AGARTALA CONSPIRACY CASE PDFJune 17, 2020
a false case infamously known as the Agartala Conspiracy Case was filed and 35 Bangalee civil and military officers were accused of treason and conspiracy. February Revisiting the Agartala Conspiracy Case. Syed Badrul Ahsan celebrates the anniversary of the withdrawal of the notorious case. FORTY years after June , the Agartala Conspiracy Case instituted by the government of Pakistan against Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur.
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Liberation War Search this site. Home Background About us. The Agartala Conspiracy Case. Response to the Cyclone. Photo gallery of liberation war. Sectors and Sector Commanders. Some Songs and poems which inspired freedom fighters. The incarcerated Bengali leader tried drawing the journalist’s attention to him. The journalist pretended not to have heard.
Mujib tried again, at which point the journalist whispered: There are intelligence people all over the place. Home About us Background Declaration of indipendence February The Agartala Conspiracy Case President Ayub Khan hatched a nefarious plan of quelling the growing movement for the 6-point programme.
In Januarya false case infamously known as the Agartala Conspiracy Case was filed and 35 Bangalee civil and military officers were accused of treason and conspiracy against the state of Pakistan. The case caused a great turbulence in East Pakistan.
The student community started a united movement against the Ayub regime. They defied the section imposed by the police, broke the barricades put by the East Pakistan Rifles and came out to the streets in thousands. A mass-upsurge took place; the Pakistani rulers ordered shooting in different places. Law and order situation worsened to such an extent that the rebellious mob took control of all important points in the Dhaka city.
During this movement, a lot of people were killed: Asad, a student leader of Dhaka University, Dr. On March 25,Ayub Khan was forced to step down from power.
The decade of his autocratic rule came to an end. Sometime after 9 pm on the same day, Zahurul Haq died of his wounds. Fazlul Haq survived, after marathon efforts were expended by his Bengali doctor to save him. The premeditated killing of Zahurul Haq, for so it was, was a clear hint of the desperation that the regime of President Ayub Khan had fallen into became of the gathering mass movement against the government in East Pakistan.
In the preceding three months especially, public outcry against a trial that was beginning to be considered more of a sham than a true legal exercise had gathered pace.
Indeed, the first real stirrings of discontent in Pakistan’s eastern province, insofar as the Ayub regime was concerned, had been observed a month earlier through the killing of a young student, Asaduzzaman, on January Four days later, the province erupted in unprecedented agitation.
At Dhaka University and other campuses around the province, students deserted the classroom in droves and simply marched out on to the streets. The demand that Ayub Khan resign and that his underlings in East Pakistan, personified by the likes of Governor Abdul Monem Khan, quit office began to acquire the shape and form of a popular revolution in the making. By the time January gave way to February, the options before the government had clearly become limited.
On the one hand, the students of Dhaka University, as well as those of other universities across the province, had come to adopt what was in Pakistan’s brief history a radical program, alongside the Six Agartalx Program first enunciated by the imprisoned Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in February The students called it their eleven-point charter of political demands. On the other hand, the fiery and widely respected Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, having overcome his brief flirtation with Ayub Khan in the early s, had taken a decisive step in garnering popular support agartla a movement to have Sheikh Aagrtala Rahman and his co-accused in the Agartala Case freed without any conditions attached.
Xase, the efforts made by Oli Ahad and Amena Begum, among others, to compel the regime into withdrawing the case, increased the government’s worries. Thirty-eight years after what has come to be known in Bangladesh’s history as a mass upsurge against an entrenched military regime, it makes sense to go back in time and reflect on the defining role the Agartala Conspiracy Case played in the shaping of the Bengali struggle to free themselves of Pakistan.
In fact, as the campaign for the general elections got under-way, Khan Abdus Sabur Khan, a Conspiracg who had loyally served Ayub as central minister for communications and was leader of the Convention Muslim League in the National Assembly, told the country that he and a few others had advised the president against instituting the case because it could boomerang on the regime.
And boomerang it did. What has eventually emerged in the nearly four decades since the case was dropped wgartala that Mujib was certainly aiming at the independence of East Pakistan, that it was his objective to take the Bengalis out of Pakistan and create a conspirwcy, secular, and democratic state.
A very early sign of Mujib’s dream of Bengali freedom remains his question to Husseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, back inregarding the feasibility of political sovereignty for East Pakistan. At the time, Suhrawardy and he was prime minister of Pakistan firmly put him in his place. But what has never been in doubt about the Agartala Case, though, is the ugly and rather uncouth way in which cnospiracy Ayub regime went about building the case.
Agartala Conspiracy Case accused Syedur dies
When the first arrests in the case were announced in late Decembernot a word was said about Mujib’s involvement in the conspiracy. The general assumption was that the regime had embarked on a program to discredit conspirqcy growing Bengali demand for regional autonomy through bringing some senior Bengali officers of the Pakistan civil service, as well as elements of the armed forces, into disrepute. It was not before January that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was implicated in the case. And he had been in prison since May 8, when, moments after addressing a rally drumming up support connspiracy the Six Points in Narayanganj, he was carted off to Dhaka Central Jail.
