Ill famed ‘Atrai operation’

Col. Shaffat Jamil, a Mujib loyalist was engaged by Sheikh Mujib to crush anti government movement at Atrai.

Around mid of 1972 under the leadership of Wahidur Rahman and Tipu Biswas the two renound progressive leaders a fierce anti government struggle developed in Atari, Pabna and Rajshahi. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman engaged Col. Shaffat Jamil, a Mujib loyalist to crush that movement. Just to please the leader Col. Shaffat, the then Rangpur Brigade Commander launched a ruthless operation and indiscriminately killed scores of people particularly the young ones in those areas to crush the movement. The local Awami League leaders assisted him in his operation. Against such immoral brutality Capt. Nur Choudhury his Brigade Major raised voice of protest. As his staff officer he tried to explain to Col. Shaffat Jamil and said,

"Sir, I know about your blind loyalty to Sheikh Mujib, but even then it is most unfair to kill young boys and girls without any trail, just because someone wants them to be killed. You will have to be answerable to your conscience one day for such a hinious act. You will remain a conscience stricken person for the rest of your life. However, I shall not be a party to such an act."

Col. Shaffat Jamil was not convinced and Capt. Nur Choudhury arranged his transfer to the army headquarters. Later on Col. Shaffat Jamil was posted as the Dhaka Brigade Commander as a reward for his successful operations. In those days political connection and personal loyalty was the criteria for promotion, posting or punishment. The government tried to secure its hold on the armed forces by placing officers of their choice in the important positions. At the same time decision was also taken either to retire under Presidential Order no 9 or send abroad those officers who were considered not loyal but powerful and popular with the troops.