Killing of four leaders in 3 November 1975 - I wish it never happened

November 3, 1975 - the day is a black spot of the country's history, as four Liberation War heroes and top leaders - Syed Nazrul Islam, acting president of Bangladesh government in exile in 1971, Tajuddin Ahmed, prime minister of the same government, M Mansur Ali, finance minister, and AHM Qamaruzzaman, minister for home affairs, relief and rehabilitation were killed inside the Dhaka central jail by the Army.

The events in the first week of November 1975 remain somewhat a mystery. Bangladeshi newspapers at that time were unable to report what was really happening. As a result of power struggle within the Army, on 3 November Brigadier Khaled Mossarraf successfully elbowed out President Mushtaq Ahmed and became new Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA). Chief of Army Staff General Zia was removed from the post and Justice Abu Sadat Mohammed Sayem was appointed as the new President. The majors and coronals who ruled the country since 15 August were also shown the door - they were asked to leave the country.

But before leaving the office, Mushtaq Ahmed and the majors decided to finish off four prominent Awami League leaders. A group of soldiers were sent to the central jail to carry out the assassinations. The news of the killing took two days to appear in the dailies. Ittefaq was the first one to report this incident.

Evil wins in most cases. Khondokar Mushtaq Ahmed apparently came out as the winner in the political game of 1975 as he had successfully killed all his competitors - Shiek Mujubur Rahman, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M Mansur Ali, and AHM Qamaruzzaman. Too bad he could not enjoy the winning as much as you wanted to.


Being an Army officer’s child, being raised in cantonments with sense of patriotism, discipline, dignity; I feel ashamed of what members of the defence force did on 15 August and 3 November 1975. I wish people of my clique have not done these barbaric acts.

If I am asked to remove three incidents from history of my country, these two would be the second and third in the list. And I crave - none from Bangladesh Army should ever consider killing as a solution to political chaos.

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