Experiences at Delhi
Our experiences at Delhi had mixed feelings. On one hand, we were happy to be well received but on the other hand, we were disheartened to know the India design over Liberation war and would be Bangladesh.
We surrendered ourselves to the Indian authorities on 20th April at the Ministry of External Affaires at the South Block of Rastrapati Bhaban. There we were handed over to Gen. Oban Singh, the then head of Research And Analysis Wing (RAW). From then onwards he took charge of us. One Brig. Narayan became our full time companion. For four days and nights we had to undergo a grueling interrogation session organized by the intelligence experts. We tried to be honest, straightforward and sincere. One evening Mr. Ajoy Kumar Roy, Joint Secretary incharge of Bangladesh affairs at the Ministry Of External Affairs came along with two Bengali gentlemen. They were Mr. Shabuddin and Mr. Amjad Hussain. Both of them were diplomats and had defected from the Pakistan Mission at Delhi once Mujibnagar government was formed on 17th April. Both were given political asylum by Indian government. Since then they were under Indian protection. Both these young officers took all the risks to join the straggle and embraced the uncertain future just like us. We are very happy to meet them. They informed us a lot about the freedom straggle and the war. They while congratulating us for our courage and patriotism said the Mukti Bahini needed many more officers like us.
One day Gen. Oban Singh informed us that a high-powered delegation of the provisional Bangladesh government in exile would be coming to Delhi shortly. Once they arrive we would be handed over to them formally. This was a good news. Finally the delegation arrived. The three members delegation comprised of Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed, the Prime Minister, Khandkar Mushtaq Ahmed, the Foreign Minister and Col. Osmani, the Commander-in-Chief of the Mukti Bahini. During the meeting we were told by the Prime Minister that after having discussed with the Indian authorities it has been decided that We would be staying at Delhi for about two more weeks. To be briefed by the Indian agencies about the freedom movement and the special assignment that we shall be undertaking once we join the war. This we formed quite intriguing. Why do we have to take briefings from the Indians instead of our own people? That means our straggle was not only ours alone. Indian governments help and support is not unconditional. It was clearly understood that Indian government had significant clout and say about the independence war of Bangladesh. And Mujibnagar government is giving due importance to the Indian views before taking any decision. Some questions came to our mind.
Whose struggle is this independence movement?
With what interest Bharat is maneuvering from behind of scene?
All national liberation movements and wars had been organized under a national government or leadership. Why then it is different in our case?
Why hurriedly a provisional Awami League government was formed instead of a national government at the tacit approval and support of the Indian government to lead the national liberation movement?
What are the real intentions behind to impose Awami Leagues leadership on the entire nation?
Starting from anti Ayub movement up to non-cooperation movement, every political struggle had been organized under the united leadership of all progressive forces in East Pakistan. Under such circumstances why India is supporting Awami Leagues go alone policy?
For the briefings we were shifted to a military training camp closed to Palam International Airport. There we were introduced to Maj. Suraj Singh an experienced commando officer specialized on insurgency and counter insurgency. Brig Narayan was also the same. A two weeks crash program was chalked out for us. This was basically a program to refresh our specialized knowledge and to tell us about the Indian perception of the freedom struggle and their design to enslave the entire nation. And to turn the new born country into a vassal state through the despotic and puppet regime of Awami League. According to Indians,
the Bengali members of the armed forces, East Bengal regiments, police, EPR, Ansars, Mujahids and other law and order enforcing agencies revolted spontaneously against the sudden military operation unlashed in the night of 25th of March 1971 by the military junta. Students, workers, city dwellers, peasants that is the larger section of the people joined in the revolt regardless of their party affiliations or group loyalties. The Indian government is keeping a close eye on the developments. Hundreds and thousands of refugees had crossed over from East Pakistan and now are on Indian soil. That is how Indian government has got involved mostly on humanitarian grounds. To lead this spontaneous armed resistance movement to the ultimate victory there is a need of a political leadership. For India only Awami League has to provide that leadership. That is why the provisional government in exile has been formed. India has full confidence on Awami League and the newly formed provisional government. India also considered most of the leaders of Awami League trust worthy. From the very beginning this struggle has to be organized under the firm leadership of Awami League. The Indian government will not provide any help to any individual, group or political organization imbued with any ideology what so ever other then the Awami League and its provisional government in exile. However, according to the Indians the leadership of Awami League may face challenge from mainly two reactionary forces.
