Name: Amulya Chandra Roy
Father’s name: Sri Jagabandhu Roy
Vill: Daudpur, P.O. Katla Hat
PS: Birampur, Dt. Dinajpur
Educational qualification in 1971: H. S. C
Age in 1971: 18/19 yrs
Profession in 1971: Student, Present occupation: Village Doctor.
Q. Were you attacked by the Pakistani soldiers in 1971?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. How were you attacked?
A. The village Dakshin Ramchandrapur is located in the south of Katla Hat. The Pakistani troops were marching towards this village from Hilli after crossing the Sonara river after stopping at Khasida camp. At that time I was grazing cattle. It was before I went to India. It happened sometime around the middle of April. When I was taking the animals to the field the Khans surrounded me from all sides. Then I ran towards the Indian border leaving the cattle (at the mercy of the enemy.) If they had fired I would have been killed. They were about thirty in number. They were speaking in Urdu, stop here, don’t be afraid, go home, bringthe children; their voices were ringing in my memory. I ran towards south in the direction of the Indian border totally ignoring the rough track. India was about a quarter of a mile from the spot where I was tending the cows. After reaching India I went to a Bangladesh refugee camp. I took a vow that I would fight for my country, I would lay down my life but I wouldn’t surrender unarmed or die in the hands of the enemy. Then I went to the Circuit House where our M.P Dr. Wakiluddin Ahmed had taken shelter. I took an introduction letter from him and got myself enrolled in the Gangarampur camp as a freedom fighter.
Q. Why did you join the liberation war?
A. For the sake of my country. Pakistanis had created terror inside the country. They used to transfer all our wealth to West Pakistan and enjoy life at our cost. They hardly left anything for us. They used to exploit us. We never got any kind of employment, neither in the armed forces nor in the civil administration. Every where it was the same story. This is why we were adamant to become an independent nation. We were determined to get our rightful share of everything.
Q. When did the Pakistanis attack your locality?
A. In the middle of May they launched vicious attacks on our locality.
Q. How did they make these attacks?
A. They would come during the day by train or by motor transport burning down roadside houses and abusing women wherever they were found.
Q. Has any one of your family become Shaheed at the hands of the Pakistan army?
A. Our home is in the border area. Soon after I had crossed over to India the rest of my family members left for India. So all of my family members were safe. From Katla hat the border is not very far, just a mile, so every one reached India in good time. First, they took shelter in a relatives’ house and then moved to a distant refugee camp when shooting started around Patiram area. As for me, I had already enrolled myself in the muktibahini before this happened.
Q. When did the muktibahini activities start in your area?
A. After the month of May these activities started. Those who had taken training in guerrilla warfare had become active soon after May. In the cover of darkness we would blow up railway bridges and destroy the level crossings. The guerrillas used to ambush the enemy troops and quickly disappear from the area because we had only a short training of 28 days. This is why we always carried out such sudden attacks on the enemy taking them by surprise.
Q. As a guerrilla how did you engage the enemy?
A. The Pakistan army troops were stationed in bunkers or camps. They built bunkers in Hili, Birampur and Maduli Hat. About 4 or 5 miles away from Maduli Hat the Pakistani troops used to move around during the day by army jeeps. One day I visited the army camp disguised as a beggar to find out how the Pakistani soldiers moved around. They had employed a fellow by the name Fazla. He was Chairman of the local Peace Committee. His home was in Velarpar village. I found Fazla moving around on horseback At that time the Pakistanis were laying brick on the road with the help of civilians so that the wheels of their jeeps did not get bogged in mud as frequent rains were causing road transportation problems. After I returned from this mission I was sent to the spot for guerilla action. Before I went for the operation I was given a few mines, and a few grenades for self defense. I took these in a bag and clad in a lungi set out for the operation. It was 1 pm. At the time there were some cows, goats, sheep etc. grazing. I collected them together and put them on the road and taking cover behind them dug out a brick and laid a mine in its place and then took position behind a nearby bamboo grove. A little while later I saw a Pakistani jeep moving towards the area. As soon a wheel of the jeep went over the mine there was an explosion and the jeep went up into the air killing two of the occupants and injuring the rest.
Q. What was the public impression about the freedom fighters at the time?
A. The general public had a very good impression about the muktibahini boys. People had only one aim and that was to free the country. They used to offer food, shelter within their own limited resources.
Q. Who were the people who had gone against you?
A. It was the Biharis and the Rajakars who were putting up armed resistance against us all the time.
Q. Who were the Razakars, Al-Badars and Al-Shams in your area?
A. There were not so many of them in our area. But there were many operating at distant areas. There were some Razakars around Bhelarpar and Hakimpur; fewer around Katla and nearby places because there were more Awami League supporters in the area.
