Student leader Saifuddin Khaled Chowdhury’s self-sacrifice in the war of liberation

At the beginning of the war of liberation many tragic incidents took place in Chittagong. The people of Chittagong will never forget the grief and sorrow of those incidents. As the days get closer, the roll of tears in the sky of Chittagong evaporates and becomes a heavy cloud. Then came those days of pain one after another – the Cheragi hill massacre on March 26, the Mozaffar-Alamgir massacre in Hathazari on April 17; Bashuzzaman’s nephew Saifuzzaman Chowdhury Javed, the land minister, and Khurshid Anwar, the son of Sheikh Mozaffar, became blue with pain. There were cries at Saifuddin’s house in Dampara, Deepak’s brother Bappi’s house in Enayetbazar, Zafar’s house in Madarbari, Mahbubul Alam’s house in Fatikchhari, Professor Dilip Chowdhury’s house in Dhemsha and Mozaffar’s house in Boalkhali.
In three incidents, Chittagong Awami League and Chhatra League suffered heavy losses. Mr. Sheikh Mozaffar Salar was the founding president of Greater Chittagong District Awami League; Saifuddin was the eldest son of Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury, the founding general secretary of the city Awami League, and the president of the AGS of City College and the electoral organizer of the College Chhatra League, Abhiyatrik; Abdur Rob was Chaksur’s first GS and Tukhor student leader; Mozaffar was the general secretary of Boalkhali Thana Awami League and Bashar-Jafar-Deepak was a brave student leader of Chittagong.
Today, April 13, is an extremely horrible, horrible, horrible and horrible day in 1971. At the beginning of the war of liberation five precious lives were lost on this day. In Kundeshwari, Principal Nutan Chandra Singh, in front of Pahartali Engineering College, Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury’s son Saifuddin Khaled Chowdhury, Kanungopara Sir Ashutosh College teacher Professor Dilip Chowdhury, Chaksur GS Abdur Rob, Boalkhali Thana General Secretary Moza Ahmed. One death is heavier than one Thai mountain.
Saifuddin was an adventurer and one of the policy makers of Chhatra League. Father Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury held the leadership seat not because he was the president of City Awami League, but because of his qualifications. He had all the qualities of leadership, such as courage. His father’s slender body was like a living volcano, which would not delay in igniting in time. An incident can be cited as an example here. When the East Pakistan Chhatra League split and a new organization called Bangla Chhatra League was formed under the leadership of Ferdous Qureshi-Al Mujahideen, Mahabali Kibria was given the task of establishing it in Chittagong. This is the Kibria, once in the face of the NSF’s violence, in whose hands the Chhatra League was established in Chittagong. This time he played the role of a villain and embarked on a mission to destroy Chhatra League. At first his eyes fell on City College. Because he is a student of this college, moreover, his fights, leadership all surround this college. City College also had a huge influence on the politics of the city. So it is normal to want to occupy Kibria City College. One day when he went to attack the college in a group, no one dared to stand in front of him due to fear of Kibria, but he ran away and ran away. But no, it was suddenly seen that a light thin student was standing in front of Kibria. He is Saifuddin.
Unequal fight, Saifuddin is nothing in front of Kibria, he is supposed to fly away. Still, Saifuddin punched Tyson and said, ‘Kibria, don’t bully, your day is over.’ In his next scene, Saifuddin is bloodied by Kibria’s retaliation. That’s what works. Those who were bewildered by the arrival of Kibria also regained their composure and came forward in support of Saifuddin. It is not clear how much Saifuddin was able to hit Kibria here. The thing to consider is that Saifuddin stood alone against Kibria and saved the fort of Chhatra League from being ousted by shedding his own blood. This incident reveals Saifuddin’s resilience, courage and personality.
Saifuddin Khaled was born in 1947 at his maternal uncle’s house on Dampara Paltan Road. Father public leader Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury Mother’s name is Jahanara Begum.
Saifuddin studied at Bagmoniram Primary School till second class. After studying in ME School (Chittagong Government High School) till third class, he was admitted in Government Muslim High School. While in Muslim high school, he participated in the student movement of ’62.
His creative talents also flourished while studying in Muslim high school. In those days, Muslim High School had an extra hour of extra-curricular classes on Thursdays. Various discussions, especially regular debates, were held. Saifuddin has been participating in debate competitions since he was in eighth grade.
He passed SSC in 1986. He was admitted to City College in 1967-6.
