Remembering shaheed Rumi

Shaheed Shafi Imam Rumi, guerrilla fighter, Liberation War of Bangladesh, 1971, Shaheed Rumi, remembrance
Shaheed Shafi Imam Rumi. Photo taken from Facebook/ Guerrilla 1971

His name was Shafi Imam Rumi. Born on 29 March, 1951 Rumi was barely 20 years of age in 1971. This larger-than-life character is one of many who embraced martyrdom in their attempt to gift our precious freedom. 

Rumi had secured third position in the matriculation exam under the national education board in 1968. In 1971, he just got admitted to BUET (Engineering College at that time) and was already enrolled into IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology). Just one flight and he could have been away from the war, but Shafi Imam Rumi chose not to. 

The Pakistani army was killing people on their path, causing havoc and destruction wherever they went and the Pakistani government tried their best to keep it a secret. They attempted to create the impression that everything was alright. 

"If you send me away to America, maybe I'll end up going, but will I be able to look at myself if I leave now?" – this was the question he asked his mother, Jahanara Imam who described those difficult days in her book 'Ekattorer Dinguli.' 

Shaheed Shafi Imam Rumi, guerrilla fighter, Liberation War of Bangladesh, 1971, Shaheed Rumi, remembrance
Shaheed Shafi Imam Rumi (right) with his family. Photo taken from Guerrilla 1971 Facebook page.

Not only did he decide to stay but also sought the permission of his mother to join the war and he opted for a more challenging path — he wanted to join the war and he wanted his mother's blessings for it. Stubborn and full of conviction, his determination prevailed over his mother's hesitation. 

Rumi had left to get trained for the war. The young boy who was so choosey about his food and his lifestyle welcomed the struggles of the training camp where he soaked in the rain, walked in mud, and starved day in and day out. 

As a guerrilla fighter, Rumi participated in hit and run attacks. His primary mission was to destroy Siddhirganj Power Station but due to frequent guerrilla activities that place was heavily guarded. They had to wait for heavier weapons and new strategies. The guerrilla attacks kept going. One of the most significant attacks was executed on 25 August, 1971 at Dhanmondi Road No 18. 

Only days after the mission, Rumi was arrested by the Pakistani Army on August 29, 1971. His father, brother, and cousin were released after being tortured for a few days. His co-fighters Bodi and Jewel were also arrested the same night and none of them were ever heard from ever again. 

For us, Rumi will always be the young man who was shining bright with so many admirable values but none as great as his patriotism. He will always remain a shining star in our history.


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