UK Ching, who had been awarded the gallantry award of Bir Bikram of the Liberation War in 1971 as the only freedom fighter from the indigenous communities, has passed away. He was 86.
The veteran freedom fighter breathed his last at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) at 6:15am today, reports our Bandarban correspondent, quoting deceased war veteran’s daughter Renu Marma.
He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter along with numerous friends, relatives and well wishers to mourn.
Doctors at the CMCH said Ching's condition began deteriorating from the early hours of the day since he had been admitted to the hospital following a brain stroke on Tuesday at his residence at Langipara in Bandarban district.
Earlier, he was admitted to Bandarban Sadar Hospital.
Contacted, District Civil Surgeon Dr Maung Te Zaw said Ching had a brain stroke and suffering from old age complications for a long time.
He joined the East Pakistan Rifles in 1952 and retired in 1982.
Ching, who belong to Marma community, was a Nayek Subedar of the East Pakistan Rifles stationed at the Hatibandha border outpost and fought in the Sahebganj sub-sector.
The funeral ceremony of the freedom fighter will be held on Sunday with their traditional norms at his family crematorium while state honours will be given on Friday afternoon, said Devdas Bhattacharya, superintendent of police (SP) of the district.
Meanwhile, people from all walks of life thronged the residence of Ching after hearing of his death.
Minister of Chittagong Hill tracts Affairs Bir Bahadur Ushoi Ching, Bandarban Cantonment Chief Brigadier General Nakib Ahmed Chowdhury, Bandarban Hill District Council Chairman Kwe Shwe Hla, Bandarban Deputy Commissioner KM Tariqul Islam and the municipality Mayor M Zabed Reza, among others, expressed grief at his death.
The chairmen of three Hill District Councils (HCDs), political party leaders and individuals sent condolence messages at the death of UK Ching.
Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) in a condolence message expressed deep shock at the demise of the indigenous hero saying UK Ching dreamed of a country where there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnicity.