My self and my wife were kidnapped by Gazi Golam Mustafa

Gazi Golam Mustafa the then Red Cross chairmen and the President of Dhaka city Awami League kidnapped Nimmi and me from the Ladies Club at gun point.

Around middle of 1974 an unimaginable incident took place. The army was still deployed all over the country for anti miscreant drive and for recovering illegal arms. My cousin sister Tahmina’s marriage was arranged with Col. Reza. Both sides were close to me. So Nimmi and me became a via media. Two days before the marriage ceremony we came to Dhaka. Dhaka Ladies Club was the selected venue. Many high-ranking dignitaries both civil and military were present as invited guests. Nimmi and I were playing host. My only brother in law Bappi had come over from Canada on holidays. He was also attending the marriage. Every thing was moving smoothly.

Red Cross Chairman Mr. Gazi Golam Mustafa’s wife and other family members were also attending the marriage. Bappi, the man from Canada was seated in the hall arranged for the male members. The sons of Mr. Gazi Golam Mustafa were occupying seats just at the back of Bappi. Bappi is almost of my age and Mr. Gazi’s sons were all in their teens. Suddenly those youngsters pulled Bappi’s hair from behind. As Bappi turned, they kept quite. This way they pulled his hair three /four times. At last Bappi got up and asked the boys,

"Who is pulling my hair?"

"We wanted to test whether your hair is real or not". replied one of the boys. Bappi became annoyed at their behavior. He warned them not to do it again. As he turned they again pulled. This time Bappi lost his cool and got hold of the culprit and turned him out from the room and said, "You will not occupy that chair again ok".

I knew nothing about this, as I was terribly busy with the function and the guests. The marriage took place. The dinner was also over. The guests were leaving. That night Mr. Sathyajeet Roy’s film ‘Mahanagar’ was to be tele cast. Therefore, all the guests were in a hurry to leave. The Ladies Club got emptied quite quickly. Mahboob was supposed to attend the marriage. He was the Dhaka police super and a very close friend. We fought the war of liberation together as freedom fighters. On some urgent official business he had to go to Manikganj. He sent a wireless message that he would be a bit late.

The working party, relations and close friends were just taking their food. Suddenly two microbuses and a car entered the Ladies Club. Mr. Gazi Golam Mustafa himself got out from the car and about 10/12 civilian people with sten guns came out from those microbusses. Mr. Gazi was shouting at the top of his voice,

"Where is Maj. Dalim? What does he think of himself. He has gone too far. I shall teach him a lesson today."

I was still having my food with the others inside. Some one came in and said Gazi Golam Mustafa has come and he is looking for me. Mr. Gazi has come so late! May be he has come to pick up his family I thought. However, I rushed outside to welcome him. As I stepped out from the room 5/6 gunmen pleased their guns all around my body. I politely asked him what was this all about! What was the problem! He was looking very agitated. I am not Bangabandhu. Let’s take him and go".

"Where and why you want to take me?" I asked.

He did not bother to reply and signaled his armed thugs. At his signal those people started pulling and punishing me towards those microbuses. Police force was there for the security reasons. In my Jeep I had my armed army escort as well.

I was totally in a fix and did not know what to do. The bride has not been formally handed over to the groom. Some other retuals still remains to be performed. I just could not understand why such a messy situation had to be created. The whole thing seemed so absurd and utterly disgusting. Suddenly I noticed that Alam and Chullu two renowned freedom fighter friends are being manhandled and dumped into one of the microbuses. Meanwhile, hearing all the noises Nimmi and Khallamma that is bride’s mother also came out. Khallamma went up to Mr. Gazi and said,

"Bhai Saheb what are you doing? Why are you harassing him? What is his fault? Where are you taking him?"

Gazi just did not pay any attention to what she said. His order was implemented. I was thrusted into the same microbus where Alam and Chullu were dumped. Inside I found Alam and Chullu profusely bleeding due to sever beatings. They were badly injured. They were bleeding from the head and mouth. As I was pushed inside, Khallamma and Nimmi both said to Gazi,

"If you want to take him then you have to take us as well. We shall not allow you to take him alone."

"Well let if be so" Gazi said and again signaled his thugs. At his order both of them were also pushed inside the microbus. Poor Khallamma an aged lady. She just fell on her face as those thugs pushed her inside. Five of the gunmen pointed their guns all around us. Mr. Gazi got into his car. The other microbus went away some where with the rest of the gunmen. Both the microbuses were white with red-cross sign drawn on the sides. Gazi turned his car and our microbus followed. The whole thing happened just like a drama. There was no reaction time what so ever.

When the incident took place Shapan my younger brother a valiant freedom fighter and Bir Bikram and Bappi were not present at the scene. They both had gone to drop some guests. They returned just after our vehicles had moved out from the Ladies Club. After hearing everything from Litu, my brother-in-law he quickly called the army control at the RaceCourse cenrtrally located in Dhaka City. Then he called MP unit and the Brigade officer’s mess and informed them about our kidnapping. Then he went out to get in touch with the other freedom fighter colleagues of his to organize search mission to find us out. Mr. Abul Khair Litu husband, of Mohua my sister and a good friend rushed to Mahboob’s residence at Bailly Road. The priority was to find us out.

