Today is eventful November 7. There was no coup d’état on this day in seventy-five. It was a stubborn, immature and failed attempt. As a result, General Ziaur Rahman came to power. There was no coup d’état on November 7 or November 3. The November 7 Kushilabs chose this time because of some fatal wrong decisions by General Khaled Musharraf Bir Uttam. Khaled Musharraf, Colonel Huda Bir Bikram and Colonel Haider Bir Uttam were brutally killed in the early hours of November 7. Apart from this, 11-12 young lieutenants and captains were killed in Togbug by the misguided soldiers of the ‘Soldier Organization’ led by Colonel Taher. A woman doctor of the rank of colonel, wife of sector commander Usman Saheb, was killed in Dhaka CMH. The murder of these officers, including Khaled Musharraf, has not yet been tried.
A review on November 7
After SAEM took over, the previous parliament was dissolved and the people were promised new elections. Speculation and uncertainty of the last two days in the country came to an end. Despite Khaled’s warning, the political circles were saying that Khaled is a supporter of Awami League, if Khaled is there, Awami League will benefit politically. However, no ill reaction was observed among the people in this regard, as fresh elections were promised. The situation in the army was completely under Khaled’s control. There is a saying in English—’defeat is an orphan.’ Because of November 7, Khaled is marked in history as the hero of the failed coup. As I have said before, the November 7 incident is nothing like the November 3 coup. From long ago, a few representatives in the army units were conducting the activities of the military organization secretly. They chose 7th November as the right time as instructed by the High Command. On the night of November 6, Jasd, Gana Bahini and revolutionary soldiers held a secret meeting at Colonel Taher’s brother Anwar Saheb’s residence on Elephant Road and completed rough preparations as per the pre-planned plan. They distributed a leaflet everywhere in Dhaka. After the leaflets were distributed in the evening, rumors spread in different quarters in Dhaka that something was going to happen. Apart from this, exceptional initiative of the soldier organization was being observed in the army as well. Their decision was that at 12:01 PM in the cantonment, the motivated soldiers led by the Army Corps would start firing upwards. This will be the signal for Jasad and Gana Bahini. Immediately they will take out processions from different areas. A big procession was planned to be taken out from Adamji. In the cantonment, marches will be held in support of the soldiery revolt and the process of bringing in public support will be adopted. At 12:01, the shelling started in the Dhaka cantonment. At the same time, as planned outside, the procession that took place in Dhaka was not very large in size. Although fragmented processions were on the streets in the morning, there were many anti-Awami League people besides Jasad in those processions.
The silent march led by Rashid Musharraf and Mustafa Mohsin Montu in front of Khaled’s grandmother on 4 November was later misrepresented by many as supporting Khaled’s 3 November coup. The leaflets circulated on the evening of November 6, focusing on November 3, caused renewed confusion among the people. If Jasd could have strengthened the political support through massive marches and gatherings in the capital in support of the mutiny of sepoys in Dhaka Cantonment, then Ziaur Rahman would have been in a crisis to make many other decisions including canceling the long march plan. Jasd’s support among the people was not widespread and Jasd’s attempt failed between 10-11 am as they could not take advantage of the situation to plan.
The program of this silent march was announced long before the November 3 coup. So Khaled had nothing to do with this procession. Inside the Dhaka Cantonment, from midnight on November 6 to 10-11 am on November 7, the soldiers’ organization created a horrific situation of killing officers with slogans of ‘Sepahi Sepahi bhai bhai, officerer rakt chai’. Colonel Taher was maintaining contact with the military organization from outside the cantonment. Although most of the sepoys declared solidarity with it, most of the soldiers did not know the real plan and purpose. Many wanted the chain of command to return to the army rather than supporting the killing of officers. In order to prevent the situation from coming under control by continuing to kill officers, many have alleged that apart from a section of the Jasd, another local and foreign gang was also involved. Not a single section of the Jasd was supporting this matter. With the aim of bringing the situation under complete control, on the advice of Colonel Taher, the members of Sainik Organization along with other Zia devotee soldiers rescued Zia from house arrest and brought him to the Second Field Regiment i.e. Colonel Rashid’s unit. The military establishment and the Jasad wanted the moment Zia’s acceptance was in place, to strengthen the sepoys on their side and implement the plan. Zia agreed with Jasdar on all matters for the first few hours to understand the matter, especially the command of the army. In addition to the initiative to restore order in the Dhaka Cantonment, Zia ordered Jasdar to release Rob and Jalil and others from jail. By 12 o’clock, Zia had roughly fixed the army’s chain of command and brought much order back to Dhaka Cantonment. In a word, Zia brought the situation of the cantonment under control.
