August 6, 2021


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War Wound Commentary-102: In 1971, we went to die for the country

The consciousness of Bengaliness was strong in us. Pakistani soldiers would come and kill, pick up girls and torture them – it was not tolerated. I will stay at home as a young boy – it can’t happen. I was ready to die for freedom, for the liberation of the people. I will chase away the oppressors, I will make this country independent – I am preparing to leave home for the liberation war with such a feeling in my heart.

Mia is my cousin. I went with him to Sonamura to Hatimara transit camp in India. Left-right goes there every day. Ayub was the camp chief. A month passed. About five hundred youths were in the camp then. One day Indian Colonel Bagchi came. He selects the youth for training.

I was a little bet, but I was good at talking. Mr. Bagchi noticed that. As soon as he came to signal, an army came and punched me in the chest. I’m still straight, no heli at all. He said – ‘Yes he is the fit person.’ I survived. I was removed to another line. In this way 50 people were recruited for training.

The next morning we were handed over in a big vehicle of the Indian Army with chira and molasses. I don’t know where I am going. Once upon a time on a mountain road I reached Silchar Loharban in Assam.

I was in company number four. FF (Freedom Fighter) Number: E-6305. Basic training is one month. From rifles to SMG, LMG, two-inch, three-inch mortar. Falling was done in the morning. Double march from Loharban to Silchar. Back then breakfast was actually boot dal and puri.

I remember the Indian Army trainer Harbhajan Shing very much. He was a subedar. Major Jensing was in charge of the whole camp. They did not lack sincerity. He used to tell us with enthusiasm – ‘You have come to make the country independent. If you don’t train well, you won’t survive with Pakistanis. Only by taking training can you liberate the country. ‘

A separate group is formed with those who are able to fire more shots during training. They gave JLW (Junior Leader Wing) training to that group for twenty days. It was very difficult training – manking rice, seneca rice, going from one tree to another on a rope, etc. Trouble was as much a risk to life. Yet we prepare ourselves for war by accepting all the hardships for the country. Those days can not be right! Even today I feel anxious. Basically, Ekattar is our strength and Bangabandhu’s inspiration. I still live with my head held high because the feelings of these two are loud. ‘

In this way, Syed Jane Alam Sachan, a heroic freedom fighter with a wheelchair, highlighted the various events of 1971. Sitting in his house, they talked about various issues of the war day.

Syed knows Alam Sachan’s father’s name is Syed Ashraf Ali and mother is Syeda Jahanara Begum. Sachin is the younger of the two brothers. Their ancestral home is in Mouchagarh village of Muradnagar upazila of Comilla. During the British rule, my father was from Kanongo, a district in West Bengal. He later became the Land Superintendent of Bhawal State. When the government took over Bhawal State, they gave some people a plot of two and a half bighas in Nakhalpara, Dhaka. Due to that, the Sachans settled in Nakhalpara.

After studying at Nakhalpara Primary and Nakhalpara High School, he moved to Kishoreganj with his brother-in-law Ali Azgar Khan. He passed matriculation from Ramananda High School (now Kishoreganj Government High School). Then he moved to Dhaka and was admitted to Jagannath College in Intermediate.

March 7, 1971. Bangabandhu will give a speech at the racecourse ground. On hearing the news, Sachin also appeared there along with his friends Dalim, Rafiq and others. I remember the suppressed anger of discrimination and the intense desire to be free. Let Bangabandhu provoke that desire of Bengalis. In his speech, he said, “I can’t keep seven crore people under control. Be ready with whatever you have.” Remember, when I have given blood, I will give more blood… .This time the struggle is for our liberation, this time the struggle is for freedom ’.. ‘

In the second week of March, they moved to Muradnagar, a village in Comilla, for family work. After March 25, hundreds of people started fleeing from Dhaka. News of the genocide in their mouths. Sachin can’t be right in the news. So Hatimara of India went to the transit camp to register for the training.

