3rd November Jail Killing and counter revolution of August 1975


The brutal killing of four national leaders who lead the War of Liberation and forming of the revolutionary government at Mujibnagar was not only a counter revolution but it was the worst brutality of human history. Since the 4 leaders refused to join Mostaq’s cabinet, they were put behind bars for nearly two months breaking all norms of a civilized society. Since they were imprisoned in jail, they were to stay there safely. But the reality is otherwise. Killers were sent to the jail to assassinate the four national leaders in the dead of night. The then illegal president Khandakar Mostaq got it done in that way. Mostaq and the killers guessed that if these leaders are kept alive, sometimes in the future the killers would be taken to task to face consequences for committing the 15th August killing. Almost all the members of Bangabandhu’s family were brutally killed including his 10 year-old boy Sheikh Russel. Had it been a political vendetta, only Bangabandhu’s killing was enough for them to seize the state’s power. But they even gunned down the newly married spouses of Sheik Kamal and Sheik Jamal.

Just after the killing of Bangabandhu, Mostaq killed four national leaders in jail and decided to approach the MP’s to convince them to approve Bangabandhu’s killing. The parliament was kept alive for 82 days. The constitutional provision was, ‘if the president is absent for any reason, the speaker would carry the function of presidency’. Although the parliament was there, none did try to assert the constitutional position. The first time some 42 members met Mostaq and in the second time 262. Probably Mostaq thought that since Bangabandhu has been killed with almost all the members of his family, the members of parliament would accept him as their leader to run the affairs of the state and the parliament as well. But in the second time when most of the MP’s met Mostaq at Bangabhaban, they charged why he killed Bangabandhu? In fact, there was pandemonium at Bangabhaban and there was no room to fill that Mostaq would be able to consolidate his position.

In reality, the decision to put Gen. Zia to Mostaq’s position was taken then. In order to fulfill this mission, all those happened between November 2nd to November 7th i.e., killing of the 4 national leaders and faced coup-d’état staged by Khaled Mosharraf. Gunning down a good number of freedom fighters, arrest of Zia and then release with the help of the so called Gano Bahini, the Sepoy-Janata Biplob- all that happened to put Zia to power who had been doing everything from behind.

In fact, Gen. Zia was the key person who conspired all along to make Bangladesh neo-Pakistan. Killing of Bangabandhu on 15th August could not achieve its objective if the killing of 4 leaders in jail was not done on November 3rd. It was after the assassination of Bangabandhu that the enemies of independence got united under the leadership of Gen. Zia. The purpose was to destroy all which had been earned through the War of Liberation. The usurpation of power by Gen. Zia was in fact to negate the achievement of independence. The constitution was changed, the four cardinal principles were altered, nationality was deformed, the victory slogan Joy Bangla was abandoned and the very secular character of the constitution was changed. Zia proved that what he did in 1975 and subsequently for six and half years was obviously to fulfill the objective of the counter revolution. If, in 1971, there was a revolution by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib to attain our independence and to achieve socio-economic and cultural realities then certainly the counter revolution of 1975 was to reverse all that which had been earned through the War of Independence. Many intelligentsias today dis-approved the occurrence of a revolution in 1971, so the counter revolution is not recognized by them. But, if we judge the socioeconomic realities of Bangladesh during 1971 to 1975 and compare it with the realities between 1975 to 1996 it would be evident that both revolution and counter revolution in Bangladesh was a reality.

We should not think that the brutal killing of 15th August at road number 32 and the killing of 3rd November in central jail are independent phenomenon. The counter revolution that did occur in 1975 is still continuing because the enemies of independence had not accepted their defeat even now they are trying to annihilate Sheikh Hasina physically. The example is 21 August 2004. Zia is no longer alive but the forces of reactions are still continuing their evil efforts. The forces of counter revolution are very much active in the field of politics of Bangladesh. Since they cannot go to power through poles, their only objectives are to destabilize the country just to create hindrance to the onward journey of Bangladesh. The outstanding performances of Sheikh Hasina as the Leader of the people leading Bangladesh to the peak of glory has been all ways a source of discontentment for them. So the recent restlessness we’ve seen how the so called opposition of the country is trying to disturb all out development undertaken by the govt. of Sheikh Hasina. They do not believe in democracy. They would not participate in an election even if it is a fair one. Their only attempt is to prove, there could not be any free and fair election under Sheikh Hasina. It is really difficult to bring order back to Bangladesh in the face of an irresponsible opposition who had been persistently trying to make a fall of the incumbent govt. Power is their only objective. They do not feel for the mass. They don’t have any respect for the constitution. They don’t care for the fundamental rights of the people. What they want is power absolutely for their interest by any means. The government is really in problem to deal with such irresponsible opposition. They are blind. They don’t see the light of development. They are retogressimen character and their aim is to go back to darkness. It seems government has to make sufficient arrangement to build a healthy opposition in the country. Since the present one has frustrated the people absolutely.


Dr. S. A. Malek is former 

political advisor to the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, General Secretary of Bangabandhu Parishad and Columnist