The Agartala Case was a testing ground for Pakistan. Ayub Khan’s goal was a snuffing out of Bengali political aspirations. Ironically, the precise reverse of what had been intended happened. Bengali nationalistic sentiments moved ahead by leaps and bounds, and Mujib was to become the voice of casee people who would soon go their own free way, in the political sense of the meaning.
That was not what Ayub Khan and his fellow travelers thought would conspirscy when they decided to convene a special tribunal, as opposed to the normal judiciary, to try the case. The regime clearly banked on the assumption that the presence of the two Bengalis on the tribunal conspieacy lend credence to the case against Mujib and his fellow accused. As time would show, the reality was to be something quite different.
The accused were kept away from their families between the time of their arrests atartala the day the trial commenced agartsla a small room in the cantonment. Reports later emerged of a number of the accused, including the CSP officers implicated in the case, being subjected to vicious treatment in military confinement. Among those meting out such treatment were a good number of Bengalis in the Pakistan military, especially in its intelligence services.
‘Agartala conspiracy case was not false’ – bdnewscom
Colonel Mustafizur Rahman, who years later served as foreign minister and then as home minister in the Bangladesh governments of General Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia respectively, would conspirady that he had been responsible for cruel treatment to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in military custody. Hearings in the Agartala Conspiracy Case opened on June 19, For the first time in seven months the accused were seen in public. One of the more memorable of moments on the first day of the trial came when Mujib recognized a Bengali journalist sitting a couple of feet away from him, his back turned to the platform reserved for the accused.
Mujib’s courage in adversity was not missed. More tellingly, he had used the name Bangladesh, and not East Pakistan, in speaking of the province. It was an early sign of things to come. But the British lawyer’s stay in Dhaka was not to be a comfortable one for him. Pakistani intelligence constantly tailed him, and at one point held out clear, subtle threats casw him. Two months after he landed in Dhaka, Thomas Williams would make his way back to London in Augustbut not before he had told the tribunal that the trial was a sham and that the case itself was a cooked up one.
An intriguing aspect of the story of the Agartala Conspiracy Case was the very large number of state witnesses and approvers arrayed on the side agzrtala the government. Between December and continuing well into the first quarter ofas many as 1, Bengalis in various professions had been detained by the authorities on charges of being complicit in the conspiracy.
Of them, apart from the 35 accused put on trial, became, or were compelled to become, state witnesses. A good number of Bengali lawyers happily seized donspiracy opportunity of being part of the prosecution team.
But as the days and weeks stretched consoiracy months, it became obvious that the case was collapsing. A number of state witnesses turned hostile and revealed the inordinate torture they had been subjected to by the authorities before they had agreed to turn approvers. Some of them even broke down in court, leaving all those present in a state of shock.
As the proceedings continued, nevertheless, the political movement outside became increasingly more frenzied, with crowds of Bengalis demanding the dropping of the case. The killing of Sergeant Zahurul Haq ignited passions further, to a point where angry Bengalis attacked the rest-house where the chairman of the tribunal, Justice SA Rahman, had been lodged.
He fled, and was not to return to the court.
The homes of Information and Broadcasting Minister Khwaja Shahabuddin, already notorious as the man behind the decree banning Tagore from the state media, and a provincial minister, Sultan Ahmed, came under assault. Two days later, on February 17, Field Marshal Ayub Khan contacted the newly constituted Democratic Action Committee, a grouping of opposition politicians led by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, and suggested convening a round table conference of government and opposition politicians to resolve the impasse.
The regime was unwilling to accede to such a demand, and Ayub Khan himself ruled out Mujib’s freedom when he termed the on-going case a matter of national security. But he did send out feelers to the imprisoned Mujib about freeing the Awami League leader on parole, and so enabling him to participate in the RTC. Significantly, a number of DAC politicians, too, defended the parole idea, arguing that the issue of dropping of the Agartala Case and an unconditional freeing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could be thrashed out at the RTC in Rawalpindi.
At that point, hints emerged of Mujib being receptive to the parole offer. The parole question was, however, swiftly shot down by the students, Moulana Bhashani, and, in particular, Mujib’s wife Fazilatunnessa. After February 19,when the army shot Professor Shamsuzzoha, a respected academic of Rajshahi University, the parole issue became irrelevant. Mujib himself rejected anything less than freedom for himself and his co-accused, and a full withdrawal of the Agartala Conspiracy Case.
Buoyed by rumours of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s imminent release, huge crowds of Bengalis milled before the gates to the Dhaka cantonment on February 21, the anniversary of the Language Movement of Mujib remained a prisoner that day.
The government of President Ayub Khan capitulated the next day, February In a statement issued in Dhaka, Pakistan’s Defence Minister, Vice Admiral AR Khan, informed the country that the Agartala Conspiracy Case was being withdrawn and all the accused in the case were being released unconditionally.
February 23,Mujib appeared before a cheering million-strong crowd of Bengalis at the Race Course in Dhaka. There was little question that he had emerged from the ordeal of the Agartala Case as the authentic spokesman of Bengal in what would be the rapidly declining state of Pakistan.
Student leader Tofail Ahmed electrified the audience when he referred to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the friend of Bengal. And thus arose the man Bengalis would thenceforth call Bangabandhu. In slightly less than three years, he would provide singular leadership to the struggle for the creation of the independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh.