Dutta was the commander of sector number 4 during liberation war
People from all walks of life paid homage to late freedom fighter Bir Uttam Major General (retd) Chitta Ranjan Dutta, also known as CR Dutta, at Dhakeshwari Temple on Tuesday.
Dutta was the commander of Sector 4 during the country’s Liberation War. He was also senior vice president of Sector Commander Forum and also the founding president of Bangladesh Hindu-Buddha-Christian Oikya Parishad.
On Tuesday morning, his coffin was brought to Dhakeshwari temple under the supervision of Bangladesh Army. He was given state honours in presence of Dhaka Deputy Commissioner Shahidul Islam.
Along with a guard of honour, the Liberation War Ministry also honoured him with a bouquet of flowers on his coffin.
His fellow freedom fighters, ex-colleagues, and the representatives from different political parties and organizations honoured him with flowers and prayers.
Chironjeet Dutta, the son of CR Dutta, told journalists at Dhakeshwari temple: “My father dreamt of a secular country. We saw he fought for the country in many unfavourable situations. He, in his whole life, worked to build a secular country. He loved his country.”
After paying tributes, Bangladesh Awami League Joint Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said: “He was a great organizer who showed direction and performed his duty during any crisis moment in the country.
“The nation will remember his contribution during the Liberation War, forever. The nation will remember him for his contribution in building a secular Bangladesh.” he said.
After his wife’s death, CR Dutta was living in the US with his daughters and sons for the last several years. He died at the age of 93 in a hospital in Florida on August 25.
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After his return from the US, his dead body was kept at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH). His dead body was brought to his DOHS residence on Tuesday morning. Then, his coffin was brought to Dhakeshwari Temple at 8:15am.
Later, his body was taken to Rajarbag crematorium for cremation after a guard of honour at 3pm, said Advocate Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Buddha-Christian Oikya Parishad.
“CR Dutta protested against General Ershad’s move to divide the countrymen by religion to settle his military government,” Rana Dasgupta said.
Earlier, a 1001-member national citizens’ committee was formed with Major General (retd) KM Shafiullah, one of the sector commanders during the Liberation War, as the convener and journalist Shahriar Kabir as member-secretary to pay last tributes to Bir Uttam CR Dutta in a proper manner.
Dutta was born on 1 January, 1927, in Shillong of Assam. His ancestral home is in Mirashi village of Chunarughat upazila of Habiganj. He joined the Pakistan Army in 1951 and a few days later, he was commissioned as “second lieutenant.”
Dutta was the founder director general of the then Bangladesh Rifles, which is now called Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
The then Pakistan government rewarded him for his courageous contribution to the 1965 Indo-Pak war, the first battle of his military life.
In 1971, Col MAG Osmani, the commander-in-chief of the Liberation War, appointed Dutta as the commander of Sector 4.
He made important contributions after being appointed as a brigade commander in Rangpur in 1972.
In 1973, the government felt the need to form a border guard force for independent Bangladesh and gave the responsibility to him in this regard.
He later formed a border guard force and it was named Bangladesh Rifles. At present, the name of this force is BGB.
He was awarded the title of Bir Uttam for his valiant contribution to the great Liberation War.
The city road from Katabon to Karwan Bazar was named after him as “Bir Uttam CR Dutta.”