If we were in the cantonment that day, we would have been killed too

If we were in the cantonment that day, we would have been killed too
If we were in the cantonment that day, we would have been killed too

Khaled Musharraf is the hero. This captain of Sector 2 was wounded in battle. On 15 August 1975, Farooq-Rashid led a bloodless coup against the murderous gang on 3 November, which failed. After a counter-coup on November 7, he and two other freedom fighter army officers were brutally murdered. The incident of this murder is still shrouded in mystery in the political history of Bangladesh. Khaled Musharraf’s eldest daughter Mahjabin Khaled, former member of parliament, spoke in detail about this incident with Rahat Minhaj, assistant professor of mass communication and journalism department of Jagannath University. This unpublished interview, taken in 2022, was published in Desh Parwam

Rahat Minhaj: How old were you in 1975? What memory of your father from that day or earlier still touches you?

Mahjabin Khaled: In 1975, I was in third grade, aged eight. After the war of liberation, my father (Khaled Musharraf) was very busy with other activities including the formation of the army. His house was in Islampur police station of Jamalpur district. Many people used to come from Islampur. He used to give them time after noon. Apart from this, there are army people. They used to come. So I got very little time with my father. We used to visit father on Sundays. We used to spend family time on that day. He was very car crazy. On Sunday, I will have lunch at Nanibari with my father and go for a drive in the morning. I remember these two very well.

Rahat Minhaj: When you grew up, you heard about the November 7 incident from your mother. We know that at that time, after the assassination of Bangabandhu, a different situation prevailed in Bangladesh. The attempt by Khaled Musharraf on November 3 with Colonel Shafayat Jamil. How was Khaled Musharraf after that incident, was he working?

Mahzabeen Khaled : My father sent our three sisters (Mahzabeen, Ammerin and Taireen Khaled) and mother to Nanibari on a date in November 1975. He probably thought something would happen. It’s not safe in cantonment. Actually, it wasn’t safe in cantonment. . From November 1st to 6th we don’t know much. Because father was in Bangabhaban at that time. It was not possible to communicate there. Calling my mother exactly on the 5th and saying, come tomorrow with the children. I will be together all day tomorrow. On the 6th we visited, we spent the whole day with father. Even in that he was very busy. Army officers were coming and going. Many journalists were also coming. A meeting was going on with them. But I can’t say what the meeting is about. But something was happening. He didn’t tell everything to my mother either. But it was understood that something would happen. After spending the sixth day like this in the cantonment, we came to Nanibari in the evening. Then I don’t know anything else. Suddenly I heard that two freedom fighters including my father were killed. Their bodies are at CMH. No one wanted to go to fetch the dead body till the 8th. No one dares to enter the cantonment. Later my mother had an uncle, an older man, who agreed to go to CMH and bring the body. Father was buried in Navy Cemetery. 2 days after death.

I still remember my father’s face. It looked so clean and pure, it seemed like light was emanating from the face. I could not understand that he was killed or shot. Very fresh look. i’m too young In fact, I did not understand what death was. I could not understand why father was not walking, why in this condition. But I see everyone crying around. I am totally confused. My two younger sisters are even younger. One is six and a half years old and the other is not yet one. They did not understand more. They still don’t understand.

Rahat Minhaj: I want to know a little more from you. From what I know from reading many books, the situation was very complicated at that time. Khaled Musharraf’s last farewell arrangement, that too had to be hidden a lot. Perhaps he was not given the state honor he deserved…?

Mahjabin Khaled: He was a freedom fighter. He was the commander of No. 2 Sector and K Force. He was given none of the respect he deserved as a freedom fighter, the respect he deserved from the Army. He was buried almost secretly. Two days later, my grandmother went to our cantonment house to bring some food for my youngest sister. He went and saw that everything in the house was looted. Not even a thread. They wanted to kill my grandmother. Nani somehow came back alive. That’s what I think, if we were in the cantonment that day (November 7), they would have killed us too. We have no memories, no pictures, not even a thing of the cantonment. Those who looted our house did so with much thought. My mother’s only regret is that we don’t even have a picture of your father.

Rahat Minhaj: How was your time spent after November 7?

Mahzabeen Khaled: We were at Nani’s place. My grandmother and uncle were all very scared. So we moved from my grandmother’s house to my grandmother’s sister’s house, which is another grandmother of mine. We weren’t really feeling safe there either. The house was just behind my grandmother’s house. I remember we almost ran over the wall. I remember a little bit.

Rahat Minhaj: Many parties were active then. You were actually feeling the threat from which side?