Firstly- Bengali members of the erstwhile Pakistan Army who revolted. Because all these people had the test of power as Pakistan was under military rule almost since its inception. Unfortunately they had initiated the resistance movement and Mukti Bahini evolved around these elements. And therefore, these forces may challenge the Awami League leadership in due course of time. Gen. Arora later in one of his interview also expressed similar views. He said, "Sheikh Mujib and his party never trusted the army officers". (Statement of Gen.Arora given to Mr. Nikhil chakaravarti under the heading "Reflection from the war of Bangladesh") Gen. Arora further said, "The Bengali members of the armed the forces and officers were not only suspected by Mujib and his party, they were also not been trusted by the Indian authorities".
Secondly - Awami League leadership may also face challenge from the extreme left forces the Naxalites. These Naxalites already infiltrated among the Mukti Bahinis. In all the adjacent states such as West Bengal, Bihar, Orisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram Naxalites movements are on the rise. These active extremists can join hands with the extremists within Bangladesh and pose a serious challenge to the Awami Leagues leadership as well as Indian government. These combined political forces can even join hands with the members of the erstwhile Pakistan army to capture political leadership to peruse their political goal. These forces need to be uprooted before they can further entrench themselves. To ensure Awami Leagues leadership during the war and in the post-independent Bangladesh, this is the considered opinion of the Indian government that the move must be taken right from now without wasting anytime. The honorable Prime Minister of the Bangladesh provisional government has agreed with the Indian viewpoint in this regard. A joint strategy has already been worked out and approved by both sides. It has been decided as per the plan to raise a special political armed force comprising of the selected Awami League cadres and workers exclusively. This force will be hundred thousand strong. They will be trained in special training camps with the help of Indian army. Recruitment, training, arming and deployment of this force would be totally out of Mukti Bahinis command structure. This force would be directly under the command of the Prime Minister, Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed. Indian government will take all responsibilities to arm and provide logistic support to this force. On behalf of the Indian government Gen. Oban Singh will remain as the head and chief coordinator of this force. Its main task would be to provide armed support to the Awami League government in the post independence era. After the training they will be inducted inside Bangladesh in groups at the last phase of the war. They will secure themselves at the strategic locations and shall remain prepared to face any challenge to the Awami League government. The name of this force will be Bangladesh Liberation Force (BLF) The same force was named Mujib Bahini and much hated Jatiyo Rakkhi Bahini (JRB) successively in Bangladesh. Bangladesh government had decided that all three of us would be working with the Indian army and Gen. Oban singh to raise and organize this BLF. Considering us to be non political and assured of our blind faith and respect towards Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the strong sense of patriotism the authorities might have taken this decision. The concerned authorities of the both governments must have been also convinced about our loyalty, background, professional competence, raw courage, and sincerity of purpose. Many things became clear after these briefings that we received on behalf of the Indian government. All those questions that had been haunting us for last couple of days had all their answers in the text of those briefings. What a heinous mistrust to all those people who plunged themselves into the armed resistance movement to fight for their motherlands independence even at the cost of supreme sacrifice! What a dangers plan to eliminate the freedom fighters just to perpetuate one particular political party in power! What a betrayal with the blood of the martyrs! This Chanakkyas bule print will cause serious national disunity and will turn the Bengali nation into the slaves of the Brahmins.
The nation will stand fragmented. As a result the very foundation of the newborn country would become weak. The very sprit of independence will be evaporated. Thus a bleeding Bangladesh will turn easily into a vassal state. So called independence will become an empty dream.. The aspirations of eight crore people will be lost in the quick sand of national betrayal.
Our conscience revolted. We cannot be a party to this blue print. Not only that this blue print has to be resisted at any cost. We must try to mobilize support among the freedom fighters against this treacherous blue print. This can only be done once we reach the battlefield. Once we are there we shall discuss this with other comrades in confidence and covertly organize against this evil design. We shall have to get our independence through our own sweat and blood, not as a charity from others. We have to prepare ourselves for a long drawn Peoples war. Lessons can be taken from the great nationalist movements like that of Peoples Republic of China, Vietnam, Algeria and many other countries of the world
Regarding the fateful night of 25th\26th March 1971, preparedness of Awami League for the liberation war and the attitude of Indira Gandhi towards the war Major Rafiqul Islam psc in his book Shamarik Shashan O Gonotantrer Shangkot writes,
"After the crackdown by the military junta on 25th night, as there were no earlier preparations to face a powerful army in direct confrontation, the Awami League leadership left the people under the fire of guns and ranaway to Calcutta. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the able successor of Pandit Jawharlal Nehru, the dreamer of Akhand Bharat was waiting for long for such an opportunity. Mrs. Indira Gandhi properly utilized this golden opportunity at the right moment. Not only Delhi succeed to dismember and weaken its long time No.1 adversary Pakistan but also could suppress the growing civil war that was waged by the left forces in and around West Bengal".