|Muhammad Abul Manzoor|
|Died||2 June 1981|
|Place of birth||Comilla, Bengal, British India|
|Place of death||Chittagong, Bangladesh|
Sector – VIII|
Chief of General Staff
24th Division, Chittagong Cantonment
|Battles/wars||Liberation War of Bangladesh 1971|
Rana Yasmeen Manzoor (Spouse)|
Shafqat Muhammed Manzoor
Major General Muhammad Abul Manzoor (1940–1981) was a Bangladesh army general who was a war hero as a freedom fighter and Sector Commander of BDF Sector 8 during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. He launched a coup d'etat and assassination of President Ziaur Rahman on 30 May 1981 at Chittagong. He was killed shortly after while being captured. About a year later, the military took over the government in a bloodless coup, holding power until 1990. Manzoor had been awarded valor under fire Bir Uttam by the Bangladeshi Government for his bravery in the liberation war. Manzoor was appointed as the youngest divisional commander of Bangladesh Army, GOC (General Officer Commanding) of 24th Infantry Division headquartered at Chittagong. His surviving wife and four children were given political asylum in the United States.
Early life[edit | edit source]
MA Manzoor was born at village Gopinathpur under Kasba thana of Comilla district in 1940. His paternal home is at village Kamalpur in Chatkhil thana of Noakhali district. His family moved to East Pakistan after Partition. He passed senior Cambridge in 1955 and ISC examination in 1956 from the Sargoda Public School in Punjab. He joined the East Bengal Regiment as a commissioned officer of then East Pakistan. In 1958, he attended Staff College in Canada, where he obtained his PSC. After the Liberation War started, Major Manzoor was a Brigade Major of a Para Commando Brigade close to the Indian border. He fled Pakistan on a daring escape with his family and a few fellow officers across the border to India. From there, they made their way to Bangladesh, and Manzoor joined up with fellow officers from East Bengal. He quickly became a prominent officer within the ranks and won many battles in his sector. He commanded Sector – VIII during the Liberation War from September 1971 to victory on December 1971. In 1974-76, he was posted in New Delhi as Military Attache in the Bangladesh Embassy to India. Known for his tenacity, keen eye for strategy, and formation of loyalty from colleagues, in 1975 he was promoted to Colonel. Upon his return to Dhaka in 1977, he was promoted to Brigadier. In 1980, he was promoted to Major General at the age of 41. He was one of the youngest generals of a front-line force in south-east Asia's history.
Role in assassination of Ziaur Rahman[edit | edit source]
General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, Chief of Army Staff, transferred General Manzoor to a non-combatant post in Dhaka as Commandant of the Defenece Services Command and Staff College. Manzoor was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Chittagong, and freedom fighters placed under his command were given the highest posts. Once the transfer order was sent to Manzoor, he launched a coup on the morning of 30 May, and ordered the killing of President Ziaur Rahman at Chittagong Circuit House. That Sunday, 30 May, Manjoor broadcast on Bangladesh Radio from Chittagong station, saying, "Let us have a united stand to run the country and make it a real nation of the people."
In the face of an ultimatum for surrender by the government, most of Manzoor's troops had abandoned their posts or had joined the government, which ended the rebellion. Later, government soldiers retook the radio station, and Bangladesh Radio announced a US$30,000 reward for capture -dead or alive- of Manzoor.
Capture and death[edit | edit source]
Although the assassination of President Ziaur Rahman was carried out in Chittagong on 30 May 1981, the military coup d'état failed. General Manzoor went on radio to speak to the nation. According to the historian Anthony Mascarenhas in his Bangladesh: A Legacy of Blood, Manzoor effectively isolated Chittagong from the rest of the country. Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, quickly ordered to suppress any such action and issued orders to kill or capture Manzoor. Manzoor, with some of his supporters, were captured by the Army about 40 miles southeast of Chittagong while they were driving towards Indian border. Manzoor was reported to have been killed on spot by angry soldiers on 2 June 1981.
In less than a year, General Hussain Muhammad Ershad took over the country in a bloodless coup.
Trial[edit | edit source]
No trial took place for Manzoor's assassination.
Family and legacy[edit | edit source]
- He left behind his wife and four children. They received political asylum in the U.S.
- He was considered a war hero as Sector 8 Commander in the Liberation War.
References[edit | edit source]
- "BBC Online". BBC News. 30 May 1981. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/30/newsid_4401000/4401129.stm. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Genesis, Maturation and Distortion of the Bangladeshi Army". Samaj.revues.org. http://samaj.revues.org/document230.html. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Docket Nos. 03-40052-ag(L), 03-40054-ag(con), 03-40056-ag(con), 03-40058-ag(con). – MANZUR v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY – US 2nd Circuit". Caselaw.findlaw.com. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-2nd-circuit/1432898.html. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Sector Commanders Forum". Sector Commanders Forum. 14 April 2008. http://www.sectorcommandersforum.org. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Lifschultz, Lawrence. Bangladesh: The Unfinished Revolution. London: Zed Books, 1979.
- Ali, Tariq. Pakistan: Military Rule or People's Power?, London: Cape, 1970.
- "Court Documents for Family U.S. Asylum", FindLaw
- "Expanded Court Document for Family U.S. Asylum", Bib Daily, lists the names of all four children
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