58 Baliganj, kolkata
The seat of the Mujibnagar government was too small. Always crammed with people. Even proper security could not be maintained.
24 hours streams of people are hovering around. They are moving from one room to another. Some of them are elected members of the Awami League, some are leaders, some are the influential bureaucrats, some are sycophants of the Awami League stalwarts. All these people are big guns in their own measures. Nothing can be said to them. The security personnel look at them helplessly as they move around at their sweet wills. If the sentries at the gate asked them something they become very furious and make out big fuss and start shouting and hawling. They are simply unmanageable. Most of them think they are somewhat very important persons. They all are well dressed. No dearth of latest fashion. Once you meet or bump across some of them they will give a big green and will introduce themselves in a befitting manner exposing their importance. Once they get you, you cant just get away till they finish their useless and self-aggrandizement The mess is just like a Langar. Rice lintel and meat are cooked almost the whole day round and all these so-called VIPs are devouring them to their full satisfaction. No one is saying anything to anyone. After a hearty meal some of them will even stretch themselves on the table or benches even on the chairs for a relaxing after noon nap. The whole atmosphere is appalling. Some of these VIPs devise make shift arrangements for the night. Each one of them invariably had a brief case in hand or a small bag hanging from the shoulders. These seemed to be very valued possession. They carry this even when they have to go for the call of nature. What is the mystery? I could not understand. What contained in those brief cases or the bags that needs to be protected so carefully. Moti unfolded the mystery a few days later.
He told me,
"Sir while crossing over to India, most of the banks and treasuries had been looted by the local administrators and political leaders. Share of booties are kept in those brief cases and bags". "What?" I exclaimed.
"Dont you believe me? Ok I shall prove it". Moti said."
One day one of such VIP was having his usual after noon nap after lunch. He used his bag as pillow. The bag shifted away a bit as he turned his head. There was no one around. Moti silently took the bag and opened it. It was full of money, unbelievable! We came away in our room along with the bag. After a while the gentleman woke up and found his bag missing. He raised a storm and was looking for his precious possession everywhere. We sent the messenger boy to call the man. He came. We asked him what had happened. He was almost in tears. He said he was an elected representative of Awami League from Bogra, some one stole his bag while he was sleeping.
"What did you have in that bag?" I asked.
" Some important papers and personal clothings." He replied. Clever enough. He did not want to disclose about the money. In the meantime Lt. Nur had already reported the matter to Col. Osmani. After hearing everything he came to our room. He interrogated the gentleman, but he remained silent about the money all through. Col. Osmani then ordered Nur to return his bag. Nur went away and came back with the bag and returned it to the owner. He was very happy to get his bag. He quickly opened the bag and looked inside. All his things were there except money. Nur had already removed six lacks of rupees that were there. The man was nervous and terribly upset. But considering the situation he just thanked us and virtually ran away. The money was later deposited into the Prime Ministers fund. The Prime Minister was also told about the whole thing. I thought it prudent to narrate this incident here for the readers to understand about the atmosphere prevailing at Baliganj, the seat of Mujibnagar government. It reflected the image of a revolutionary government under which the nation was fighting a liberation war. It was impossible to understand looking at those who used to crowd at 58 Baliganj, that the nation was at war. Those people looked more like members of a bridal party rather then the leaders who are supposed to lead a liberation movement. They all looked hail and hearty without any anxiety. As if they are here on a vacation just to pass time.