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Abu Taher

Lt. Col. Abu Taher

Lieutenant Colonel Abu Taher (retired – BD Army) (Bengali: আবু তাহের) (1938–1976) was a BDF sub-sector and temporary appointed sector commander of BDF Sector 11 in 1971. He received the award Bir Uttam.[1] He was a communist and a left-leaning radical activist of the Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal, responsible for the Soldiers Mutiny and Uprising and the radical break-out that occurred in Dhaka that killed many officers and men [2] along with their spouses on 7 November 1975. As a Captain, Taher escaped from Pakistan during mid-August with three other fellow officers and successfully made contact with Indian authorities. He spent further two weeks at Dehradun, RAW HQ's, for debriefing and then sent to BDF HQ at Calcutta.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Military career 2
  • Role in Bangladesh Independence War 3
  • Post-liberation activities 4
  • High Court ruling 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and education

Lieutenant Colonel Abu Taher was born in Badarpur, Assam Province of British India on 14 November 1938.[3] He is from Kazla village in Purbadhala in Netrokona District of Bangladesh which is his ancestral home. After completion of higher secondary school from Sylhet M C College, he joined the Pakistan Army in September 1960 as an officer candidate.[4]

Military career

Abu Taher received his Commission in 1962 as a second lieutenant in the Pakistan Army. Abu Taher joined the elite Pakistan Special Services Group (Commando Force) in 1965.[3] Following his training, he participated in the Indo-Pak War of 1965 in the Sialkot sector of Kashmir. For his part, he received a war participation medal from the Pakistan Army. After the war, Taher took officers pre qualification course on Guerrilla Warfare at Fort Benning in the United States in 1969. He was posted to the Quetta Staff College, Pakistan in 1970.[4]

Role in Bangladesh Independence War

Towards the end of August 1971, Capt. Taher along with three other Bengali officers: Maj. Abul Manzoor, Capt. Dalim and Capt. Ziauddin defected from the Pakistan Army and crossed over the border near Abbottabad, West Pakistan, into India.[4] After two weeks under Indian intelligence screening and debriefing, he was sent to BDF HQ at 8 Theatre Road. He was promoted to Major and posted to Sector 11 as Sector Commander under General MAG Osmani at Teldhala.[5] Sector 11 was located across the Rangpur District, which comprised Mymensingh District, Tangail District and parts of the Rangpur District. 2 November 1971, Taher lost his leg from mortar shelling by Pakistan Army.[6] Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan was officially appointed Sector Commander of Sector 11 under direct orders through EAM from Colonel Osmani, BDF HQ. Taher was flown to Pune, India. On 21 November Taher received a Medical Board Release. His leg was later amputated there, where he remained until February 1972. For his valour, he was awarded Bir Uttam.

Post-liberation activities

Following his return, Taher was reinstated into Bangladesh Army in April due to the severe shortage of personnel, as many remained stranded in Pakistan, where most were interned as prisoners of war. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was appointed as the "Adjutant General" of BD army, in June 1972 he was appointed as Commander of 44th Brigade at the Dhaka Central Jail and was sentenced to death on July 17, 1976. He was executed by hanging on 21 July 1976.[8] He trial was considered flawed.[8][9]

High Court ruling

On 22 March 2011 the High Court overturned the previous judgement that authorised Taher's execution by a military tribunal while the nation was under martial law. The military court judgement was declared illegal.[10] The court observed Taher's execution had happened according to General Zia's plan.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Habib, Haroon. "Two epoch-making verdicts". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Newton, Michael. Famous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia. United States of America: ABC-CLIO, LLC. p. 455.  
  3. ^ a b Remembrance. "TWO GIANTS". The Daily Star. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Editor. "Taher, Colonel Abu". Banglapedia. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Star Online Report. "Taher execution an outright murder: HC". The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Star Country Desk. "Kamalpur, Phulbari tasted freedom on this day in '71". The Daily Star. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "History of Jatiya Samajtantric Dal". Dhaka Informatix. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Manik, Julfikar Ali. "5th amendment verdict paves way for justice". The Daily Star. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Katsiaficas, George (2013). Asia's unknown uprisings. Oakland, Calif.: PM. p. 270.  
  10. ^ "HC declares Taher trial illegal"
  11. ^ Niloy, Suliman. "‘Zia staged trial to kill Col Taher’". bdnews24. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 

External links

  • Website commemorating Col. Taher
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