Ibrahim, Saeed Ahmad, Jahangir Osman, Mohammed Shahjahan Kabir, Momin Ullah Patwari, Rezaul Karim Manik and Abdul Baki have been awarded the title of Bir Pratik. Besides, thousands of students under their command fought the war receiving training from India and also receiving training from within, without ever crossing the borders.

Bangladesh Liberation Force or Mujib Bahini and Dhaka University:

The BLF of Mujib Bahini played a distinguished role just after the arm forces of Bangladesh. The top four leaders of the BLF or Bangladesh Liberation Force (initially Bangladesh Liberation Front)-Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, Sirajul Alam Khan, Abdur Razzak and Tofail Ahmad were former student leaders of Dhaka University. ASM Abdur Rab, Abdul Quddus Makhan, Shahjahan Siraj, Monirul Islam, Qazi Aref Ahmad, Syed Ahmad and Abdul Mannan Choudhury were associated with Mujib Bahini and had their affiliation with Dhaka University.


The last one was a teacher at Dhaka University at that time. Among the then students Sheikh Shahidul Islam, M.A. Rashid, Syed Rezaur Rahman, Safiullah, Nimchandra Bhaumik, Abdul Mannan, Syed Ahmad Farooq, Swapan Chowdhury were leading Mujib Bahini commanders. Mujib Bahini organised out of the domain of the Bangladesh government and received training, weapons and financial assistance from India directly. They had special training at Haflong of Assam, and Dehradun in Uttar Pradesh of India. However, 80 senior-most leaders of BLF or Mujib Bahini were trained specially by General Ovan at Kalsi, Chakrata and Tandua of Dehradun. Most of the other trainees were former and or current prominent leaders of the Students' League and labour front. A total of almost 14,000 guerrillas trained in two centers of India were inducted at different phases except the last batch. They were inducted in a group of ten each, with instruction to build up ten groups of each having ten fighters. They picked up local recruits and armed them to fight the Pakistani forces and the Razakars. They had also the privilege of recruiting people for ancillary supports, such as making shelter, arranging food, medicine and leading to the unknown destinations occupied by Razakar and Pakistan Army. The trainees in India were inducted through different points. They used to build up contacts and contained the Razakars in their areas.

Contribution of Mujib Bahini (Mujib Forces):

No other Indian force was connected to the force in the early days of the war except for training and supply of weapons. Their operation area was identified twenty miles inside the border on the basis of understanding with regular forces and other freedom fighters. After April when the Pakistan forces penetrated deep in Bangladesh, the fighters of the Mujib Bahini kept the people's war alive by resorting to Guerrilla warfare. They used to fire at least one shot at each night near each camp on Pakistani soldiers or threw hand grandee to embarrass or keep them sleep-less and tense for the rest of the night and even the following night. They also played a significant role in distributing propaganda materials like the weeklies namely Bangladesh and Banglar Bani. They appeared in frontal wars against Pakistani soldiers in union with other forces operating in the area. Since most of them were highly educated or highly influential in areas for their special identities such as elected leaders of different Schools and Colleges, they could lead others too. This continued throughout the whole period of the war. Sheikh Moni occupied Chittagong and Chittagong Hill-tracks without any role of joint forces. Other fighters kept fighting till the last day. A Number of fighters of this Bahini including that of Mostak Hossain, Rafiqul Islam Lucky, Muhammad Kamrul Hasan of the same family; Iqbal Hasan Sharif, Nazrul Islam, Abu Taher, Swapan Chowdhury all belonging to Dhaka University sacrificed their lives but nothing was done to remember them by Dhaka University apart from putting them in the list nearer to the VC’s residence. All of us may be proud of his highness Abdul Hamid, the current Hon'ble President of Bangladesh, who was also one of the top leaders of the Mujib Bahini. He was a graduate of an affiliated college and a member of the Parliament at that time. The two sons of the then Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam had a connection with Mujib Bahini.

 The second son of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. Sheikh Jamal (Martyred) was a Mujib Bahini fighter.

Specially Trained Guerrilla Forces:

Apart from Bangladesh Liberation Force or Mujib Bahini, other guerrilla forces like Dhaka Guerrilla Force, Crack Platoon, Commander-in-Chief's Special Force, Baten Bahini, and Naval Commando were dragged from existing students of Dhaka University. Baten was initially a member of Mujib Bahini who created his own command after induction. Some of the students of Dhaka University like Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Fateh Ali Chowdhury, Sahadat Chowdhury, Shahid Ullah Khan Badal, Badiul Alam Bodi (Martyred) engineered the daring operations in Dhaka & suburban areas. Persons like Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Anwarul Alam Shahid, Rafiq Azad, Noorunnabi, Mahbub having connection with Kaderia Bahini had their base at Dhaka University. Many fighters from affiliated colleges joined the liberation war too.

                to be continued...


The writer is a former student and teacher

of Dhaka University and currently serving

as the Vice Chancellor of World University

of Bangladesh