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Where are the families of Bir Shresthas?

  • Published at 09:36 pm December 15th, 2019

Dhaka Tribune looked back on the present status of families of the national heroes to check how they are in this independent Bangladesh

In the last 48 years since independence, Bangladesh has achieved tremendous success in almost all the sectors including the middle-income country status and is marching towards becoming a developed nation.

But have we looked back and properly honoured the families of the seven ‘Bir Shresthas’ (the nation’s most valiant heroes) who showed utmost bravery and died in action to materialize the dream of an independent Bangladesh? 

Dhaka Tribune looked back on the present status of families of the national heroes to check how they are in this independent Bangladesh.

Allocation for constructing Hamidur Rahman's house remains halted

Bir Sreshtho Shaheed Sepoy Hamidur Rahman from Khalishpur village in Jhenaidah district took part in the liberation war from sector 4 and sacrificed his life in the battle of Dhalai Border Outpost.

Only his brothers are now alive in the family.

His nephew Mostafizur Rahman said they are receiving assistance from Bangladesh Army and the government, but the house they are currently living has become very old.

“Following an application to the prime minister, an allocation of Tk1.73 crore was approved by the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs for construction of a house in his village, but the fund is yet to be released,” he said.

The family bought lands on their own and applied to run a community clinic in the name of the valiant hero, but did not receive the registration, while some other local clinics have already received registration certificates, he alleged.

According to him, construction of the 37-bigha eco-park in the name of the Bir Shreshtho did not begin yet.

When asked, liberation war affair ministry's Additional Secretary (development) M Salah Uddin said the fund was released by the finance ministry at the end of last fiscal year, but the ministry took it back.

“The work will begin this year,” he added.

Mostafa Kamal's mother losing her hearing power

Bir Sreshtho Mostofa Kamal, a Shaheed Shipahi of the army, was killed in a defensive battle against the occupying Pakistan Army in Daruin village of Comilla. 

Within a few days of his death, his only daughter died following a fire incident while his son, who got a job in the army after his death, died of cancer.

Because of old age complication, the movement of his mother Maleka Begum has become limited for the last five-six months and she almost lost her hearing and talking ability.

The family of the valiant hero is now living at Alinagar in Bhola Sadar Upazila as they have lost their ancestral land and house to the erosion of Meghna river years ago.

Mostafizur Rahman, brother of Mostafa, said that every year they go to the grave of the Bir Sreshtho in Akhaura, but this time it will not be possible for them due to their mother's illness.

“However the good news is, the college named after the Bir Sreshtho in Alinagar area of the district was enlisted with MPO. A three-storied college building is under construction,” he said.

Family of Ruhul Amin says doing fine

On December 10, 1971, just six days before the victory, Bir Sreshtho Mohammad Ruhul Amin, Engine Room Artificer of Bangladesh Naval Ship (BNS) Palash, was killed by collaborators of Pakistan army, after his warship came under Indian Air Force attack mistakenly in Rupsha River, Khulna.

Among his three sons-in-law, one is a Bangladesh Navy member, one is a private secretary of a former commerce minister, while another is involved in politics in Noakhali.

His elder son, who was a captain of Bangladesh Navy, died of cancer, while the younger one is mentally challenged.

Daughter of the valiant hero Nurjahan Begum said: "We do not have a shortage of anything... we just lost one of our brothers at an early age like my father and another brother is sick."

Nur Mohammad's family says noting to seek from the govt

Shaheed Lance Nayek Bir Sreshtho Nur Mohammad Sheikh was killed in an engagement with the Pakistan Army while providing covering fire for fellow soldiers – saving them and inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy –in Jessore’s Goalhati on September 5, 1971. 

His son S M Golam Mostafa Kamal said they do not have anything to seek from the government.

Mohiuddin Jahangir's homestead is on the verge of river erosion

On this day in 1971, just two days before the nation's final victory against the Pakistani occupation army, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir embraced martyrdom in a battle with the Pakistani occupation forces on the bank of the Mahananda River near Chapainawabganj district. 

His brother Manjur Rahman Bacchu said their house, developed in 1980, goes underwater whenever there is rain and is now at the risk of collapse due to river erosion.

He demanded continuation of the government initiative to prevent river erosion to save their house.

Motiur Rahman's family in US

Bir Sreshtho Motiur Rahman, then a flight lieutenant of Pakistan Air Force during the Liberation War, was killed when he attempted to escape from Pakistan to join the Liberation War by hijacking a Lockheed T-33 aircraft.

He was killed as his flight crashed in Pakistan, just 35 miles away from the Indian border.

His wife Mili Rahman and two daughters, with their husbands, are currently residing in the United States, Bir Sreshtho Ruhul Amin's daughter Nurjahan told Dhaka Tribune.

Where is Abdur Rouf's family

Shaheed Lance Nayek Bir Sreshtho Munshi Abdur Rouf with an automatic machine gun tried to restrict the Pakistan Army from using the Rangamati - Mahalchari waterway in Chittagong. On duty at EPR sector 8, he died in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

He was unmarried and his mother died about three years back. Dhaka Tribune was not able to contact any of his two sisters.