At the end of the training, they were sent to Sector 4, Kailash City Sub-Sector. They fought on the border of Chakla and Rangauti. The command was commanded by Field Major Zhang Shing of the Indian Army. On one side were the Pakistan Army and on the Indian side were the Sachans. The shelling continued like rain all night. Comrades would die every day. Their bodies were buried in the mountains. In this way they fought for about two and a half months. Occasionally, the guerrillas disguised themselves and blew up the Manu River bridge and attacked Pakistani army camps in the town of Shamser.

This fighter was seriously injured in one operation. He was shot under the left arm joint and later went to the top of two hills. At present, the bones of his hip joint are also attached to each other. As a result can not walk normally. Two sticks or a wheelchair are his companions.

What happened that day? When asked, freedom fighter Jaane Alam Sachan said the beginning of the bloody incident. In his words –

‘It will happen in July or August. In Sector 4 we are at Tilabazar Camp. Next to the BSF camp. From there I would occasionally go to Rangauti, Shamsernagar area to fight. One day I was doing a frontfight from the top of the hill at Rangauti border. The fight would start at night. My weapon was LMG. I am firing from the top of a big hill like Tyler towards the west. Suddenly a shot from the Pakistani army came and pierced the flesh of the arm through the bottom of the joint of the left hand. I also fell down the hill.

The comrades took him to the hospital in Kailash, India. The bones in my spine became dislocated. They keep their legs stretched for about fifteen days. After that I could walk. The doctor there said – even if you can walk now, it will react as you get older. That’s it. Now hip joint and rambo are fixed. As a result, I have become hunchbacked. There is severe pain all over the body. In medical parlance it is called enclosing spondylosis. As a result, I can’t walk without two sticks or a wheelchair. Such a war with the body will continue till death. Still no regrets. I have brought freedom by fighting. Got a language, a flag and a red-green map. I am satisfied with that. ‘

After recovering, did you return to the battlefield?

‘Yes, it would have been hard not to fight then. I just wondered when Pakistanigo would leave this country. But when I went to operate in sector number four, I was often in danger. The roads in Sylhet were unfamiliar. That was an unfamiliar area. As a result, I would fall in the eyes of the Razakars. They also had female informers in Sylhet. They would quickly come to the Pakistani army camp with the news. We were sent to the fair hall of Sector 2, ATM Haider to report such problems.

He formed a group of people who took the initiative to send him to the police station. I moved to my own area, Muradnagar police station. The commander was Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan. He was then a final year student of Cadet College. Besides, our group included Bengal Army, EPR and police personnel of the Bengal Regiment. ‘

I heard about an operation in sector number two in the face of this hero. In his words – ‘I lived in Kashimpur with about two hundred and fifty freedom fighters. It was a free zone. Later we defended at a place called Raja Chapitala. From there, operations could be done easily everywhere. The camp of the Pakistani army was only two or three miles away, at Kompaniganj.

We had good weapons then. And the morale has been strengthened by fighting. We challenged the Pakistani army – ‘Here we are. Come if you can. ‘

Two days go by. They don’t come. However, Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan has instructed to stay in the position. It is night and it is dawn. Then I saw them crawling in front and on the right side. It is clear. Immediately the commander’s instructions – ‘Fire’. All our weapons then roared.

I was in the train and bunker. As a result, our position was strong. I started shooting after seeing it. They also replied. The shelling continued throughout the day. Fighting also goes on at night. At one point our ammunition came to an end. There is no new ammunition support. Then Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan said – ‘Woodro’. We then went by boat to Ramchandrapur.

After the operation, the Pakistani army picked up the bodies of 50 of their soldiers in a vehicle. Razakars also died like 30 people. Their bodies were dumped in the canal by the Pakistanis. Three freedom fighters were martyred and four others were injured in the operation. After that I took part in a few more operations including Muradnagar police station. ‘

Heroic freedom fighter Jane Alam Sachan saw the death pain of his comrades in front of his eyes in 1971. Those memories still haunt him.

