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Shuvapur Bridge destruction saved Ctg. from genocide in 71: Mosharraf

CHITTAGONG, March 18, 2016 (BSS)- Sub-commander of Sector-1 during the War of Liberation in 1971 and now Minister for Public Works & Housing Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, said he made the Shuvapur Bridge inoperative ahead of the war at the inspiration of Bangabandhu.

"Few days before the beginning of the Liberation War, I met Bangabandhu and disclosed my plan to destroy the Shuvapur Bridge to hinder the entry of the Pakistani forces into Chittagong. He hugged me and said 'Bravo!"

In an exclusive interview with BSS, Engineer Mosharraf said he made the bridge inoperative at the inspiration of Bangabandhu. This had delayed the entry of the Pakistan army into Chittagong by two days and saved the people of Chittagong from a massive genocide.

Asked why he thought about destroying the Shuvapur Bridge, Engineer Mosharraf said after listening to the 7th March speech of Bangabandhu, he could understand that it was not possible to liberate the country without an armed struggle.

And hence, he thought about destroying the bridge to snap communication with Dhaka as a preparation for an eminent war to keep Chittagong free for a few more days.

Engineer Mosharraf said he came to Dhaka along with Jane Alam Dobhash on March 7 and called on Bangabandhu at his Dhanmondi residence. As he disclosed his plan of destroying the bridge, Bangabandhu hugged him and said "Bravo!"

Bangabandhu had also advised him to collect explosives to make the plan a success. Engineer Mosharraf said he first went to Chhatak Cement factory in Sylhet to procure explosives, but failed. Later, he planned to manufacture powerful fuel with bitumen and kerosene to destroy the bridge.

In the meantime, soldiers with brigade strength was preparing to come from Comilla to Chittagong. The then Sangram Parishad in Chittagong entrusted Engineer Mosharraf with the responsibility of destroying Shuvapur Bridge.

On March 25, the Pakistan army started for Chittagong from Comilla in 26 trucks. Engineer Mosharraf started preparations at 5 pm along with his associates to blow up the bridge.

Engineer Mosharraf said they first saw that there were some security guards on both sides of the bridge. They disarmed them and sprayed bitumen and kerosene on the wooden decks of the steel-framed bridge. Then they set fire to the bridge and it started burning billowing out huge flames and sounds.

Though the bridge could not be blown up for want of explosives, it became inoperative. The Pakistani force could see the fire from far away and became scared. They halted their advancement temporarily.

Engineer Mosharraf said after making the bridge inoperative, he began to proceed towards Chittagong quickly. He found thousands of people on the road. He informed them about the advancement of the Pakistani force and asked them to resist. Then he reached the city at the dead of night.

Engineer Mosharraf said had the Shuvapur Bridge not been made inoperative and if the people did not block the road, the Pakistani army would have reached Chittagong city on the night of March 25 resulting in another genocide.