Agartala Conspiracy Case

Agartala Conspiracy Case

Agartala Conspiracy Case was a sedition case in Pakistan, brought forward by the Government of Pakistan against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, leader of Awami League or can be said, leader of East Pakistan, and 34 other persons.

The Case

The case was filed in early 1968, and implicated Sheikh Mujib and others in conspiring with India against the stability of Pakistan. The case is officially called "State vs. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others", but is popularly known by "Agartala Shoŗojontro Mamla" (Agartala conspiracy case) as the main conspiracy was purported to have taken place in the Indian city of Agartala in Tripura state. The conspiracy was uncovered by the Lt Col Shamsul Alam, who commanded the East Pakistan Detachment of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) Directorate. It was during this time that an officer of the East Bengal Regiment (name withheld) who was in league with the conspirators made an attempt on the life of Lt Col Alam. Lt Col Alam displayed great bravery and chased the would-be assassins; for his gallantry Lt Col Alam was awarded the Sitara-e-Basalat, the highest award for bravery in action during peacetime.

Charges against Sheikh Mujib

The Government of Pakistan resolved to frame charge against 35 concerned political personalities and high government officials under civil law. They were: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Commander Moazzem Hossain, Steward Mujibur Rahman, former LS Sultanuddin Ahmad, LSCDI Nur Mohammad, Ahmed Fazlur Rahman CSP, Flight Sergeant Mahfiz Ullah, Corporal Abdus Samad, former Havildar Dalil Uddin, Ruhul Quddus CSP, Flight Sergeant Md. Fazlul Haq, Bibhuti Bhushan Chowdhury alias Manik Chowdhury, Bidhan Krishna Sen, Subedar Abdur Razzaque, former clerk Mujibur Rahman, former Flight Sergeant Md. Abdur Razzaque, Sergeant Zahurul Haq, A.B. Khurshid, Khan Mohammad Shamsur Rahman CSP, AKM Shamsul Haque, Havildar Azizul Haq, Mahfuzul Bari, Sergeant Shamsul Haq, Shamsul Alam, Captain Md. Abdul Motaleb, Captain A. Shawkat Ali Mian, Captain Khondkar Nazmul Huda, Captain A.N.M Nuruzzaman, Sergeant Abdul Jalil, Mahbub Uddin Chowdhury, Lt. M Rahman, former Subedar Tajul Islam, Ali Reza, Captain Khurshid Uddeen Ahmed, and Lt. Abdur Rauf.

Sergeant Zahurul Haq (1935-1969) a sergeant of the Pakistan Airforce, killed in jail when he was under trial. Haq was one of the 35 persons accused in the agartala conspiracy case officially called "State vs Sheikh Mujibur Rahman & Others Case" of 1968. He was born on 9 February 1935 in Sonapur village of Sudharam thana of Noakhali district. Zahurul Haq passed matriculation from Noakhali Zila School in 1953. He studied in jagannath college for two years and completed intermediate (commerce) education there. He joined Pakistan Airforce in 1956. Later, he was made a sergeant.

Sergeant Zahurul Haq was the 17th among the accused. Zahurul Haq was arrested in December 1967 and was confined in Dhaka Central Jail. Later, he and some other accused were transferred to Dhaka (Kurmitola) Cantonment. Members of public looked at the case as a conspiracy of the Pakistan government against the political autonomy movement of East Pakistan. They organised mass movement and demanded immediate withdrawal of the case and release of all prisoners. According to the government decision, the final date for the case was 6 February 1969. But because of the mass upsurge of 1969, the government had to defer the date. In the morning of 15 February 1969, a Pakistani habildar shot point blank at Sergeant Zahurul Haq at the door of his cell in the jail. He was taken to the Combined Military Hospital. There he breathed his last at around 10 pm. The news of the killing led a furious mob to set fire to the State Guest House and other government buildings. In the face of mass movement, the government had to withdraw the Agartala Conspiracy Case on 22 February 1969.

Colleagues of Sergeant Zahurul Haq knew him as an uncompromising and honest soldier. They often called him 'martial'. He was a good sportsman and a painter. He also had some skills in woodcraft. Some of his paintings are preserved in Bangladesh national museum. A students' residential hall of the university of dhaka is named Zahurul Haq Hall in his honour.

The case was ultimately withdrawn in the face of a massive popular uprising, which ultimately resulted in the fall of General Ayub Khan's dictatorship in 1969. The case and the resulting uprising is seen as one of the major events leading to "Bengali nationalism" and Bangladesh Liberation War.

External links

* [http://www.thedailystar.net/law/200310/03/index.htm The Daily Star]
* [http://www.albd.org/aldoc/50years_10.htm Bangladesh Awami League]


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