In his words – ‘I am shooting in a train at Chakla border one night. It’s raining cats and dogs. Humayun Kabir was next to him. Suddenly he fell down shouting ‘Alam Bhai’. I was driving LMG. Run and catch him. Her whole body was shaking. I wanted to say something. But that opportunity is no more. He was shot in the chest and abdomen and his liver came out. He is very restless in pain and suffering. I hugged him while crying. I pressed his body tightly with my chest. After a while, his body froze in the middle of my chest. What a pain to lose a comrade! I cried a lot that day. I was not afraid of suffering. If I leave the war, I will die too. Therefore, in the death of a comrade-in-arms in 1971, the fire of revenge increased the power.

I also remember Majnoor of Matlab very much. We were flying the bridge over the Manu river and coming back quickly in the dark of night. He left the party and went to another road by mistake. As a result, he was caught by the Razakars in the morning. They took him to a Punjabi camp and tortured him. Majnu died due to their inhuman torture. They dumped the body in the river Manu – I found the body of my comrade in the river for a few nights after getting such news in public. But did not get. Majnoor’s face is still floating in his eyes. In 1971, there were more comrades than his brother. I was also ready to give my life for one another. Who is the son of a farmer, who is a day laborer, who belongs to any religion – all these were not important then. The only goal was to liberate the country together. ‘


Many did not go to the liberation war, why did not you?

Freedom fighter Alam Sachan’s answer is – ‘I went to war only to make the country independent at the call of Bangabandhu. I will be freed from the oppressed nation, I will live as a people of a free and independent country – then I went to the war of liberation with this consciousness. I did not go to the liberation war hoping to get something. In 1971, we went to die for the country. This is the fate of surviving. ‘

Did you get the country for which you gave blood?

Anxiously, the war-wounded man said, “The question you have asked is very painful.” Bangabandhu spoke of golden Bengal. That was our dream. We will be a developed nation, the country will be developed. Everyone in the world will respect our flag. You will say, they are a nation of heroes, they have liberated the country by waging a war of liberation. That country did not. There are still Razakars in this country, there is still Al-Badr, there is still religious bigotry. I have a Bengali nation. This is supposed to be a big identity. There will be anti-liberation forces in an independent country – I did not even wish for that. In 1971, Pakistanis killed three million people on the pretext of religion. Then why there will be religious bigotry in this independent country! ‘

What do you think is the reason?

‘After the assassination of the father of the nation, the country started going back to Pakistani ideology. As a result, the Al-Badr, Al-Shams and Razakars who had cooperated in the anti-independence and genocide in 1971 got new life through Zia. As a result, the seeds of religious bigotry and fundamentalism have been sown since then. Although Ziaur Rahman went to the war of liberation, he had a Pakistani attitude. He reflected this by forming a cabinet with razakars. The names of Joy Bangla and Bangabandhu could not be mentioned then. Zia has tarnished history. Or his team this time

Will celebrate March 7! I smiled when I heard. Brother, does coal dust get dirty?

Heroic freedom fighter Jane Alam Sachan evaluated the political leaders of that time and the present political leaders. In his words – ‘there was real politics before. Political leaders were also real leaders. Now there is no politics. Politics is for petty politics and money. But there are also some good leaders. At that time the student leaders did not have money. Now they are looking for crores of rupees. Corruption will not stop if politicians cannot curb illegal money. Now the country’s development is being hampered by the corrupt. We want the country to be on the right path in the spirit of liberation war. May honest leadership develop like Bangabandhu and his daughter Sheikh Hasina. Then the country will be a golden Bengal. ‘

The generation will take the country forward keeping the spirit of liberation war in front. Will build the country as a developed state. This is the belief of war-wounded freedom fighter Syed Jan Alam Sachan. So he said the last words to the generation. In his words – ‘You are the children of a heroic nation. You have to be educated first. The country is like a mother. So love your country. Learn the history of those who gave their lives for the country, those who gave their blood, those who were crippled. Take the country forward with the spirit of the liberation war in your heart. ‘