The last phone call ever that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made before getting brutally killed on 15 August 1975 was to the 39-year-old Colonel Jamil Uddin Ahmed.
Bangabandhu's residence at Dhanmondi 32 was already under attack, and the Father of the Nation was desperately in need of help.
Earlier he had also tried to reach out to the Jatiya Rakkhi Bahini headquarters but to no avail. He had also phoned General Shafiullah, the Chief of the Army Staff, only to get a futile suggestion of getting out of the house.
But with Colonel Jamil, who had just been transferred to DGFI (Directorate General of Forces Intelligence) as its Director-General from his position as military secretary to the president, it was a different story.
Colonel Jamil was at the Bangabhaban at the time with his wife and daughters. However, he had been spending a restless night with his ill wife. Also, he had to escort the President to Dhaka University in the morning.
Not that it was a new duty for Colonel Jamil. Still, he had been feeling very uneasy. Even when his wife had urged him to go to sleep, he had replied, "I can't sleep."
And his sleep completely disappeared as soon as he picked up the phone when Bangabandhu called. The President said, "I am in danger. Who knows who has attacked me, Jamil? Save me!" In reply, Colonel Jamil said, "Yes sir, I am coming right away."
And he left for Bangabandhu's Dhanmondi residence. He did not cower from carrying out his duty. Around 5 am, he got up and was ready in no time, throwing a dressing gown over his pajamas.
He called General Shafiullah and other important organisations, including the Jatiya Rakkhi Bahini, to send in the troops. He said to General Shafiullah, "I am going to house no 32, you send in force."
He also picked up his loaded revolver and tried to call Bangabandhu again, but the phone line was dead by then.
His wife, Anjuman Ara Jamil, somehow had an intuition that something bad was going to happen. As Colonel Jamil was rushing towards the exit gate in a hurry, Mrs Jamil tailed him and asked gently, "Do you really have to go?"
Hearing these words uttered by his wife, who had always supported him and stood by him like a rock, Colonel Jamil was rather disappointed. He tried to reason with his wife by saying, "Are you crazy? How can I stay home when I know Bangabandhu is in danger?"
Soon after, Colonel Jamil sunk into his own thoughts. "Who ordered the withdrawal of 200 troops from the President's Guard Regiment?" He murmured to himself.
Then he lit a cigarette, drank a glass of water and turned to his wife. He said: "Please, take good care of our daughters."
Then Colonel Jamil hurried to the President's residence in Dhanmondi in his red Nissan Prince car with driver Ainuddin at the wheel.
Mrs Jamil and her second daughter Afrozaa Jamil Konka stared at the car till it disappeared in the darkness of the night. When they turned around, one of the guards at the Ganabhaban gate exclaimed to Mrs Jamil, "Madam, you let him go!"
As if the guard could also feel an ominous imminent future.
In the meantime, when Colonel Jamil's car arrived near Sobhanbag, he saw that the PGR convoy was not moving. So he got down near the mosque and asked a soldier why the troops were not moving.
There followed an intense argument. A soldier informed him that a shooting was going on at the president's house and he wouldn't be allowed to go any further.
"We have orders to shoot anyone who passes this way," he was even warned. Still, Colonel Jamil almost convinced him to let him go.
"I am Colonel Jamil. Obey my command, remove the barricade and let the PGR convoy move," he asked a Subedar-Major and walked back to his car.
But this time, his driver Ainuddin was reluctant to go. But Colonel Jamil wasn't ready to hear 'no' for an answer. He said to this driver, "If you are really this scared, then get down and let me drive instead."
By this time, Major Bazlul Huda showed up and asked the soldiers, "Who is he?" After learning that this man was in fact Colonel Jamil, Huda first commanded the Subedar-Major to shoot him.
But as the Subedar-Major refused to obey his command, Huda himself went to the car, took up a gun and sent a volley of bullets ripping through Jamil.
Jamil pronounced "La Ilaha Illallah" thrice before embracing martyrdom trying to save the Father of the Nation whom he had sworn to protect.
On that fateful dawn, Colonel Jamil was the only individual who laid down his life for Bangabandhu while everyone else turned their back at a time when he needed them the most.
In 2010, Colonel Jamil was promoted posthumously to the rank of Brigadier General and awarded Bir Uttam, Bangladesh's second-highest military decoration, in recognition of his valiant deeds.