Martyred Intellectuals

The saga lives on...

Shahidullah Kaiser
Journalist and novelist, born on 16 February 1927 in Mazupur village of Feni.

After completing honours in economics from Presidency College in 1946, Shahidullah Kaiser enrolled for the Master of Arts in economics at Calcutta University, but could not sit for the final examination. He was a member of the provincial Communist Party of East Pakistan and also played an important role in the Language Movement in 1952. He suffered imprisonment several times.

Shahidullah Kaiser started his career in journalism in 1949 with the weekly Ittefaq in Dhaka. In 1958, he was appointed associate editor of the Sangbad, and continued to work there until his death.

Shahidullah Kaiser was also a novelist of note. He came into the limelight with Sareng Bau (The Captain's Wife).

From top left: Munier Choudhury, Serajuddin Hossain, Dr. Alim Chowdhury, Mofazzal Haidar Chaudhury, Shahidullah Kaiser, Dr. Fazle Rabbi. Second row: Nizamuddin Ahmed, Anwar Pasha, Syed Nazmul Haque, Syed Abdul Mannan, Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Ghyasuddin Ahmed. Bottom row: Rashidul Hasan, Dr. MAM Faizul Mahi, Dr. MA Khair, Zahirul Haq, Selina Parvin, Santosh Chandra Bhattacharyya, ANM Mustafa.

Santosh Chandra Bhattacharyya
Born on 30 August, 1915 in Nawabganj upazila of Dhaka district, Santosh Chandra Bhattacharyya graduated from Dhaka University in 1937 with Honours in History and obtained MA degree in 1938 from the same institution occupying first position in the first class in both the examinations.

He started his academic career as a lecturer in Jagannath College in 1939 and worked there until 1949, when he joined the History Department of Dhaka University as a Senior Lecturer. A scholar in Sanskrit literature and ancient history of Bengal and India, Bhattacharyya served Dhaka University as a devoted teacher and a scholar until his death (14 December, 1971) in the hands of the cohorts of the Pakistan army.

Prof. Munier Choudhury
Born in 1925 at Manikganj, Dhaka. Hailed from Noakhali. Joined the department of Bangla as a lecturer in 1955, before that he was a part time teacher in the English department. He was an M.A. in English, but while he was interned at Dhaka Central Jail (1953-54) during the Language Movement he did his M. A. (first in first class) in Bangla also..

He became Reader in 1962 and Professor in 1970 and the Dean of the faculty of arts in 1971.

The members of the Al-Badr killed him at the dawn of our liberation. His dead body could not be identified.

Mofazzal Haidar Chaudhury
Mofazzal Haidar Chaudhury, born in Noakhali in 1926, joined the department of Bangla of Dhaka University in 1955. He studied at London University for a couple of years in linguistics. He was awarded 'Sahitya Bharati' by the Viswa Bharati University, Santiniketan. He became Reader in Bengali in 1970. His famous writings include Bangla Banan o Lipi Sanskar, Rabi Parikrama, Colloquial Bengali, Bhasa o Sanskriti, Sahityer Nava Rupayan etc.

He was picked up and killed by the Al-Badr on December 14, 1971.

Rashidul Hasan
Rashidul Hasan, born in 1932 in Bhirbhum district of West Bengal, migrated to this part of the subcontinent then under Pakistani rule in 1949. He obtained BA(Hons.) and MA in English from DU in 1957 and 1958 respectively. He taught at various colleges including Narsingdi, Pabna Edward College and Krishna Chandra College of Bhirbhum in West Bengal. Finally, he joined the English Department, DU, as a lecturer in 1967.

He was a liberal democrat and a life long fighter against fundamentalism and communalism.

A close friend of Anwar Pasha, Rashidul Hasan was picked up together with his friend Anwar from the same flat within the DU campus.

Anwar Pasha
Born on 15 April 1928 at Dabkai village in Murshidabad, India. He did his MA in Bangla from Calcutta University in 1953. In 1958 he joined Pabna Edward College and then, in 1966, the Department of Bangla, Dhaka University.

Anwar Pasha was picked up from his university flat and brutally killed with other intellectuals. He was posthumously honoured with the Bangla Academy Award for his literary achievements.

Dr. MAM Faizul Mahi
Dr. Faizul Mahi was born in 1939 at Feni. He was very much dedicated to the cause of the war of liberation that was going on from March to December, helping the freedom fighters from within keeping a low profile. But he could not keep secret his real identity from the watchful eyes of the collaborators some of whom happened to be his colleagues within the IER.

Mahi joined the Institute of Education and Research in 1968 after obtaining Ed. D (doctorate in education) and then soon became Senior Lecturer. He was a dedicated teacher.

The beastly Al-Badr group picked him up on 14 December from his residence.

Ghyasuddin Ahmed
Ghyasuddin Ahmed was born in Narsingdi in 1935. He passed MA in History from Dhaka University in 1957. He joined Jagannath College in the History department as lecturer and later joined Dhaka University in 1958. He went to the UK with Commonwealth Scholarship in 1964 and obtained Honours degree in World History from London School of Economics.

Accused of helping the freedom fighters he was taken to Dhaka Cantonment for questioning. He was released after a few days. Then again on 14 December 1971 he was picked up from Mohsin Hall by the Al Badr killing squad. On 4 January 1972 his clothes and mutilated body were identified in Mirpur area.

Mohammad Fazle Rabbi
Dr. Mohammad Fazle Rabbi was born in Pabna in 1932. He was an activist during the Language Movement in 1952. He passed MBBS from Dhaka Medical College in 1955 and received gold medal for securing top position in MBBS examination. In 1963 he joined Dhaka Medical College and Hospital as associate professor of medicine.

On 15 December midnight Dr. Rabbi along with some other intellectuals were taken in a truck from the Lalmatia Physical Training Institute to the Rayerbazar brickfield and murdered in a brutal manner. His dead body was identified on 18 December.

Selina Parvin
Selina Parvin was born in Noakhali in 1931. She was a poet and a journalist. She had her primary education in Feni. She became an avid reader of Bengali literature. She took a job at weekly 'Lalana.' Then she started her own literary magazine 'Shilalipi.' She also began to write poems, short stories and essays. On 14 December 1971 she was murdered by Al-Badr.

Nizamuddin Ahmed
Nizamuddin Ahmed was born in Munshiganj in 1929. He was a journalist. He passed MA in economics from Dhaka University in 1959. Later he joined Pakistan Press International. He became the editor of PPI in 1969 and was promoted to the rank of general manager.

On 12 December 1971, Nizamuddin was taking his lunch when members of Al- Badr picked him up from his residence. His body was never found.

Syed Nazmul Haque
Syed Nazmul Haque was born in Khulna in 1941.He passed B.A. (Hons) and M.A. in Political Science from Dhaka University in 1963 and 1964 respectively. He took an active part in the anti-martial law movement in 1962. He was arrested for disrupting the convocation programme on the DU campus in 1964 where the then governor of East Pakistan Abdul Monem Khan was present.

He became the chief reporter of Pakistan Press International and Dhaka correspondent of Columbia Broadcasting Service. He prepared a full report on the proceedings of Agartala Conspiracy Case. He sent news items on the atrocities carried out by the Pakistani forces during the liberation war.

On 11 December 1971, he was picked up from his Purana Paltan house by the members of Al-Badr. His dead body was never found.