Forty-seven years after the country’s independence, a memorial plaque has been erected to honour the heroic historical events that took place in Kotalipara, Gopalganj during the Liberation War in 1971.
The memorial has been erected in Kotalipara upazila's Johorerkandi village and is set to be inaugurated on February 23.
When the war began in 1971, Bir Bikrom Hemayet Uddin's Hemayet Force set up a training camp in Purbo Kotalipara Union High school in Johorerkandi village. Aspiring fighters from Gopalganj, Faridpur, Barisal, and Madaripur received training at this camp.
Hemayat Uddin led freedom fighters against enemy forces from Rajapur, Ramshil and Johorerkandi in Kotalipara upazila's Ramshil union, as well as enemy forces from Barishal, Faridpur, Gopalganj and Madaripur. The Hemayat Force clashed with the Pakistan Army several times. Many members of the Hemayat Force died in these gunfights. Many freedom fighters including Hemayet himself were injured in these fights as well.
Kotalipara's Ramshil union did not preserve any reminders from this time – until now. Forty-seven years after the war, Gopalganj Zila Parishad member and upazila Awami League executive committee member Devdulal Basu Poltu took the initiative to build a memorial plaque to honour the heroic sacrifices of the freedom fighters from these areas.
Mujibul Haque, a freedom fighter who fought in the Hemayat Force, said: "The Liberation War is the most glorious history of this country. We need to hold on to this and pass it on to the new generation. I wholeheartedly thank Devdalul Basu for his contribution to preserving our history."
Zila Parishad member and son of a freedom fighter Nazrul Islam Munnu said: "Many memorabilia from that time are left neglected. I encourage people to preserve them."
Johorerkandi Purbo Kotalipara Union High School's former headmaster Bibekanad Dhali said: "We got our country through the Liberation War. We have to keep taking these kinds of initiatives to showcase the history of the war from this region."
Devdalul Bosu Poltu said: "Even 47 years after the war, there have been no initiatives to preserve the heroic history of the Liberation War from this region. We built the plaque to remember what had almost been lost."
He said he was going to build memorial plaques in Ramshil union's mass grave sites and training camps as well.