Major General Rao Forman Ali (PA-1364) was the chief adviser to the Governer of East Pakistan during the liberation war. Unlike Yahya, whose only known method for all transactions was application of brutal military force, Rao was aware of the reality leading to the war and the possible impact of the war on Bangladesh and Bangalees.

He served in Dhaka cantonment for more than a decade and was involved in intelligence gathering, making strategic decisions and formulating policies. He was also involved in buying Bangalee politicians to subvert nationalist movements. He was the mastermind behind the massacre of 1971 as he, being in charge of the civil administration, knew about Bangladesh more than his peers. It was Forman who blueprinted the elimination of the secular minded Bangalee intellectuals.

He was more of a cold blooded murderer than the haughty Yahya or bloodthirsty Tikka. His trained killers were more ruthless than the professional soldiers. Forman ran training programs in various cantonments for the forces of Al-Badr and Al-Shams to train them to torture, mutilate and slaughter the captive Bangalees’ in Islamic manner.

In his book The Betrayal of East Pakistan, General Niazi described Forman as an opportunist, a conspirator and a swindler. Niazi also said, implicating Forman’s involvement in the killing of the intellectuals, that Forman requested him (N) to send him (F) back to Pakistan, for, ” Mukti Bahini would kill him of his alleged massacre of the Bangalees and intellectuals on the night of 15-16 December. It was a pathetic sight to see him pale and almost on the verge of break down”.

rao2Presently Forman is writing books in order to convince the world about his ignorance of independence war of Bangladesh and to clear his name off the massacre, loot, rape and arson during the war. In his book Forman, through his subtle language and ostensibly innocent representation, pleads his innocence during the war and his ignorance of the war situation (although he was in charge of the civil administration and the chief adviser to the chief martial law administrator of Pakistan !).

Evidences against Forman’s involvement in the massacre of the Bangalees and the killings of the intellectuals:

1. When asked about Forman’s refusal to admit his involvement in the killing of the intellectuals Brigader Sidddiqui, another senior military officer during the war, said:……” He (Forman) was the major general in charge of civil administration. As such nothing would happen which he would not know. Forman is the man who should about the killing of the intellectuals. I never trusted him. He always wore a mask…”.

2. In The Separation of East Pakistan, Mr Hasan Zahir, a Pakistani civil servant wrote: ” Major General Forman Ali was the executioner of Dhaka part of ” Operation Searchlight”. He succedded in ‘shock action’ by concentrated and indiscriminate firing on target areas…….”

3. Siddiq Salik in his book, Witness to Surrender ( p.71), wrote: ….”The plan for operation Searchlight-1 visualized the setting up of two headquarters. Major General Forman with 57 Brigade under Brigadier Arbab, was responsible for operations in Dacca city and its suburbs while Major General Khadim was to look after the rest of the province. In addition lieutenant General Tikka Khan and his staff were to spend the night at the Martial Law Headquarters in the Second Capital to watch the progress of action in and outside Dacca……”

4. According to Mr Altaf Gaohar, a leading Pakistani journalist, Forman was the mastermind behind the killing of the intellectuals. In this connection Mr Gaohar recounted an incident from his memory. One of Gaohar’s friends told him that a hit list had been drawn up for elimination of certain Bangalees. A friend of his was also in the list and he requested Gaohar if he could do something to save his friend. Gaohar then took the matter to one of his friends who was also common friend of Forman. Gaohar’s friend then saw Forman and requested him to drop the name from his hit list. ” Forman brought, said Gaohar’s friend, a diary out of his drawer and crossed the name out. The name was of Mr Sanaul Huq and he was spared.” After independence Forman’s diary was recovered from the ruins of the Governor’s house. The copy of a page from the diary shows the list of intellectuals from Dhaka University. 14 of them were killed on 14 December, 1971.

rdiary5. A close reading of Forman’s book in self defense, How Pakistan Got Divided, shows that Forman had deeply ingrained prejudice against the Bangalees. Like Hitler, Forman the ignorant fool, suffers from the purity complex. He believes that due to the Hindu influence Bangalees are not pure Muslims. But the rascal forgot that it was due to the Bangalee majority that made for Pakistan. It was people, not bloody military, who made Pakistan. Forman firmly believed that the impurities of the Bangalees can be mended if they are absolved of the Hindu influence. This was the conviction that motivated Forman to ruthlessly eliminate the Bangalee intellectuals. Behind all elements of Bangalee nationalism Forman discovered Hindu phantasm. He was less critical of Sheikh Mujib but an arch enemy of Tajuddin Ahmed. If arrested Forman, as his comment on Tajuddin testifies, would not have spared Tajuddin: …..” Tajuddin, the die hard pro Indian Awami leaguer, came in and sat down. He hated West Pakistan and perhaps Pakistan itself. He was reputed to have been a Hindu up to the age of 8. I do not think this story was correct but it revealed his mental make up”.

fr01281 6. The group photo with Golam Azam and puppet governor Malek below shows that Forman is discussing the plan for elimination of the Bangalee intellectuals. Golam Azamm and Forman is alleged to have jointly prepared the list of names of Bangalee intellectuals for elimination to absolve Bangalees of Hindu influences.

7. Excerpt from the report on the excavation of Jalladkhan mass grave carried out by Bangladesh Liberation War Museum (LWM). The excerpt underscores the extreme brutalities showed by Forman’s special forces in torturing and killing the Bangalees:

..”The Jalladkhan (slaughter house) located also in Mirpur (Section 10 Block D)…….. selected for immediate excavation and exhuming of remains of the martyrs of 1971. ……….The excavation began on November 15 1999 and the exhuming ended on 23 November with the recovery of 70 skulls and 5392 various human bones. Most of the skulls revealed sign of being severed from the shoulder with a sharp weapon and some bore marks of being struck by heavy weapon and one had a bullet hole shot from a close range. Other bones also showed signs of being hit by a heavy weapon…..


JULY 2008, 2014



About Ehsan Abdullah

An aware citizen..
This entry was posted in BIRONGONAS - War Heroines, CHALLENGES, Friends & Foes - World Reaction, IDENTITY & PATRIOTISM, INTELLECTUALS Killing - BLUEPRINT, LAW & ORDER, LIBERATION - 1971 BIRTH OF A NATION, Martyrs & Sacrifices, RAZAKARS - Genocide & War Crime Trial - Anti Liberation Forces, REFLECTION - Refreshing our Memories, RELIGION & STATE, RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN & DUTY, SECULARISM. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Enayet Mowla says:

    Some of these written here were known to us in the early days immediately after the 1971 war. His name with a “Rao” before his actual name (Rao Farman Ali) told us that he was an immigrant from a family of South Indian origin. In the port city of Chittagong where I used to live in those days. I made friends with a Senior Naval Officer who helped us on many occasions in many ways. It was this officer whose information helped us for the Operation Jackpot, aerial bombings during the last end of the war and also the capture of two Pakistani ocean going ships, trying to escape by changing flags. Through him I had limited contacts with two other Senior Naval officers, one who was in charge of the Chittagong area, (whose name I have forgotten now) and the other one was Admiral Sharif, the Flag officer of East Pakistan, posted in Dhaka and all the three officers were of South Indian origin. None of them was happy with what was going on and it was through them we came to know that it was Rao Farman Ali was fully responsible for the killing at the last end even when preparation was being made for surrender. I don’t know if this man is still living or not but if he is, I think, approaching through the UN, he should be tried under international law.


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