In Dhaka, preparations for the long march of Jasd were going on at the central Shaheed Minar. Khandaker Mushtaq was sitting in an army mobile truck trying to convince the people that everything was going in his favor. Zia was his army chief. So since he controls the cantonment, Zia will remain loyal to him. Several truckloads of army soldiers marched to the central Shaheed Minar. Zia was scheduled to arrive at Shahid Minar after 12 noon to join the long march. He did not come again. The part of the Army which had gone to Shahid Minar at that time, dispersed the Jasad cadres and leaders who had gathered for the long march by beating them and chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’. Jasdar was chanting slogans in the name of Zia and Taher till the moment. There were some posters and pictures of Moshtaq around Shaheed Minar. After dispersing, the agitated Jasd activists tore them and started chanting slogans against Moshtaq. Earlier, Colonel Taher had come to the radio station to deliver a speech, which was also attended by Mushtaq. Neither Taher nor Mushtaq was allowed to speak. Colonel Taher could have given a radio address in the early hours of November 7 if he had wished before Zia was released from house arrest. Because then the situation was largely under Taher’s control and there was a sense of confusion and confusion everywhere. In that case, the political mobilization of the Jas outside the cantonment would have been widespread, and if Zia had been released from house arrest after the speech, Colonel Taher could have tried to increase his acceptance and support for some time. There was pent-up anger, jealousy and revenge among various groups in the army. Ignoring everything, it was not possible for Taher alone to manage the state power by bringing the entire Bangladesh Army under one command under the leadership of the Saiyan organization alone. It was in this real realization that Zia was freed from house arrest and adopted the strategy of keeping everything in front of him at the initial stage. When Zia was freed from house arrest, he was given the idea that students, workers and masses would come out in support of him across the country, especially in Dhaka, and the soldiers of the entire army were also united. Zia, sitting in the second field, saw that the section of army soldiers leading the rebellion had little outside political support to support them. That is, Jasad has failed in their plan. Unable to unite the army under the circumstances, Zia insisted on restoring order to the army and dealt with the situation according to his own plan. In this case, Zia took advantage of the opportunities created by others. The only question that remains is that, what was the other option? What were Zia’s subsequent activities in the national interest? If there was any other army officer in Zia’s place in the circumstances of that time, what would he have done? History will judge it.
As I have said before, Ziaur Rahman came to power successively due to the coup on November 3 and November 7. The next day Rob and Major Jalil were released from prison as per Zia’s earlier promise. If Zia had come and led the Long March, not to mention what would have been the state of the country, Jasad would never have accepted Zia as their leader later on. In the end it was Taher who tried to take the lead. Zia had a keen understanding of this. So Zia was in agreement with Jasdar till 11 pm. After 11 o’clock Zia, instead of participating in the Long March, informally severed his ties with Jasdar and dreamed of assuming state power by bringing everything under his control. Accordingly he adopted the plan and came to power.
