How Dr Alim was killed in 1971 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 27, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 27, 2010

How Dr Alim was killed in 1971

“I will get peace, when the trial of war criminals will be completed. Then, we will get the real independence,” said Shaheedjaya Shyamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, widow of Shaheed Dr Alim Chowdhury.
Dr Alim, an eminent physician, was brutally killed at the fag end of the Liberation War.
After long nine-month war in 1971 one dawn after a sleep- less night, Shyamoli became optimistic about the return of her husband with the resounding 'Joy Bangla' slogan when Bangladesh emerged as an independent country.
“Now the country is independent. The dearest man will return surely. The freedom fighters will find him out,” thought a naive Shyamoli.
But the freedom fighters wanted to know from her, “Bhabi (sister- in-law) where is Razakar (collaborator) Mannan, who has killed Alim Bhai. We will kill him at once.”
When the whole country was jubilant with the joy of victory and freedom, Nasrin came to know that her nearest man is no more in this world. Mannan has killied him taking the advantage of his simplicity, humanity and generosity. Mannan handed him over to the Al Badr force.
Talking to the news agency, against the backdrop of the start of war crimes trial and countrywide movement against the collaborators, Shyamoli said Maulana Abdul Mannan, one of the organisers of Al Badr Bahini, took shelter in their house in the disguise for six months during the War of Liberation. But it was he who had handed over Dr Alim to the Al Badr on December 15 in 1971.
Shyamoli said sensing the presence of the freedom fighters, cleaver Mannan fled away and got mixed with the crowd. Later, he was caught by the freedom fighters twice, but he could save his live with clever maneuvering.
The body of Dr Alim, who had served and helped the freedom fighters and fought for the country throughout his life, was found at Rayer Bazar killing field on December 18. He was killed with bayonet blindfolded and tied-up hands beside Dr Fazle Rabbi.
“I could never get rid of a thought. What he was thinking, how he was feeling when the Al Badr men blind folded him, tied up his hands and piercing bayonets,” said an emotion-choked Shyamoli.
She is yet to overcome the numbness of pain. She still feels the last minute agony felt by Dr Alim at Rayerbazar killing field. With tearful eyes, she wants to hear the pains inside Dr Alim's heart when the Al Badr men were taking preparations to kill him.
Shyamoli said the face of Dr Alim turned black when the Al Badr force pushing the door to take him away from home. The rear entrance of the house, which was the only way to flee, was shut by Mannan who was staying inside. Failing to flee through the door behind the building, Dr Alim could understand that he has given shelter to a betrayer, liar and fraud.
A former principal of Udayan School and Headmistress of Uddipan School, Shyamoli said "…we noticed that the Al Badr men are on guard at the gate of Mannan. People come to meet him every day. Army cars also came.”
When asked about the matter, Mannan said, “I am Maulana Mannan, organiser of Al Badr. I have taken shelter at your place, as the freedom fighters would kill me.”
By that time, Mannan had become a regular resident of the ground floor and used to pay rent to the owner of the house. “Therefore, we could not tell him to go away,” Shyamoli said.
“Since then, we were in panic. But Mannan told Alim not to be afraid.” Shyamoli said and added that Mannan had pledged to save Alim's life as he had given shelter to him.
“It was 4 o'clock in the afternoon on December 15. Alim, my mother and I were sitting on the balcony. There were sounds of bombings and firing by the allied force all around. They were invading the bases and camps of Pak army and Razakars. The whole country was waiting for surrender of the Pakistan force the next day. Suddenly we saw a microbus covered with clay to stand at Mannan's door. We did not take it seriously. A number of armed Al Badr men got down. They knocked at outdoor after 35 minutes. I told Alim that they are knocking at the door. Then Alim's face turned black,” Shyamoli said.
She said she called Mannan through the backdoor through which Mannan used to flee when the freedom fighter visited the house. Mannan advised her not to worry -- “You go. I am here. Nothing to worry.” Dr Alim tried to flee through the backdoor, but he couldn't as Mannan had shut it from inside and was staying in his room silently.
Shyamoli was married to Dr Alim Chowdhury on December 22 in 1965. Joined the Udayan School on February 15 in 1966. She was sacked from the job on July 1 in 2002 following recommendation of a probe committee led by Dhaka University Soil Science Prof Aminur Rahman Majumder arrested on Friday with Islamic books.
“If I had no job and I did not marry Hafiz (younger brother of Alim), perhaps I could not groom up my children.” Dr Alim left behind his two daughters of two year and one year old in 1971," said Shyamoli.

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