Bir Shreshtha's only son passing woeful days | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 10, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 10, 2012

Month of Victory

Bir Shreshtha's only son passing woeful days

L-R: Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin. Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin's only son Shawkat Ali (circled) pulling van of a sawmill in Noakhali town to maintain his family.Photo: STAR

Today is 41st death anniversary of Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin.
On this day during the 1971 Liberation War, he was martyred while in an operation in the Polash, a gunboat of Bangladesh Navy, in Rupsha River of Khulna.
After the independence, he was given the title Bir Shreshtha, the highest gallantry award of the state, for his heroic contribution in the Liberation War.
Born at Bagpanchra in Sonaimuri upazila of Noakhali district in 1934, Ruhul Amin joined the then Pakistan Navy in 1953.
Engaged as an engine room artificer of a Pakistan Navy warship in Chittagong in 1971, he left his duty station and joined the Liberation War with a large group of students and youths of Sonaimuri area.
On December 10, Ruhul Amin, then aboard Bangladesh Navy gunboat Polash, started from Hiron point of Khulna to take control of Titumir, a warship of Pakistan occupation forces.
When he reached near Mongla port, allied Indian Air Force dropped a bomb on the Polash, mistaking it for an enemy gunboat. As the engine room caught fire, Ruhul Amin, then operating the engine, jumped into the river with serious injuries. When he swam to the riverbank, local rajakars (collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces) killed him.
The people of Bagmara village in Rupsha buried Ruhul Amin there.
Ruhul Amin had three daughters and one son. The daughters got married while son Shawkat Ali still struggles to maintain his family, working as a day labourer and van-puller.
Shawkat's three sisters take three-fourths of the government assistance meant for the family and so, he often passes hard time with his scanty income.
Meanwhile, the graveyard of Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin is threatened by river erosion. His relatives and locals have urged shifting the mortal remains to Bagpanchra, birthplace of the heroic son of the soil.

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