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Col Abu Taher
Biography of Col Abu Taher
Abu Taher was born on Nov 14, 1938 at Badarpur of Assam Province in the then British India, in a family that hailed from the East Kajla village in Purbadhala Thana of Netrakona.
Dhaka, Mar 22 (bdnews24.com) — Abu Taher was born on Nov 14, 1938 at Badarpur of Assam Province in the then British India, in a family that hailed from the East Kajla village in Purbadhala Thana of Netrakona.
He studied at Chittagong Fatehabad School and participated in the language movement.
Taher taught for a short-period in Durgapur High School at Chittagong’s Mireshwarai in 1959, where he came into contact with leftist ‘rebels’.
His military career started off in 1965 with him joining the Pakistan Army. He was selected to join the elite Special Service Group (Commando Force) of the army in the same year.
Recognition of Taher’s military excellence started off with a gallantry award for his actions in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, where he fought in the Kashmir and Shialkot sectors.
In between 1967 and 1969, he was stationed at Chittagong cantonment where he trained a group of Bengali youths, who were longing for Bangladesh’s liberation.
Taher later took advanced training on Guerrilla Warfare at Fort Bragg and Fort Benning in the United States in 1969.
During the Mar 25, 1971 massacre, Taher was stationed at Quetta Staff College, a Pakistan military training facility in the state’s Balochistan province.
He left the facility in protest of the killings and was later arrested for protesting an assaulting remark about independence architect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by a Pakistani military member.
In July, 1971, Taher and several other Bengali officers defected from the army and crossed into India near Abbottabad of the Pakistan-India border.
He joined the Bangladeshi liberation forces and was made the commander of Sector 11.
On his 33rd birthday, Taher lost a leg in a battle at Kamalpur.
Taher was awarded the Beer Uttam title, the highest recognition for gallantry awarded to living participants in the liberation war, and was appointed the adjutant general of the Bangladesh Army following independence.
In October 1972, Taher took on the role of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (National Socialist Party) vice president.
Bangladesh politics saw a spell of military uprising and counter uprising immediately after the assassination of independence architect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with his family members on Aug 15 1975.
On Nov 7, 1975, Taher orchestrated a socialist uprising amongst the soldiers and freed the then chief of army staff Ziaur Rahman from house-arrest.
He also fuelled Zia’s consolidation of power as deputy chief martial law administrator.
However, only 17 days after the takeover by Zia, Taher was arrested. A total of 33 people, including him, were tried in a secret court martial inside Dhaka Central Jail in June 17, 1976.
Of them, 16 were released while 17 were handed various sentences. Three of them, including Taher, were sentenced to death. However, the death verdicts of the other two were later lessened to life imprisonment.
Taher, a Liberation War sector commander, was executed on July 21, 1976, four days after the military court order.
Taher is the second one who was sentenced to death for political reason in the sub-continent.
Earlier, Surja Sen (master da) was hanged for taking part in anti-British movement.