'Attribute Altaf Mahmud as martyred freedom fighter' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 25, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 25, 2010

'Attribute Altaf Mahmud as martyred freedom fighter'

As the trial of war criminals started it came as a big relief for Shawan Mahmud, the only child of martyred famous lyricist and musician Altaf Mahmud.
The relief came on her like thousand other orphaned freedoms fighters' children who were bearing painful deprivation and agony seeing war criminals going unpunished for over last three decades.
"From (my) student life at various forums, I demanded the trial of the heinous war criminals. Now it has started ... you know when the trial began it gave me a relief," Shawan with flicker of light in the eyes told the news agency.
Sahwan Mahmud wants her father to be attributed as martyred freedom fighter not as Shaheed intellectual as he was killed while waging war against the occupation Pakistan army and their collaborators during the War of Liberation in 1971.
"My father died in fighting as freedom fighter as member of crack platoon even though he was a musician. He might be killed any day on this month in 1971 with utmost brutality by the occupation force aided by Razakars and Al Badars," she said.
Altaf Mahmud joined the crack platoon, the most heroic guerilla group of freedom fighters, who were conducting operation inside Dhaka with a desire to participate in the war directly apart from his regular job of writing lyrics and tuning songs.
"I knew my father is no more .. but I would like to know what was date when my father was killed at least," she said and hoped that the date of fateful day of killing of her father and what happened to her father will be come out during the ongoing investigation of the war crimes tribunal.
During the War of Liberation, Altaf Mahmud turned his residence into a base camp of the members of crack platoon, where they took rest and hide their arms and ammunition.
"It was at 5.30 in the morning of August 30, 1971, when our house was raided and my father was taken away by the Pak army right in front of our eyes. No one of the house did know that my father and freedom fighters had hidden arms in the ground near our house," Shawan said.

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