Raisul Islam Asad looks back on 1971 liberation war | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:01 PM, March 26, 2019

Raisul Islam Asad looks back on 1971

Raisul Islam Asad has not only made remarkable contributions to the entertainment industry, but also played a crucial role in the Liberation War of 1971. Today, as the nation celebrates the Independence Day, the Freedom Fighter and actor discusses his memories of the war.

“I grew up in Dhaka at the age of seventeen and lived in Paltan during the time of the Liberation War,” he says.  “Film director Nasiruddin Yousuff and I were neighbours. We heard gun shots at midnight on March 25, 1971. When we went outside to check, we found out that there was a military operation carried out by the Pakistan Army.”

They spent the entire night in extreme terror, with sounds of gun shots and people screaming around the city. The actor further says that few police officers went to their home to help out. The police kept their rifles in their homes, and went to bring more bullets. However, they never came back. “We hid the rifles with blankets,” he adds.

After that night, there was a curfew on March 27. “On April 2, I moved to Keraniganj and faced another attack there,” says Asad.  “I hid inside a mosque. I was laying, pretending to be dead, which saved my life eventually. I escaped death that day.” He then travelled to Bikrampur. From there onwards, he started walking until he reached Chattogram. “A lot of things happened on my way to Chattogram. I will not be able to put them into words,” says the actor with a heavy heart.

Along with Nasiruddin Yousuff and the late Kazi Shahabuddin, Asad then went to Agartala.  The hurdles they faced seemed nothing compared to the passion they had for the country's independence. A team of twenty one freedom fighters including Raisul Islam, trained in Melaghar afterwards. “We then went to Dhaka to fight for our country. I feel honoured to leave a mark in the history of our freedom,” he concludes.  

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