Q. Who were members of the Peace Committee?
A. One of them was a fellow by the name Fazla Chairman. He was a former chairman (of the Union Parishad). He is still alive. His home was in Velarpar, a village on the western side of Birampur Haat. With his help the Razakars used to come in groups of 20s, 25s. They used to raid the Haat (marketplace).One day I was present in the Haat. That day he started shooting. I jumped into the near- by pond and swam to the other side and ran for shelter and thus saved myself.
Q. Were these anti-liberation elements arrested?
A. When the war was on we had caught several of them and took them across the border to India. Once they were in India they said that they did not become Razakars of their own choice. The Pakistanis suddenly attacked them and forced them to join the Razakar force. Then they were given 10 kg of rice each. In this way the Pakistanis forced them to work for them. In fact many of them were not supporters of the Pakistanis. Of those whom we had taken to India, many of them joined the Muktibahini. I have seen many such incidents.
Q. Where else did you fight?
A. In 1971, around April 28 or 29 I first went to the Circuit House of Balurghat and met our M.P. Dr. Wakiluddin and got an identity letter from him. He said that we should get enrolled in the Kushmandi or Shibbari camp of Ganagarampur. A group of 32 of us went to Gangarampur. Once we reached Gangarampur we went to a camp at Kasherdanga and got ourselves enrolled. One Mr. George of Dinajpur was the camp-in-charge. After I spent a few days I was transferred to Patirampur camp. Here at camp had-quarters I received training for a month and then I was transferred to Balighata of Shiliguri. After some training I received weapons at Tarangapur and then from there to fight at any place of the district. I had to take oath touching the soil of my land. After I received weapons I was taken to Hamzabari B.S.F camp, north of Shibbari haat of India. It was here that we were engaged in fighting battles with the enemy. Under the leadership of Capt. Idris of Tiger Party we fought in sector seven, Ghugudanga, Khanpur border, Sharbangla, Pulhaat, Ramsagar Dighi and several other places. We fought within the district of Dinajpur.
Q. How did you fight in Khanpur?
A. There we fought a large-scale battle. We used to be in the front line and the Indians gave us cover with big weapons. We were foot-soldiers armed with S.L.Rs., stenguns and L.M.Gs. We used to carry the dead or wounded Pakistani soldiers from their bunkers or the field and take away all their weapons and deposit them to the camp.
Q. Where did you fight the most dangerous battle?
A. The most dangerous battle took place around Ramsagar (a big lake) just south of Dinajpur town.
Q. How did you fight there?
A. Several hundreds of us were there. There were also Indian Sikh soldiers. We jointly fought with the Pakistanis. Indian helicoptres were in the sky and tank regiment on the ground. It lasted as long as four weeks. In the fifth week Bangladesh became independent.
Q. How many Pakistani troops took part in the battle?
A. They had dug themselves in bunkers with brick walls. I do not know exactly how many of them were there.
Q. During this battle could you capture any Pakistani soldiers?
A. Yes, we captured them. When they got hurt by shelling from helicopters and fighter planes, we would go in groups of a hundred or more and capture them and bring them back to our side.
Q. How many Pakistani soldiers did you capture during this battle?
A. Every day five or six of them, and some times even as many as ten. Those who were mortally wounded would die and the rest were sent to Indian prison.
Q. What did you do after the Pakistani army surrendered?
A. When the country became independent, we were taken to the Maharaja High School in Dinajpur town. Here a mine exploded one evening but I was not in the camp at the time. I was on leave for a week. There was another explosion a few days later. We were then shifted to a field south of the Dinajpur Railway Station beside the Catholic Church. A stadium was built there later on at this spot. After a few days we were moved to Ananda Sagar. Here many of us got enrolled in the army. Some freedom fighters left for Palashbari, Jessore and Saidpur. Those of us who were from Dinajpur, stayed back. Our Adjutant, Capt. Shahriar asked us how many of us wanted to get enrolled into the army and the police. Now that the country was independent, he wanted to know our problems. Several of us got enrolled into the army and police force. When many freedom fighters were getting into the army I said that I was a student and I would like to continue my studies and sit for the exams. At that time I was keen to become a teacher. So I returned home and started preparing for my exams.
Q. How did you find the condition of your village?
A. I returned home after Dec 16. There was a terrible sense of frustration and misery all around due to the destruction and looting of the village. There was no sign of our home, just emptiness. My father, mother, brother, none was in the village. They were still in the Patiram camp.
Q. How did you find the condition of the schools, mosques and temples?
A. In our village the schools and temples were damaged badly. Schools and temples of Birampur, Fulbari and Hili were all destroyed by the Pakistanis.
Q. What did you do with your weapons after the war?
A. After independence in 1971 we were stationed at the Dinajpur sadar hospital.
Here Capt. Shahriar asked us who among us would like to go on vacation. I told him that I would, and there was another of my colleagues whose name was Mohsin Ali also wanted to go on vacation. We fought together. Both of us deposited our arms and left for home.
Interviewer: Bhabendranath Barman
Date of Interview: Nov 12, 1996
Translator: Faruq Aziz Khan