After 11 pm Zia was no longer keeping any compromise as per his earlier promise with Jasdar. Later, in view of various complaints, he went into action against Jasdar leaders and activists one after another. That’s why Jasad called Zia a ‘traitor’. Xiao did not go to the long march after 11 o’clock and started communicating with the administration and various circles. In particular, he completed important discussions with the American Embassy before the scheduled time of Long March at 12 noon. Zia, instead of going for a long march, brought everything under control by strategy, leaving Justice Sayem as the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator and took over as the Army Chief and Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator himself. In the circumstances of that day and time, Zia may have had nothing else to do in the larger national interest. There was no public backlash against this strategic role of Zia. Everyone expected Zia to restart the constitutional process with fresh elections. In the first phase of November 7, bringing Zia from house arrest to the second field regiment under the leadership of the Sainik organization, Jasd’s agreement with Zia, later breaking the agreement, and above all, leaving Jasd and Mushtaq Gong in the second phase and moving forward with personal support and strategy, November 7 is correctly assessed by many as revolution day. is still controversial.
I said goodbye to Khaled Musharraf, Colonel Hooda and other colleagues on November 6 and flew back to my unit in Rangpur in a Chesna aircraft belonging to the Flying Club. While leaving, Khaled told me, ‘The Rangpur Brigade should be under control, keep in touch with the units of the Guards stationed in Rangpur, and may have to come towards Dhaka with the unit if necessary.’ Finally he said, ‘Jesore will keep an eye on the brigade and keep in touch with Dhaka.’ My wartime unit 10 East Bengal Regiment had already arrived in Dhaka from Rangpur and was stationed at Sherbangla Nagar. Since this unit was under ‘K’ Force under my command during the war, Khaled had a lot of confidence in this unit. On the night of November 6, Khaled, Chief of Guards Nuruzzaman, Colonel Haider and Colonel Huda 10 started their journey towards Sherebangla city from the house of a relative of Khaled in Kanthalbagan to take refuge in Bengal. After reaching Asadgate, Brigadier Nuruzzaman went towards Sava. The remaining three joined the 10th East Bengal Regiment. Throughout the night Khaled, Hudad and Ziyabhakt officers were arguing. Sector commander Khaled Musharraf, who was hit in the forehead by a Pakistani artillery cell during the battle, was calmly answering all the questions. He finished about two-three packs of cigarettes in one sitting till the end of the night. There was no mutiny of the soldiers in this 10th East Bengal Regiment which came from Rangpur to Dhaka. Only a few officers and soldiers had some excitement at the above hint. This pre-planned brutal killing could not have taken place in the early hours of the morning without some big conspiracy and the connivance of someone from Dhaka Cantonment. If Khaled-Huda-Haider had been killed by the rebels, their bodies would have been brought to CMH in Dhaka under the supervision and management of the army and kept properly, their relatives would have been informed in the normal process; Even sending a helicopter to fetch Colonel Huda’s wife from Rangpur, etc. would not have been possible in those tense circumstances that day. On that day it was very planned to propagate that Khaled was an Indian agent and Indian money was found in his possession. Which was completely fabricated. This campaign was not only against Khaled, but also indirectly against Awami League. The murders of Khaled, Huda and Haider should be tried along with the murders of other political leaders. The nation has the right to know the mystery of this murder.
Later, if we evaluate the context of the change of politics in the country, the flow of events and the emergence of many people in the national politics, it will be seen that the November 3 coup was an important chapter in history. If the coup d’état led by Khaled did not happen on November 3, then firstly. Mushtaq Gongra continued to hold power for many more days and consolidated his position. This would have created further divisions within the Awami League. Awami League leaders and activists who did not support Moshtaq or opposed him had to be subjected to jail-torture and farce trials, and even secret murders.
Secondly. This mutiny-revolution of 7 November in Jas must have taken place at some other time. But it is true that whenever Jasad would have carried out this revolution or revolt, that revolution would not have happened in the time and circumstances of the November 3 context. In that situation, if Jasad had made such a rebellion and revolution, then a different political situation would have been created in the country.
Thirdly. Zia might have come to state power at another time under completely different circumstances and in a different context. In my assessment, Zia would have taken over power from Mushtaq in time. In that case, Zia would get Khaled’s support. Because Mushtaq Gong’s relationship with Zia was deteriorating day by day. Xiao was biding his time as a fiercely ambitious officer.