The D-day 15th August 1975

After the meeting of 12th August the clock started ticking.

The central leadership had been monitoring every move of the government very carefully and had been making whirl wind visits to the different cantonments and the units. Everything moved as par the plan and finally the D-day had come. With the name of Allah Sobhanatallah, the operation was launched while the city was still asleep in the early hours of the summer morning.

The revolutionaries who led to fierce encounters faced armed resistances at some targets. Unfortunately Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni, Sherniyabat and some of their family members lost their lives in the encounters. Three revolutionaries also embraced martyrdom and a few got seriously wounded.

Most of the targets were neutralized and the vital installations were brought under control as planned. The news of the overthrow of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his government and assumption of power by Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed as the President was announced in the Radio. For the greater interests of the nation martial law was declared temporarily. People were urged to cooperate with the armed forces in maintaining law and order and to secure public life.

The whole nation that day welcomed and celebrated the news of the fall of BKSAL regime and came out with spontaneous jubilant support in favor of the uprising as soon as the news was broad casted. The people streamed on the streets of Dhaka with happiness and cheers to express their solidarity. The people all over the country were in frenzy after getting freed from the yoke of tyrannical dictatorship. That day people all over had organized special prayers. Milads were held in the mosques. Sweets were distributed in every neighborhood. Every one had the same thing to say the country got saved from the hands of the Tyrant. It was known that the people were fed up with the regime. But no one knew that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the AWAMI-BKSALITES had become so much unpopular and had earned such hatrate from the people. This was discovered only after the successful uprising. The people always had given correct verdict in the past and they once again proved this through their spontaneous support in favor of the uprising at a crucial juncture of the history. We ware over whelmed by the reaction of the masses. We bowed our head and saluted the patriotism of our fellow countrymen. We felt grateful to Allah Subhanatallah for giving us an opportunity to do some service to our country and to our people. All the risks and hard work became rewarding at last. The blessings and ‘Doas’ that we received from the people were the most precious reward that one could get. Our confidence on our countrymen grew tremendously and we realized no power shall ever be able to subdue 10 crores Muslims of Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh had the courage to foil all conspiracies and one day would InsaAllah establish itself to its rightful place in the comity of nations with dignity and honor. In the tide of jubilation the Indo-Soviet axis became totally ineffective. The anti people betrayers had all gone into hiding with their tails down to save themselves from the wrath of the people. But they were not spared even in their hideouts.

People with their own initiatives had been haunting the culprits and apprehending them to the local authorities. As it became difficult to escape the watchful eyes of the people many who had absconded started surrendering themselves. Mr. Tofayel Ahmed and Mr. Abdur Razzak were two such characters. Mr. Kader Siddiqui sent a telegram expressing his willingness to surrender to the President. He was not replied. Then he ran away to India and started anti state activities with the help and assistance from across the border. He carried out some futile armed incursions at the border. One officer and four soldiers of the Bangladesh Army had to laydown their lives while repulsing one such incursion . Maj Gen. Ziaur Rahman’s government tried him in absentia on the charges of sedition. He was proved guilty and was awarded 12 years regorous imprisonment. Since then he lived in exile in India for all these years and had returned to Bangladesh off late and got rehabilitated in the active politics.

Let us go back to 15th August. The operation was over news about the fall of the BKSAL government and the demise of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had already been announced over the Radio. I was busy with some important work at the Radio Bangladesh, suddenly Major Shahriar came and informed that one Jeep and two trucks load of Rakki Bahini were approaching from the TSC side. We could understand they were part of the patrolling unit. They were on patrol duty around the Varsity area. If they had already heard the news about the demise of Sheikh Mujib and the overthrow of the government then their reaction could be adverse. In that case confrontation was inevitable. If they were not aware of the news then attempt could be made to neutralize them by explaining the situation. I thought for a while then said to Maj. Shahriar,

"I am going upto them to know their attitude and reaction, if I fail to win over then you should remain prepared to take necessary action."

I drove my Jeep myself alone and went up to face them. As I reached in front of PG Hospital I saw the convoy standing infront of the Public Library. I got out from the Jeep and walked upto the convey. A Leader (officer of the JRB) was sitting in the jeep. As he saw me in uniform, he dismounted and saluted me,

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

"We are on patrol duty Sir. We just heard some firing and came this way. What is the matter Sir?" The leader asked me. I understood they are still not aware of the happenings. I replied,

"Bangladesh Armed Forces have overthrown the government of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and he is dead. At this situation you have to decide whether you will support the uprising or not."

The leader thought for a while and said,

"We are for the revolution."

