Fazlul Karim (lawyer)

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Captain Advocate Fazlul Karim Hridoy
Adv F Karim & Mrs N Karim 2.jpg
Advocate Karim with his wife
Born Fazlul Karim
(1905-09-14)September 14, 1905
Harbang, Chakaria, Cox's Bazar, British India
Died May 24, 1986(1986-05-24) (aged 80)
Cause of death Old Age
Resting place Harbang, Chakaria, Cox's Bazar
Residence Jamal Khan Road, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Nationality British Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi
Education Chittagong College, Presidency College, Kolkata
Occupation Lawyer, politician
Known for His contribution in tourism development in East Pakistan and Contribution in Municipal Tax Law Development.
Title Moulvi
Political party Muslim League, Independent
Spouse(s) Nazmunnisa Chowdhurani
Children Murad B.Z. Karim, Brigadier General Khaled A. Karim (Ex-Director Bangladesh Army, Corp of Signals), Flying Officer Shaheed Waleed Ehsanul Karim, Zaid N. Karim
Parent(s) Golam Quader Shikdar, a village leader and Feroza Begum
Relatives Colonel Dr. M. M. Rahman (Youngest Brother)(Ex-Director Bangladesh Army Medical Corp)

Fazlul Karim (Bengali: ফজলুল করিম; September 14, 1905 – May 24, 1986) was a Bangladeshi lawyer, businessman, politician and soldier. He was the first mayor of Cox's Bazar.

Early life[edit]

Fazlul Karim was born in Harbang, a village in Cox's Bazar district in the province of Bengal, to Golam Quader Shikdar, a village leader and Feroza Begum on 14 September 1905. He was the elder son in a family of seven daughters and three sons. Fazlul was educated at the Harbang Union School and later moved to Government Muslim High School in Chittagong, from where he completed his matriculation. He had passed his Intermediate with science from Chittagong College and completed his B.A. and B.L. from Presidency College, Kolkata in 1923 and 1925 respectively.

He started his practice as a lawyer in Calcutta Judges Court as junior lawyer of Barrister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, who used to appoint him to deal with his civil cases in the lower courts. He found his practice as a junior lawyer so lucrative that he refused to become a Munsif when he was offered a post by the Lieutenant Governor. After completion of his B.A exams he joined the Writers' Building (from 1923 to 1926) as the infamous Police Commissioner Sir Charles Augustus Tegart's Bengali translator; as he was fluent in both Urdu and Bengali, he had to translate news from vernacular newspapers for Sir Tegart and Colonel Simpson’s perusal. Neither suspected that he was sympathetic to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Colonel Simpson was killed in a daring attack on Writers' Building by Bengali Militants. Karim was present in that particular room. The two militants did not harm him. But Sir Tegart managed to escape and mount an assault on the militants who tried to commit suicide. He was also accompanying Sir Charles Augustus Tegart when Gopinath Saha tried to assassinate him on January 12, 1924 at Chowringhee Road in Calcutta. Later he returned to Cox's Bazar completing his survey course from Savar, Dhaka and started his practice in Cox's Bazar Judges Court. He had much interest in historical legal cases. He observed the entire Bhawal Raja case staying at Dhaka.


Fazlul Karim in National Guard Uniform
  • Pakistan National Guards: Fazlul Karim was appointed in the then 22nd Battalion of Pakistan National Guards as Lieutenant under the command of Major General Ayub Khan and later promoted as Captain. He was the Officer In Charge (OC) of a platoon of 22nd National Guards, which was posted at Cox's Bazar. When the National Guard was converted into the Bangladesh Ansars (then East Pakistan Ansars), he left the job and joined in the political group, the Muslim League.
  • Chairman of Cox's Bazar Municipality: Advocate Fazlul Karim was elected chairman of Cox's Bazar in 1950 (first after independence from British Raj) from Muslim League and later in 1954 as an independent candidate. He had established the Tamarisk Forest along the beach to draw tourist in this town and also to protect the beach from storm surges. He also donated many of his father in law’s and his own lands for establishing a Public Library and a Town Hall for the town. He was inspired to make Cox's Bazar to make a tourist spot after seeing beaches of Bombay and Karachi, and one of the pioneers in developing Cox's Bazar as such. He founded a Maternity Hospital, the Stadium and the drainage system by procuring grants from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation through correspondence. Mr. T. H. Matthews, the principal of the Dacca Engineering College (1949~1954) was his friend who had helped him in doing this. Engineer Chandi Charan Das was the government civil engineer who had worked on all these projects.
  • Chief Assessor, Chittagong Municipality: He then joined Chittagong Municipality as Chief Assessor for Taxes and developed the method and calculation for Municipal Taxes for the Municipalities of West and East Pakistan (still maintained in Bangladesh Municipalities).
  • Chief Estate Officer, Chittagong Port Authority: He was appointed as Chief Estate Officer of the Chittagong Port Authority in 1966 and was the pioneer in dividing the estates of Railway and Port Authority in East Pakistan.
  • Pleader Commissioner, Chittagong Judges Court: After retirement from the Port Authority he served as Pleader Commissioner in the Chittagong Judges Court till the last day of his life. He was famous for his honesty and fair decision for land division in the courts of East Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Personal life[edit]

He was the first Muslim Graduate in the Cox's Bazar district. At the age of thirty, Fazlul married Nazmunnisa Chowdhurani, elder daughter of Zamindar Akbar Ahmed Chowdhury and granddaughter of Kiwk Zamindar Fazal Karim Chowdhury of Manikpur, Chakaria, Cox's Bazar in 1935. She gave birth to their four sons — Murad B.Z. Karim (an accountant), Brigadier General Khaled A. Karim (Ex-Director Army Signals), Flying Officer Shaheed Waleed Ehsanul Karim, and Zaid N. Karim. He had suffered for sheltering the Bangladesh Mukti Bahini at his home during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. His wife used to supply flags for the Mukti Bahini. On 24 May 1986, Captain Advocate Fazlul Karim died at the age of 81 years in his Jamal Khan Road residence at Chittagong. He was buried at the family graveyard at Harbang, Chakaria.


  • History of Cox's Bazar by Advocate Dulal Chowdhury, Printed 1987, Page 45, 47 and 75
  • Coksho Bazarer Itihash by Prof Nur Ahmed, May 1988
  • Smaraniyo Baraniyo (Chakaria-Pekua) by Anowar Hossain, Printed Sept 2003, Page 77 and 81

External links[edit]