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Nuruzzaman, Lt Colonel Kazi


Nuruzzaman, Lt Colonel Kazi (1925-2011) 'army officer, sector commander in the War of Liberation. Kazi Nuruzzaman was born on 24 March 1925 in Jessore. His father was Khan Sabeb Kazi Sadrul Ola and mother Ratubunnesa. He passed Matriculation examination in 1939 and I.Sc in 1941 from St Xavier's School and College in Kolkata. While a student of BSc (Hons) in Chemistry in the St Xavier's School and College, Nuruzzaman joined the Royal Indian Navy in 1943.

During the Second World War Nuruzzaman fought for the allies in Burma and Sumatra. At the instance of Pandit Jowaherlal Nehru, he transferred his service from Royal Indian Navy to the Army in 1946 and joined the Royal Indian Military Academy. After the Partition of India in 1947 Kazi Nuruzzaman joined the Pakistan Army. On completion of his higher education at Royal Artillery School in England in 1949 he joined at Jhilum sector in Kashmir War. In the same year he was appointed as Instructor in Artillery Center and School at Nowshera in Pakistan.  

Lt. Colonel Kazi Nuruzzaman

In 1950 he was an Instructor in Officer Training School. Kazi Nuruzzaman was promoted to the rank of Major in 1956 and completed his Staff College course in 1958. In 1962, he joined the East Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (EPIDC) on deputation. Consequent upon his dissension with the bureaucrats from West Pakistan, he voluntarily resigned from service in 1969 and had a venture to develop his own business concern.

With the army crackdown on 25 March 1971 and the genocide of the Pak army, Kazi Nuruzzaman joined the battalion (Mymensingh) of Major KM Shafiullah, the acting commander of the Second East Bengal Regiment, on 28 March. He had vital role in the first meeting of the majors and higher officers of Bangladesh army held on 4 April at Teliapara in Habiganj. In May, he was made president of the council formed for slection of the first batch of the cadets of Bangladesh Army. He discharged various other responsibilities assigned to him directly by MAG Osmany, the commander-in-chief of the liberation force. Kazi Nuruzzaman was appointed as sector commander of Sector 7 after the death of its commander Major Nazmul Haque in a road accident in India on 26 September 1971. This sector comprised the districts of Bogra, Rajshahi, Pabna and southern part of Dinajpur district.

During the post liberation period Kazi Nuruzzaman formed the anti-fascism democratic committee as the coordinator and convenor of the progressive political organisations. He was a member of the Swadesh Chinta Sangha, Lekhak Shibir and Gana-Samskriti Front. Immediately after the liberation, Kazi Nuruzzaman launched movement damanding the trial of the war criminals. In the 1980s he was the chairman of the Muktiyoddha Sangsad. He placed a demand to the government for prohibiting the activities of the religion-based political parties, and to that end he launched a movement. He was however arrested by the military government of Huseyn Mohammad Ershad and was kept confined. Kazi Nuruzzaman was one of the founders of Muktiyuddha Chetana Bikash Kendra founded in 1985. He actively participated in the street movement and demonstration under the leadership of Jahanara Imam demanding strangling of the 1971 war criminals. Besides, he was one of the judges of the 'Gana Adalat' organised by the Muktiyuddher Chetana Bastabayon O Ekattarer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Jatiya Committee for the trial of the war criminals. He had a pioneering role in floating the Sector Commanders Forum in 2007 with demand for trial of the war criminals.

Kazi Nuruzzaman was directly involved in all the anti-reactionary movements in the country. He was vocal in support of the people of Chittagong Hill Tracts in their struggle for asserting their legitimate rights and demands. He gave press statement criticising' the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, 1997.

The Government of Bangladesh conferred upon Kazi Nuruzzaman the insignia of 'Bir Uttam' in recognition of his valour in the War of Liberation.

Kazi Nuruzzaman used to write regular columns in newspapers against imperialism and colonialism. He was editor of the Bangla weelkly Naya Padadhvani. His published works include Swadesh Chinta, Muktiyuddha O Rajneeti, Bangladesher Samaj O Rajneeti, Ekattarer Muktiyuddha: Ekjon Sector

Commandarer Smritikatha. He was one of the editors of the book titled Ekattarer Ghatak O Dalalra Ke Kothai.

A road at Panthapath in Dhaka has been named after him as Bir Uttam Kazi Nuruzzaman Sarak.

He died in Dhaka on 6 May 2011. [Urmee Hossain]