I had a sigh of relief. I got the troops dismounted and explaining everything asked their views. Each and everyone raised their voice in favor. Then I asked them to follow me. They complied with slogans ‘Naraye Takbir Allah Hu Akber’, ‘Bangladesh Zindabad’, ‘Patriotic Armed Forces Zindabad’. From that reaction I got convinced that our analysis about the rank and file of JRB was correct. Within a short time there came Col.(Retd) Abu Taher, Col.(Retd) Akber Hossain, Maj (Retd) Shajahan Omer, Maj (Retd) Ziauddin, Maj.(Retd) Rahmatullah, Capt (Retd) Majed, Ex-PMA cadets Mushtaq, Sharafat and many others. After hearing the announcement over the radio they all came running to pladge their support and services at the same time to congratulate the successful revolution. Meanwhile Lt. Col. Amin Ahmed Choudhury had already neutralized the main camp of the JRB at Savar and got their support in favour of the uprising. Lt. Col. Rashid had gone to bring Khandakar Mustaq Ahmed to the Radio station.

I left for the cantonment to bring Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman and the three Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy and Air force.

The Dhaka cantonment was totally with the revolution. The whole atmosphere out there was jubilant and every one was rejoicing the victory. As I drove through they were showing victory signs and greeting me with cheers. In the early morning when Maj Gen. Shafiullah, the Acief of army staff came to know about the uprising he ordered Col. Shaffat Jamil the Dhaka 46 Brigade Commander to counter the uprising, but the Brigade Commander was undone as the loyalty of his Brigade was with the Sena Parishad in favour of the popular uprising. Then Maj Gen. Shafiullah had asked Brigadier Khaled Mosharaff the Chief of General Staff. But Brig. Khaled replied,

"Bangabandhu is dead. The army has revolted and the entire army has celebrated."

He also gave his opinion about the popular uprising,

"There was nothing possibly could be done to reverse the process."

(Gen. Shafiullah’s interview with Janamat on 28th Aug. 1987 and published on 3rd Nov. 1987).

Within an hour I returned to the Radio Bangladesh with Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman, Maj. Gen. Shafiullah, the Army Chief of Staff, Air Vice Marshal A.K. Khandakar, the Air Chief of staff and Vice Admiral M.H. Khan, the Navel Chief of staff.

Maj. Gen Khalilur Rahman, the Director General BDR and Mr. Nurul Islam the IGP were also asked to come over to the Radio station. Lt. Col. Amin Ahmed Choudhury came with the Acting Director of the JRB, Col. Hassan. Lt. Col. Rashid came with Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed, the new President of the Republic and the accepted leader of the uprising. He was given a Guard of Honour at the Radio station as he arrived.

Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed delevered his historic speech on the Air as the new President of the People Republic of Bangladesh. All the three Service’s Chiefs in their speeches gave their allegiance to the government of President Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed and upheld the revolutionary popular uprising of the patriotic armed forces. Within hours the law enforcing agencies arrested many of the AWAMI-BKSAL leaders. The same day Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed was formally sworn in as the new President in a simple ceremony at the Banga Bhaban. The interim Chief Justice A.B. Mahmood Hossain adMinistered the oath taking ceremony. Mr. Mahmudullah was sworn in as the vice President. The new cabinet also took oath on the same day.

Virtually all of them belonged to Awami league and BKSAL and were elected members of the Parliament.

Cabinet Ministers were.

1. Justice Abu Sayeed Choudhury

2. Prof. Yusuf Ali

3. Mr. Fani Bhushan Majumder

4. Mr. Md. Sohrab Hossain

5. Mr. Abdul Mannan

6. Mr. Maneranjan Dhar

7. Mr. Abdul Momen

8. Mr. Asadduzzaman Khan

9. Dr. A.R. Mullik

10. Dr. Mozaffar Ahmed Choudhury

State Ministers

1. Mr. Shah Moazzem Hossain

2. Mr. Dewan Farid Gazi

3. Mr. Taheruddin Thakur

4. Mr. Proff Nurul Islam

5. Mr. Nurul Islam Manju

6. Mr. K.M. Obaidur Rahman

7. Mr. Moslemuddin Khan

8. Mr. Khitish Chandra Mondal

9. Mr. Reazuddin Ahmed

10. Syed Altaf Hossain

11. Mr. Mominuddin Ahmed

At the time when the uprising took place Mr. Abdul Malek Ukil a senior leader of BKSAL was on a tour in London. While the journalists wanted to know his reaction at the demise of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman he said, "Pharaoh’s downfall has taken place in Bangladesh and the people got their freedom."

Mr. Mohuiddin Ahmed another senior leader of AWAMI-BKSAL regime went to the Soviet Union as the special envoy of President Mushtaq Ahmed to explain the reasons why the uprising became an absolute necessity to the Kremlin leadership.

Mr. Justice Abu Sayeed Choudhury ex-President willingly became Khandakar Mushtaq’s special envoy and later the Foreign Minister and had went around the UN and other countries of the Western world to apprise the leaders about the reasons and justifications of the 15th August uprising and the political change.