Indifference dims glory of a war memorial | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 11, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Indifference dims glory of a war memorial

Indifference dims glory of a war memorial

Locals now use it for paddy drying

Locals dry paddy on the premises of memorial on 'Jahazmara battle' beside the Jamuna River at Sirajkandi under Bhuapur upazila of Tangail, taking advantage of the authorities' indifference to its proper  care and preservation. PHOTO: STAR
Locals dry paddy on the premises of memorial on 'Jahazmara battle' beside the Jamuna River at Sirajkandi under Bhuapur upazila of Tangail, taking advantage of the authorities' indifference to its proper care and preservation. PHOTO: STAR

The Liberation War memorial reminiscing the glorious victory in 'Jahazmara battle' at Sirajkandi in Bhuapur upazila under the district has remained uncared for one and a half years of its construction.

The Public Works Department (PWD) constructed the memorial beside the Jamuna River, four kilometres to the north of the Bangabandhu Bridge east end, and eight kilometres to the south-west of Bhuapur upazila headquarters, at a cost of Tk 1 crore 64 lakh last year.

But it is yet to be inaugurated as PWD could not hand it over to the authorities concerned despite sending letters.

Meanwhile, a portion of the structure got damaged due to heavy rain several months ago.

On August 10 in 1971, valiant freedom fighters belonging to Kader Bahini in Tangail attacked two arms, ammunition and fuel-laden ships of the Pakistan occupation army -- ST Razan and SU Engineers LC-3, on the confluence of the Jamuna and Dhaleswari rivers at Sirajkandi.

Defeating the enemy, they captured huge amount of modern arms and ammunition worth around Tk 21 crore (at that time) from the ships and burnt those up, causing a blow to the supply chain of the Pakistani army to the northern region.

Locals started calling the place Jahajmara (destroyer of ships) and commander of the daring operation Habibur Rahman Bir Protik (now late) became famous as 'Jahazmara Habib'.

Visiting the memorial a few days ago, this correspondent saw it covered with thick dust while paddy was spread on its floor for drying.

The lightings of the memorial remained out of order.

The memorial was constructed on a filled up pond of Bangladesh Bridge Authorities and regular plying of sand-laden trucks to and from local sand ghats is causing damage to the structure, locals said.

"Jahajmara battle is a glorious event in the history of our Liberation War and the new generation should be made aware of it. But the memorial has remained uncared after its construction,” said Mohammad Abdul Mazid, commander of Bhuapur upazila unit of Muktijoddha Sangsad.     

Bijoy Kumar Mondol, executive engineer of PWD in Tangail, said after completion of the memorial one and a half years ago, letters were sent to the authorities concerned to take over its responsibility.  

“I visited the memorial recently and examined the minor damage that was caused by removal of soil due to heavy rain. I have directed the contractor to repair the damage immediately. The memorial will be handed over to the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs as soon as possible and they will take care of it,” he added.

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