Martyred Sheikh Kamal was neither my friend nor at all close associate. Rather we were bitter opponent belonging to two diagonally opposing camp Abahoni and Mohammedan Sporting Club. On few occasions, our commitment to our club interests clashed. We played few cricket matches against each other. We argued a lot about cricket passion. But somehow I had a deep sense respect for his simplicity and very down to earth personality. We spent several hours talking cricket, talking sports. He used to play for Azad Boys. Roquibul Hasan, Quamrul Hasan, Zia, Himu, pistol Munir, Shan were common friends.
Very often I protested against forcibly taking our players. I got close to him in late 1974 and 1975 as student league activist in BUET and later when Sultana Apa was about to marry her. Kamal Bhai used to visit our BUET halls from time to time. Otherwise, most of our meetings were on the cricket ground. I remember once I had a long session with him in Abahoni Club talking about his plans with the club. Aliul Bhai, Zia Bhai and Churchill were present. Sultana (Khuki Apa) used to practice often in our BUET play ground as their residence was just adjacent to it.
The reason I am writing this today as after so many years I do not find any of Kamal Bhai’s close associates talk their hearts out about him. He was a perfect gentleman, very sober and honest in desire. He was good cricketer, a basketball player, used to play sitar and was keen dramatist. A person who had so many virtues cannot harm others. Actually, he never harmed. He was unlike the sons and daughters of many other politicians who indulged in wholesale corruption and misuse of power. If any stranger would have met him he or she would never know unless someone told that he was Bangabandhu son. He was so unassuming. BNP; JP could not find any event of crime and corruption against him.
History will one day definitely put Kamal in position he deserves.
People created so many rumors about him involved in bank robbery, kidnapping a Major’s wife. These were all rubbish. Many of his mates are now better placed in society to speak out what happened on that night before the Dhaka College election. At that time Dhaka city had fear of an underground party creating trouble.
One of Kamal’s friends bought a brand new car. Kamal Bhai and his friends went on a drive. Off course, a hidden desire was to check on underground party movement. Special force of police commanded by city SP Mahamuddin Bir Bikram mistakenly opened fire thinking Kamal group as underground miscreants injuring few. That is the story. There was no question of bank robbery. At that time, son of Bangabandhu did not require to go for Bank robbery. Kamal never required too much money. He led a very simple life. Recently a press interview of noted actress Dolly Zohur evidenced what kind of amiable personality Kamal was.
Yet there were so many rumors so much propaganda. At least for the sake of clarity, for the sake of right new generation close associates of Kamal Bhai who accompanied him in that night must come out with correct statement. From 1975-1990 Bangladesh was ruled by autocrats after unfortunate changeover. But no one could establish any incident of crime or excesses of Kamal or Bangabandhu family. There were no evidences of Bank robbery or kidnapping against Kamal.
Rather Kamal’s creating Abahoni Krira Chakra from Iqbal Sporting is very much alive and active as a major sports organization. He must be admired as pioneer for modernizing football in Bangladesh. As told in the beginning we were bitter rivals being in opposing camp. But I had deep respect and admiration for the person whose legacy cannot be tarnished even none of his closest friends ever comes up with true story.
Sultana (Khuki Apa) was also an exceptional human being. I had opportunity of interviewing her. I was with Qaumruzzaman Bhai when he talked with her as wrote cover story in Weekly Bichitra. Bangladesh sports arena lost two greats in Kamal and Khuki prematurely. May Allah bless their souls.
BDST: 1135 HRS, SEP 09, 2015