Our entourage went in front of Ramna police station and stopped. Mr. Gazi disembarked and went inside. After a short while he came out and got into his car. The vehicles were moving again. They were moving towards the Second Capital. In the meantime Nimmi tore off her saree and made some bandages to stop the bleeding of Alam and Chullu. I got worried as we were moving towards the Second Capital. Is Gazi trying taking us to the JRB headquarters and then finishing us off? Something needs to be done, I thought. All of sudden I ordered to stop the bus. The driver got puzzled at my thunderous order and stopped the microbus. As we stopped the Gazi’s car in front also stopped. I then asked one of the gunmen to call Mr. Gazi. He went up to Mr. Gazi and said something. Mr. Gazi came to us. As he came closer I said,

"What ever you might have decided to do with us. You must consider one thing, every body at the Ladies Club had seen you abducting us. Therefore anything happens to us, you will be held responsible for that. You will not be able to digest us so easily. The situation may go out of control. So you better discuss the matter with the Prime Minister before taking any further action".

He was listening and thinking. As I finished he just went back to his car without saying a word and the entourage started moving again, but not towards Rakkhi Bahini headquarters. He turned his car towards Road No 32. I was greatly releaved. Our vehicles got into Road No 32 from Kalabagan side. As we reached Sheikh Saheb’s residence Gazi asked our micro bus to stop under the shed of a tree relatively a darker place some yards away from the gate and he himself went inside with his car. 2 Fd Regt Arty was then doing the guard duty. This is one of the units I helped to raise. Once I thought to call them. But again I thought if firing starts by chance, then we might become victims in the crossfire. As I was thinking all these, suddenly I saw Litu’s car Dhaka-Ga-315, the white Toyota just passed us and stopped at the gate. Litu himself was driving. Mahboob came out from the car Litu drove a bit further up and parked his car on the roadside and was waiting perhaps for Mahboob to return. We all were finally releaved to see Litu and Mahboob. It was Allah Sobhanatallah’s mercy that saved us all.

When Litu reached Mahboob’s residence at Bailly Road, Mahboob had just return from Manikganj and was getting ready to come for the marriage Litu went straight to his bed rood and said, "Mahboob Bhai something disastrous has happened. Gazi has kidnapped Dalim and Nimmi from the Ladies Club. Mahboob was stunned to hear what Litu said. The Prime Minister should be contacted immediately before anything happens. Gazi can do anything. Mahboob was going to pick up the telephone. Before he could pick up the phone, the telephone rang. Mahboob picked up the receiver. The Prime Minister was on the line.

"Mahboob you come hare quickly. Gazi has brought one major and his pals from a marriage ceremony. The major was drunk and was misbehaving with Gazi’s wife. He should be taught a lesson. These army officers have really gone too far". The Prime Minister said.

"Sir, please ask Mr. Gazi where is the major". Mahboob requested.

Gazi informed the Prime Minister that he has brought them along,

"Gazi has brought them along with him here. They are in the car out side". The Prime Minister told Mahboob.

"Sir Gazi Saheb has picked up Dalim and Nimmi and others from the Ladies Club. Dalim’s cousin was getting married today". Mahboob conveyed to Prime Minister.

"What are you saying"? exclaimed Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"I am telling you the truth. You please take care of them and I am just coming."

After his brief conversation Mahboob and Litu rushed to Road No 32. Within minutes after Mahboob entered the house. Sheikh Rehana, Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal all came out running and took us in. Seeing Alam and Chullu bleeding Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and all others were worried.

"Damn fool! What have you done?" Roared Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He left his chair came forward and embraced both of us. Khalamma could not walk properly. Kamal and others helped them to up stairs. It was a pathetic seen. In the room we were only four of us Nimmi, Sheikh Saheb, Gazi and myself. Nimmi out of anguish, anger and insult burst into tears. Sheikh Saheb was trying to clam her down. Gazi was standing at a corner trembling like a guilty person. Suddenly the Red telephone rang. The call was from Gazi’s residence. The army had raided his house and took every one available into custody. Not only that, the army established check posts all over the city and checking every passing car. As the news of the kidnapping reached the officer’s mess, the young officers came out instantaneously and had started looking for Major Dalim and his wife. Members of the MP units were all over in strength. There was a hue and cry in the Capital. Gazi is also missing. After receiving the call Sheikh Saheb’s face became dark. Immediately he picked up the other receiver and in front of us called Maj. Gen. Shafiullah and said,

"Hello Shafiullah! Gazi Dalim and Nimmi all are here with me. I want you here right away".

After talking to Maj. Gen. Shafiullah he turned to Gazi and said,

"Come on ! beg apology from Nimmi and Dalim."

As Gazi took a step forward Nimmi roared like a wounded tigress.

