• Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018
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Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad’s long-lost bicycle ends up in store room

  • Published at 10:50 pm September 4th, 2018
Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad Sheikh
File photo of a mural of Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad Sheikh Dhaka Tribune

After sitting idly in a room at the deputy commissioner’s office for a year, the bicycle was moved to the museum

Despite many initiatives being taken by the government to preserve the memory of Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad Sheikh in the minds of the new generation, progress on the project has been minimal. This includes his long-lost bicycle, which has wound up in a store room.

In 2008, Mahishkhola was renamed Noor Mohammad Nagar to honour the martyr, and named a library and memorial museum after him. 

Despite the praise the initiative received, the museum was left incomplete as the necessary structures could not be constructed due to a lack of manpower. As a result, a bicycle and a sword used by Noor Mohammad have unceremoniously been stashed in a store room.

Noor Mohammad would travel on this bicycle, and it was on this bicycle that he came to visit his family for the last time during the Liberation War. Presumed lost, it was found 45 years later in 2016.  It was being used by his relative Aliar Rahman’s son Emdadul Haque.

The bicycle of Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad has been collecting dust in this store of a museum named after him in Narail for a long time | Dhaka Tribune

The bicycle was originally handed over to former Narail Deputy Commissioner Md Helal Mahmud Sharif by Noor Mohammad’s wife and family in 2016. After sitting idly in a room at the deputy commissioner’s office for a year, the bicycle was moved to the museum, but it has since been collecting dust in a store room.

Recently, people have demanded that the bicycle be given a place in the museum.

Emdadul Haque said: “My father told me the story of how Noor Mohammad left his bicycle with him many times. My father used it for a long time, and gave it to me when he passed away.”

Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad’s brother-in-law Moshiar Rahman said: “Noor Mohammad rode this cycle all the way here from Jessore during the war. The last time we saw him was when he gave Aliar the bicycle.”

Noor Mohammad’s wife Fazilatunnessa said: “I hope the authorities put the cycle in the museum, as it was an important part of Noor’s life, and people may be interested in seeing it.”

The museum named after Noor Mohammad was left incomplete as the necessary structures could not be constructed due to a lack of manpower | Dhaka Tribune

Librarian of the memorial museum Rajab Ali said: “Many people come here from all over the country to see the personal effects of the martyr. It is a shame that his prized bicycle is rotting away in a store room.”

Member secretary of the Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad Sheikh Trust, Azizur Rahman Bhuiyan said: “We always boast about our martyrs, but lack the same enthusiasm when taking action. Noor Mohammad’s namesake college is still not under the Monthly Pay Order (MPO), and his bicycle has been relegated to a store room.”

However, Zila Parishad Chairman Advocate Sohrab Hossain Biswas said a plan is under way to build a sitting area at Noor Mohammad’s house so that visitors can rest.

Narail Deputy Commissioner and President of the Noor Mohammad Welfare Trust Md Emdadul Haque Chowdhury said: “The bicycle has probably been placed in the store room because of a lack of space in the museum. We will address the matter when we visit the museum on September 5.”