Farooq's confession

Ashutosh Sarkar

Lt Col (dismissed) Syed Farooqur Rahman gave a confessional statement to the trial court, on December 19, 1996, about the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

In 1974, some untoward incidents happened when the accused A-1 went to Demra, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Narsingdi area, for recovery of arms and ammunitions which was within the knowledge of the President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman but he had not taken any action. As such, he developed disrespect for the leaders of Awami League. At that time some officers and troops from First Bengal Lancer ransacked the house of Gazi Golam Mostafa in consequence of an unpleasant incident involving the wife of Major Dalim and the son of Awami League leader Gazi Golam Mostafa at the Ladies Club. Following this incident Major Dalim, Major Nur and some others lost their jobs because of breach of discipline. At that time, the then Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ziaur Rahman along with his family members used to walk down to his residence. He used to discuss the situation of the country with the accused (Farooq) and one day, during conversation, he instigated him to do something to salvage the country.

In the first part of 1975, BKSAL was introduced and appointment of District Governors was in process. After his conversation with Major Rashid about bringing about a change in the country, it was decided that no change in the country can be possible without bringing Sheikh Mujib to the cantonment. It was also decided to discuss the matter with General Ziaur Rahman and accordingly in the month of April the accused (Farooq) went to his house and discussed the precarious situation of the country. When asked for his suggestion, General Zia, instead of promising any help, told them to do whatever they could on their own. Later on he went to the house of Major Rashid and informed him about his (Zia's) views. Rashid replied that he (Dalim) should not worry about that. Since that was a political matter he would deal with it. Later on, Major Rashid contacted both Zia and Khandaker Moshtaque Ahmed.

The accused (Farooq) further stated that according to the plans Major Khandaker Abdur Rashid by way of his political contacts used to keep in touch with his relation, the then Commerce Minister Khandaker Moshtaque Ahmed. Major Rashid discussed with Dalim and Moshtaque that BKSAL has to be scrapped, if necessary Sheikh Mujib has to be killed otherwise the country and the Nation would not survive. The accused (Farooq) logically supported the view and Khandaker Rashid informed the accused (Farooq) that Zia would also support them if Sheikh Mujib is killed.

He stated that on August 12, 1975, he had celebrated his marriage anniversary and in that function different officers and relations were present in the Officers Club. At the end of the function around 12.30am according to plan, he (Farooq) discussed the matter with Major Rashid and it was decided that the final action would be taken on the early morning of August 15.

Around 1 O'clock on August 14, 1975, while Farooq was in his office, Major Rashid, Major Shariful Haque Dalim, Major Nur, Major Aziz Pasha, Major Rashed Chowdhury, Major Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Major Bazlul Huda and some other officers of Major Rashid's unit, came to his unit.

Farooq then disclosed the plan to them and said that there was no other way to change the Government in Bangladesh, Bangladesh might possibly become sub-servant to India, Army might not exist and it might be disbanded, and ultimately they would go into slavery. He further stated that the key person is Sheikh Mujib. It is possible to change by Proclamation through him. If he did not agree and if there was resistance, the country would not be saved, none of them would survive. As such he (Mujib) had to be executed. The political change (reaction) would be dealt with by Major Rashid. The country would be run by making (Khandaker Moshtaque would be made the president and he would run the country.) He briefed them about the operation plans. Major Dalim refused when asked to lead the main operation in the house of Sheikh Mujib. Then this duty was assigned to Major AKM Mohiuddin of his unit. He was told that Sheikh Mujib must not escape and that the entire area would be sealed off so that no one would be able to rescue him. Mohiuddin would talk directly with Sheikh Mujib and he would arrange to bring him there. If there was resistance or attack or counter attack, in that case, he would be brought down and executed. There would be tank support for the Artillery. They would support in case of attack from Rakkhi Bahini or any other counter attack. The entire Field Regiment was deployed. The Artillery guns were targeted, firstly, towards the Headquarter of Rakkhi Bahini and secondly, Mirpur Bridge. After giving the duties to Mohiuddin, Dalim informed that the First Field Artillery regiment was on guard duty at the house of the President, and that they might resist Mohiuddin. Since Major Bazlul Huda was Adjutant to the said Regiment it would be easier for him to manage those guards. As such, Captain Bazlul Huda, Major Noor Chowdhury, Major Mohiuddin were given the responsibility of the operation in the residence of President Sheikh Mujib at Road No. 32, Dhanmondi. Major Rashid was responsible for the said unit as CO 2nd Field Artillery Regiment but he gave his responsibility to Major Dalim and he took the responsibility of keeping contact with General Zia, Khandaker Moshtaque Ahmed and others. Farooq himself took the responsibility of the Tank Force. Major Rashed Chowdhury, Shahriar and others were with Dalim. Farooq told Mohiuddin to give uniforms to those officers who were in civil dress and also to supply ammunitions to those who were assigned with tasks. He asked Sharful Hossain to arm the tanks with ammunitions and not to start the tanks until he ordered.

Syed Farooq Rahman stated further that except the Tank Force other forces had left at about 4:00 to 4:30 in the morning to perform their respective missions. He started at about 5/5-30 with the tanks. Lt Kismat was in a tank just behind him while other tank crews were in different tanks. Sharful Hossain was in the last tank.

After the operation, Major Rashid asked him to go inside the Radio Station and there he saw Rashid, Dalim, Shahriar, Rashed Chowdhury, Khandaker Moshtaque Ahmed, Taheruddin Thakur and some others of the Radio Station. Then Rashid informed him that Khandaker Moshtaque was going to be the president.

Thereafter he left for the Army Headquarters, where he went to the chamber of Chief of General Staff (CGS) Brigadier Khaled Mosharraf. The CGS expressed his annoyance on the killing of Sheikh Mujib. He asked him to report to Banga Bhaban. Accordingly, Farooq went to Banga Bhaban and he worked as special assistant to then president Khandaker Moshtaque Ahmed.