Mahjabin Khaled: It was not understood which group would come and kill whom. Nobody knows who is killing whom. Like Colonel Osman was a brave freedom fighter. died His wife was killed. Which I later heard from his daughter. When Colonel Osman hears the mass forces, military organizations and others entering the cantonment, he flees. They were in Gulshan. They have been found. I used to think that she (Colonel Osman’s wife) was killed in the cantonment. When I asked his daughter, she said we used to live in Gulshan. When the killers did not find Colonel Osman, they came and killed his wife. His two daughters were also picked up in the truck. After a discussion, they left what they thought. The Revolutionary Soldier Organization had committed this murder.

Rahat Minhaj: I got a hint about Major Jalil in Major Hafiz Sahib’s book on the killing of three brave freedom fighters on November 7. Who exactly killed your father?

Mahjabin Khaled: The last information that I know, Hafiz Saheb told me. On the night of 7 November when my father saw that the situation was bad, Bangabhaban could not stay, anything could happen at any time. Then they took a car and went towards Asad Gate. The car then broke down. When the car was damaged, they called Colonel Nawajesh, the commander of the 10th Bengal, and asked if his unit was safe. Nawazesh then said, Saif. you can come There will be no trouble here. His unit was stationed right near Parliament. They were brought from outside Dhaka. I heard that Colonel Nawazesh then called Ziaur Rahman and told that three freedom fighters have come here.

The three of them were having breakfast on the morning of November 7. Major Asad and Major Jalil moved there. Whether they spoke directly to Zia or to some other assistant or someone close to Zia, I cannot say. But we hear they just shot them point blank without wasting any time after talking to Zia.

Rahat Minhaj: Can you find out about any involvement of Jasdar behind this murder?

Mahjabin Khaled: If Ziaur Rahman is fifty percent responsible for this murder, then Jasad should also take fifty percent responsibility. Because if the Jasad had not left leaflets about my father or agitated the Gana Bahini, the revolutionary soldier’s organization with wrong information, then the work they embarked on would have been completely successful. Ziaur Rahman also could not leave the house. Because he is a prisoner. He was brought out. So no matter how much Jasad cries about Colonel Taher’s hanging, he is actually responsible for my father’s murder. They actually sympathized with the hanging of Colonel Taher. They did everything indirectly. And the murder was directly committed by someone else. They called my father a broker of India. My father has sold Bangladesh to India because these things have excited the soldiers.

Rahat Minhaj: You mean, the whole background was created by Jasad, the killing may have been ordered by someone else?

Mahzabeen Khaled: I mean the whole thing was done by Jasad. Ziaur Rahman has a hand in the end. In the equation of Taher with Ziaur Rahman, Jasad thought that Taher would become the head of state or do something, leaving Ziaur Rahman. But Ziaur Rahman did not allow it.

Rahat Minhaj: 13 officers including three brave freedom fighters (Khaled-Huda-Haider) who contributed heroically in the liberation war were killed in the course of events on November 7. I don’t know if there was any judicial process within the army for this murder. Do you have any information regarding that?

Mahzabin Khaled: No, no. As many people as I have approached about this trial, even if I go to the lawyer, they say that they brought the permission to the highest authority. Now where is this highest authority, I do not know. My father’s murder seems to remain a mystery. Every team will benefit from this secret.

Rahat Minhaj: You mean that the trial process of Khaled Musharraf’s murder has become a political issue?

Mahzabin Khaled: It is actually a political game. It will not be judged in life. Even if not sued, a truth commission can be done. But nobody wants to do anything. And whenever someone doesn’t want to do something, that means it will be used when needed, and put away when not needed. When November 7 comes around, Jasad will observe in a different way. BNPO will also dance. Unfortunately, there is a section within the Awami League who are also against justice. When I was in Parliament, I sat in Parliament and heard bad things about my father. Since Awami League has not taken any active role, they will continue to blame someone else for saving cows.

You see, my mother (Salma Khaled) is almost eighty years old. My mother will never know what happened to her husband. We are three sisters, we too will never know. It remains sad.

Rahat Minhaj: According to the information you have, are the officers who killed your father in the country?

Mahjabin Khaled: One is out of the country. One in the country. A private TV journalist interviewed one. I gave the address. The interview was sudden. He works as a contractor. Everything is there.

Rahat Minhaj: Do you have any regrets or pains?

Mahzabin Khaled: I have three things to say. Firstly, my father’s (Khaled Musharraf) name is not on the Army Honor Board till now. He was the army chief. Be it for a day or 24 hours. His name is not here. It was my demand. I spoke to the former army chief. They couldn’t do it. I don’t know why he couldn’t. There is a political game here. Second, his murder trial. Thirdly, we are giving opportunity to Jasad and BNP to celebrate different days on November 7, they are calling it happy day, furti day.

Actually it is not. Awami League should own it and make it the day of killing of freedom fighters.

The article is in Bengali

Tags: cantonment day killed


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