DHAKA, Sept 5, 2020 (BSS) – Lt. Col. (retd) Abu Osman Chowdhury,commander of sector-8 during the 1971 Liberation War, was laid to eternal rest after Asr prayers with full state honor at Banani Military Graveyard here.
Earlier, the Liberation War hero’s namaz-e-janaza was held at central mosque beside Senakunjo at the Dhaka cantonment.
He breathed his last around 7:45am today while undergoing treatment at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) here at the age of 85, his daughter Nasima Tariq told BSS.
Chowdhury was suffering from various old-age ailments for the last few months. On August 30, he was admitted to the CMH as his condition deteriorated and later he was tested positive for novel coronavirus (Covid-19), Sector Commanders’ Forum Secretary General and journalist Harun Habib said.
The war veteran is survived by his two daughters and grandchildren.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in separate condolence messages, expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Abu Osman Chowdhury.
Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader and Information Minister and AL Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud also mourned his death in separate condolence messages.
Abu Osman Chowdhury, vice-chairman of Sector Commanders’ Forum(SCF), was born at Madanergaon village under Faridganj upazila in Chandpur district on January 1, 1936.
In 1971, Chowdhury was posted in Chuadanga, under Kushtia district as a Major of the Pakistan army and the Commander of 4th Wing East Pakistan Rifles (EPR), according to Wikipedia.
He left for Kushtia with his family on March 23, 1971 to attend an official meeting. He was staying at Kushtia Circuit House on the night of March 25-26 when the news of Operation Searchlight reached him.
Sensing imminent danger, he left Kushtia on early morning of March 26, 1971 and headed to Chuadanga via Jhenaidah while local political workers have already revolted. Later, Bengali soldiers raised the flag of Bangladesh at EPR 4th Wing Headquarters in Chuadanga.
Later, the 4th wing of EPR, led by Major Abu Osman Chowdhury and reinforced with Police and Ansar personnel and local youth, attacked 27 Baluch of Pakistan Army stationed at Kushtia and eliminated almost 2 companies.
In the first sector commander’s conference in July, Major Abu Osman Chowdhury was appointed as the commander of the western sector, which comprised Kushtia, Jashore, areas of Faridpur, including Daulatpur-Satkhira Road encompassed within Khulna.
It was past noon of March 26 when Major Abu Osman Chowdhury reached his Wing headquarters at Chuadanga. There, his NCOs briefed him of the overall situation including formal organisation of local resistance in the wake of the crackdown at Dhaka.
In the meantime local Awami League leader Dr Ashab Ul Haq, who had earlier declared war against the occupational Pakistan armed forces the same morning at a public meeting, had contacted him over telephone and invited him to an emergency meeting with the public leaders and representatives of the local administration.
At the meeting, Major Osman was asked to take charge of the armed resistance force that he accepted at once.
After a long discussion, the first ever war command of Bangladesh,named South Western Command, was formed on March 26, 1971 in Chuadanga.
While Major Osman was given the position of the Commander, Dr Ashab Ul Haq, MPA became the Chief Advisor and Barrister Abu Ahmed Afzalur Rashid alias Badal Rashid, MNA, and Advocate Yunus Ali, MPA, were made Deputy Chief Advisors.
The whole of western region of the Padma was taken under the command comprising that of Kushtia, Faridpur, Jashore, Khulna districts.
All the armed personnel from defence, EPR, Police, Ansar, Mujahid and armed student wing of the area were vested under the Command.
The newly built District Council Dak Bungalow was made the Command Headquarters.
The next day on March 27 at about noon the Pakistani flag, last flying one at the EPR Wing headquarters was ceremoniously lowered and the Bangladesh flag was hoisted at the flag post by Major Osman.
Captain A R Azam Chowdhury, his deputy, was there who afterwards played valiant role under the Command. Major Osman held the position till division of Bangladesh war commands into 11 Sectors by the Provisional Government on 11 July 1971.
The South Western Command was then renamed Sector-8 with some revision of the command area and Major Osman continued to hold the position of the Sector Commander till Major M Abul Manjur took over in September 1971.
On November 7 morning, after the August 15 carnage in 1975, a group of renegade soldiers went to Abu Osman Chowdhury’s residence at Gulshan to kill him. Unable to find him, they murdered his wife.
He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1976.
In 1996, when the Awami League assumed the power, Osman Chowdhury was appointed as the chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation(BJMC) and later he served as the administrator of Chandpur Zila Parishad.
In 2014, he was conferred with Swadhinata Padak for his outstanding role to the Liberation War.