"Don’t you dare to come near me. A swine like you don’t have any right to beg apology". Then she turned towards Sheikh Mujib and said,

"On whose blood you are the Prime Minister today? You claim yourself to be the father of the nation. I want justice from you. I want the same kind of justice that you would have meted out had it been either Sheikh Hasina or Sheikh Rehana in my place insulted in similar way. I want a reply from you. How dare this man - Gazi, the ‘Kambal Chor’ dares to lay hands on those freedom fighters on whose blood and sweat you and your party are enjoying the power today? I want an answer. Uptill now you can not say that I had ever asked anything from you personally. But today I am asking fair justice. If you don’t do the justice then Allah will render his judgment."

In spite of my best efforts I failed to claim her down that day. Usually soft and composed Nimmi even could have such fire within herself that became known to me just on that day. It was quite amazing for me.

Sheikh Saheb again embraced her affectionately and said,

"Maa please cool down. You are just like Hasina and Rehana to me. I shall definitely do the justice. It is really very wrong! Grossly incorrect! Please you calm yourself."

Then he called Sheikh Rehana and asked her to take Nimmi up stairs. Rehana took away Nimmi. In between Maj. Gen. Shafiullah and Col. Saffat Jamil the Dahak Brigade Commander both arrived. The Prime Minister briefed them about the whole episode and requested Maj. Gen. Shafiullah to talk to the army control at the RaceCourse and arrange the release of the family members of Gazi Golam Mustafa. Maj. Gen. Shafiullah called Major Momen the officer in charge at the control.

"Hello Momen! This is Shafiullah speaking form the residence of the Prime Minister. Dalim, Nimmi, Mr. Gazi all are here. Every thing is going to be all right. Your please stand down your forces and release the members of Mr. Gazi Golam Mustafa’s family." From the other end Maj. Momen clearly told the Chief that until and unless the kidnapped officer and his spouse are not retrieved and Mr. Gazi along with his gunmen are not handed over to the army control, question of releasing his family members does not arise. The Chief tried again and again to convince Major Momen. But he stuck to his gun. Therefore, Maj. Gen. Shafiullah was compelled to reveal the conditions for the release to the Prime Minister given by the operational commander. Sheikh Mujib looked nervous. He requested me to talk to Major Momen. I could not refuse as Maj. Gen. Shafiullah also insisted. I picked up the phone.

"Hello Sir, Dalim here. Things seem to be under control. The Prime Minster promised to do justice". I could not finish he interrupted,

"Well Dalim, it is nice to hear from you. But still I must have my demands met. Because I must be loyal to may duty".

"Please Sir, why don’t your come over. You shall be able to judge the situation yourself."

"I shall not come. I am sending Capt. Feroz". Within minutes Capt. Feroz arrived. Capt. Feroz alias Shaheed happened to be my childhood friend. He came and embraced me. Khallamma was called in. As she came in, Sheikh Saheb once again said to me, "Please forgive Gazi." Then he asked Gazi in annoyance "Go and complete the ceremony".

"Mr. Gazi need not have to come to complete the ceremony. I can neither forgive him. That will be against my principles. We fought and liberated the country sacrificing our blood. Shedding blood is nothing new for us. We are serving in uniform not for money. Mr. Gazi has very wrongfully hurt my pride as a freedom fighter and has dishonored my uniform. You had deployed us to protect the people and to ensure their security to get hold of the armed miscreants and to punish them. In such a situation we are being dishonored. As the Prime Minister of the country you have promised to do justice. We shall wait to see what justice your render". Then I told Capt. Feroz in front of all that were present,

"Once the Prime Minister of the country had assured of justice then no point to keep the family members under custody. You might as well release them". As I was begging leave form the Prime Minster he said, " You may take one of my car."

In reply I said, "Thanks, but that won’t be necessary. Shapan, Litu are waiting out side. We shall be able to manage our selves".

This is how it finished and we all came back to the Ladies Club. Mahboob and Capt. Feroz accompanied us. It was Allah’s wish and Mahboob’s intervention, which got us, saved that fateful night. Allah is the most grecious and most mercyfull indeed! On our return we finished the leftover retuals.

Thus Tahmina’s marriage became a witness to a historic event and a night to remember. The event itself has become a glaring testimony to prove the reckless and outrageous atrocities of the Awami League leaders and their private Bahinis. I was not finding any justification for such an hineous act where a man of Ghazi Golam Mustifa’s stature could personally get involved. Much later I gathered from various reliable sources that after our Comilla operation the Awami League brought in lot of pressure on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to teach a lesson to me for my outrageous action. But Sheikh Mujib under such pressure had said to his party people, "Army has not done their job as novice. They have done everything as par law. Each and every one was caught red-handed with evidences. In such a situation what can I do?" Against this inability Gazi took the responsibility on behalf of the party to teach me a lesson. For long he was looking for a chance. And the chance came. On the marriage night whatever had happened between Bappi and his sons he wanted to capitalize on that to teach me a befitting lesson. In this regard Maj. Rafiqul Islam psc in his book, ‘ Bangladesh, Shamarik Shashan O Gonotrantrer Shankot’ writes,

"Gazi and his supporters perhaps had the plan to kill Major Dalim and his wife".