Significance and sanctity of the Pouro Park Shaheed Minar has been tarnished
A Shaheed Minar is a national monument established to commemorate those killed in the course of the 1952 Language Movement. It is a place for all citizens to pay their respects to the Language Movement martyrs.
However, the Shaheed Minar in Gopalganj town has turned into a place for people to openly defecate on the premises, while the footpath to the west of it has become a dumping ground for garbage.
The shocking fact is that the Shaheed Minar is close to the municipality office and yet neither the mayor nor any councillors have bothered to take any action for a rolling back of the sorry state of the monument.
In this regard, Nazmul Islam, president of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshthi in Gopalganj, recently sent a letter to the municipality mayor.
In his letter, he mentions such issues as pollution caused by bicycles, vans and rickshaws; waste from local flower markets; open defecation behind the Shaheed Minar; and local criminals hanging out after sundown.
Nazmul Islam has demanded the preservation of the important national monument.
Khondokar Ehia Khaled Sadi, general secretary of Gopalganj Shilpakala Academy, said: “People from all around the world will visit Gopalganj this year because of the 100th birth anniversary celebrations of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The current state of Shaheed Minar is a disgrace, which smears our history. The premises lack public bathrooms which inconvenience visitors. The Shaheed Minar also lacks space for cultural programs to be organised.”
The municipal authorities should be responsible for cleaning and preserving the Shaheed Minar, added Khaled.
In his comments, Gopalganj Municipality Mayor Kazi Liakat Ali said: “I was not aware of this matter as I have not received a written complaint yet. However, I will do whatever is necessary, including putting up walls, to preserve the sanctity of the Shaheed Minar.”