27 October 1944|
Bhedarganj, British India
|Died||2 January 1975
|Alma mater||Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology|
|Known for||Revolutionary leader in Bangladesh|
|Political party||Purba Banglar Sarbahara Party|
Siraj Sikder (27 October 1944 – 2 January 1975) was a revolutionary leader of Bangladesh.
Siraj Sikder was born on 27 October 1944 at Bhedarganj in Shariatpur District. After passing the matriculation examination from Barisal Zilla School in 1959, he was admitted into Barisal Brojomohun College in 1961 for I.Sc. He obtained an engineering degree from the East Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology (now BUET) in 1967.
During his student life he was a very active member of East Pakistan Student Union. He was elected vice president of the central committee of Student Union (Menon group) in 1967. In the same year he joined the C & B Department of the government as an engineer, but within three months left the job to join a private company named Engineering Limited in Teknaf.
On 8 January 1968, along with like-minded activists, he formed a clandestine organisation named Purba Bangla Sramik Andolon (East Bengal Workers Movement-EBWM) with an objective to lead a struggle against the revisionism of the existing "Communist" organizations and to form a revolutionary Communist Party. This initiative brought forward a thesis that East Bengal is a colony of Pakistan and the principal contradiction in the society is between the bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudals of Pakistan and people of East Bengal. Only the independence struggle to form a "independent, democratic, peaceful, non-aligned, progressive" People's Republic of East Bengal, free also from the oppression of US imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism and Indian Expansionism could lead the society forward towards socialism and communism. (See the Thesis of EBWM, 1968). In late 1968, Siraj Sikder left the job to establish the Mao Tse Tung Research Center in Dhaka but it was later closed down by the Pakistan government. In February 1970, Siraj Sikder joined the Technical Training College in Dhaka as a lecturer.
In the meantime of war, at a liberated base area named Pearabagan at Bhimruly in Jhalakati district in the southern part of the country, on 3 June 1971, Siraj Sikder founded a new party named Purba Banglar Sarbahara Party (Proletarian Party of East Bengal) by ideology of Marxism and Mao Tsetung Thought (not "Maoism", during the 1960s the followers of Mao-line used to identify their ideology as Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought). At the beginning of the war he went to Barisal and he declared that as a free living space and making it his base attempted to initiate his revolution throughout other places. The war he fought was of different ideology than who fought in the name of the Mukti Bahini. He fought to eradicate the economic suppression by state machinery irrelevant of their nationality.
In 1975, he was arrested at Hali Shahr in Chittagong by the intelligence force of the government. He was killed in police custody on 2 January 1975 by police on his way from Dhaka Airport to the Rakkhi Bahini Camp at Savar. It is mentioned in Anthony Mascarenhas' book Bangladesh: A Legacy of Blood that Sikder was killed by the police on the express order of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.