Saifuddin Khaled means ‘sword of religion’. When the first child was born by lighting the lap of wife Jahanara Begum, Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury named her Saifuddin Khaled Chowdhury. The son grew up to be a success. This sword would shine whenever it saw injustice. Despite facing the Pakistani aggressors, he did not tremble to give his life while fighting like a hero. On 13 April, the tragic deaths of Bir Saifuddin, Rob, Dilip and Mozaffar are revealed. After the self-sacrifice of Bashruzzaman, Jafar, Deepak and Mahbubul Alam on March 26 in Cheragi hill, the April 13 massacre was a big event where two large student leaders of Chittagong, a college professor and another Awami League leader sacrificed themselves at the beginning of the liberation war. Sultan-ul-Kabir Chowdhury, the undisputed leader of the City College student body, who overcame Kibria with tremendous courage, was also leaving. He survived for a short time due to training, courage and strategy. It is now known that Harunur Rashid Rushni, a student leader of Anwar also died in front of Pahartali Engineering College. He was not in the party of Sultan, Saifuddin, Rab. So when he died at Pahartali, it remains a question. However, his younger brother Principal Enamur Rashid Chowdhury said that he was also martyred there. Asking his mother for some money, he left the house and did not return to his mother’s lap.
Saifuddin’s comrades-in-arms were Feroz Ahmed, Ramur Siddique, driver Yunus and his assistant (name not known), Rustam of Mirsarai and one Nurul Islam. Driver Yunus was also martyred in the attack of Pak army. Shahid Rob, Dilip, Mozaffar have already been mentioned. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Meanwhile, Sultan, Rob, Saifuddin, Siddique, Rustam went to Bandarban in their vehicles with East Bengal Regiment and EPR soldiers from Patia. There he met the then SDO Abdus Shakur and asked him to find a way to India. He advised them to go to India via Chittagong-Kaptai road, Chandraghona, Rangunia, Raozan and Ramgarh border. Following his advice, the Sultan-Saifuddin set out for Chandraghona. On the way I met many East Bengal and EPR soldiers, they were also heading towards Chandraghona. At one point, they saw a speeding jeep passing by and failed to stop. The jeep could not go far, overturning on a hillock. Meanwhile Sultan-Saifuddin also appeared there.
Sultan seems to have seen at least two of the jeep’s riders before. This time he found out their name Dilip Chowdhury Mozaffar Ahmed by asking. Sultan Saifuddin also introduced himself. Knowing that their destination was the same, they decided to go together and they grabbed the jeep and sat on it. In the back seat are Sultan, Saifuddin, Firoz, Siddique, Rustam, Nurul Islam and the driver’s assistant. The jeep contained copies of Bangabandhu’s declaration of independence, leaflets, wireless sets and some radio equipment. In front of the jeep was a submachine gun, a few rifles and several hand grenades. The jeep was speeding. The road suddenly opened after crossing a turn of a shrine just before the Engineering College. Engineering College on one side and Imam Ghazzali College on the other. The morning sun of Chaitra was shining brightly, and there was a quiet silence in the streets. Suddenly a man appeared as if digging the ground. Driver Yunus slowed down and called him to ask if the road was clear. He said yes and the driver increased the speed of the car. The setup was caught as soon as Imam Ghazzali crossed the college. Hundreds of Pakistani soldiers are lurking in the hills of the Engineering College. The driver braked hard. But then there is nothing to do. Swarms of rifles, machine guns, naked jeeps in front of the rain. There is no hiding anywhere. At the first shot, the wheel broke and the car became immobile. The unprotected freedom fighters tried to respond. The shots are exhausted. One by one, two leaders with infinite potential of the future fell in Chittagong. First Saifuddin Khaled Chowdhury, then Chaksu VP Abdur Rob. At that time, the Pakistani soldiers came down from the hill and surrounded the jeep, grabbed Professor Dilip Chowdhury, Mozaffar Ahmed, Firoz Ahmed and Yunus from the car. The sultan was able to run up the hill by running and crawling in a painted curve. Siddique, Rustam also followed him and moved to a safe place. The captured freedom fighters were tied behind their backs and laid on the ground. The Pakistani soldiers first tried to interrogate him. Then they searched everyone’s pockets and took out everything and started brush fire. Professors Dilip Chowdhury, Abdur Rob, Mozaffar Ahmed and Yunus breathed their last after being shot. No trace of the driver’s assistant was found. Firoz was shot and wounded, but survived. He was later given medical treatment. From there he survived by introducing himself as a non-Bengali.
Author: Freedom fighter, journalist, cultural organizer

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