Volume 2 Issue 90| August 28, 2010 |


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Behind the Scene
From Sylhet

Freedom Fighter Sudhir Chandra Das

It might be called 'the war we forgot', but it is still fresh in the minds of those who fought to win us liberty. Freedom fighter Sudhir Chandra Das describes for us the experiences he had during the war.

Iqbal Siddiquee

39 years later, the warrior Sudhir Chandra Das is still haunted by the memories and incidents of the war. He hails from the village of Charnarchar of Derai upazila under Sunamganj district. He took part a short training session at the Barchhara Training Camp in Meghalaya before being made company commander of a group of freedom fighters. The following is a narration by Sudhir Chandra Das himself.

“I had the privilege of taking part in 6 major battles during the liberation war. They were the battles at Sadarpur, Charnarchar, Shamar Char, Chitoliar, Bharargaon-Chakbazar and the last one a 70-hour skirmish at Derai. Among these, the Samarchar battle was the most risky and difficult.”

“The Pak army men and Razakars had a stronghold at Samarchar bazaar, while a man called Abdul Khalique was overseeing the activities in the area. They were adamant on keeping the freedom fighters away and running rampant looting and pillaging missions nearby. On the 6th of December 1971, three other commanders and I decided to attack the Pakistani camp.”

“Although 2 of the four commanders failed to join the venture, we followed through with the plan. I had 60 men with me. Though the initial attack looked promising, after a 12-hour fight the Pakistan Army and Razakars had us surrounded. Somehow, our group was able to retreat that day.”

“One of my men, Abdul Hamid, sustained bullet wounds on his leg. We tried to take him with us while retreating, but could not move fast enough while carrying him. With no way out, Abdul Hamid shot himself in the chest to avoid being captured by the Pakistan Army. We had to leave his body there. Hemendra, Abdul Quddus and Abdul Hannan also embraced martyrdom that day. Six, including myself sustained injuries. All of them hailed from Derai upazila.”

“A young boy of only 14 also was with us. Falling in a trap at the battle of Derai, the boy was crying and pleaded with us to save him. And we somehow managed to. When the war ended, we appealed for Abdul Hamid's name to be honoured with some commendation for his heroic role, but nothing has yet been done although a number of influential people assured us they would.”

Sudhir, along with his family, stays in a rented house at the Sylhet city's Madhu Shahid area. His son Sudip Das is a student at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) in Sylhet.

Sudhir is joyous about Bangladesh's victory in the war, without which the country would not be as know it. However, he feels that there is still a long way to go. Now in his 60's, he is suffering from different ailments and is dubious about his own future.

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