Rob, Major General MA

Rob, Major General MA (1919-1975) army officer, politician. He was born on 1 January 1919 at village Khagura in Baniachang thana of Habiganj district. His father was Muhammad Manwar Husain and mother Rashida Begum. He passed Matriculation examination in 1935 from Habiganj Government High School and IA from Sylhet MC College in 1937. He graduated from the same college. In 1942 he took MA degree in Geography from Aligarh University. Thereafter he joined the Indian army and started his career as a commissioned officer in 1944.

During the Second World War, MA Rob fought against the Japanese army in Burma front and later in the frontiers of Malaya, Sumatra, Java and Kashmir. After the partition of India in 1947 he was appointed as Adjutant of Pakistan army in Rawalpindi. Thereafter he was promoted to the post of Staff Major, Lt. Colonel and Quarter Master. While working as an embacation Commander in Chittagong Cantonment in 1970 he retired from service.

MA Rob joined Awami League in 1970. He was elected a member of the National Assembly in 1970 as a candidate of Awami League. With the beginning of War of Liberation he organised resistance in Sylhet. As the initial resistance broke down he took shelter in India in the month of April. The Mujibnagar Government appointed him as the Chief of Staff and Second-in-Command of Bangladesh army. After liberation he was promoted to the post of Major General. He worked as the Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh army up to 7 April 1972. In recognition of his valour and achievement in the War of Liberation, Bangladesh Government honoured him with the title of Bir Uttam. He was elected a member of the Jatiya Sangsad in 1973 from Sylhet constituency.

After retirement from the army, MA Rob took lead in the formation of Mukti Joddha Kalyan Trust. He was the first honorary Managing Director of the Trust. He died on 14 November 1975.

In recognition of his contribution to the liberation war MA Rob was honoured with Swadhinata Padak (posthumously) in 2000. A road in Dhaka city has been named after him as Bir Uttam MA Rob Sarak. [Abu Md. Delwar Hossain]