Confer Bir Uttam award on Abu Osman Chowdhury | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 14, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 14, 2012

Confer Bir Uttam award on Abu Osman Chowdhury

On 25 March 1971, Pakistan army launched 'Operation Searchlight' with the sinister motive of eliminating the Bengali people. Following Bangabandhu's declaration of independence, spontaneous Bengali resistance started throughout Bangladesh. The then-EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) Major Abu Osman Chowdhury of Chuadanga (Kusthia) revolted against Pakistan army on 26th March.
With the help of local political leaders, Osman organized and commanded the Bengali members of EPR, military, police, Ansar-Mujahid and Bengali youths against Pakistan military in the South-West districts including Kushtia, Jessore, Faridpur and Khulna. Chuadanga was declared the capital of free Bangladesh. Bangladesh government in exile was formed in 17th April at Baiddynathtala (Mujibnagar) of Meherpur sub-division of Kushtia district.
Despite little military resources and strong presence of Pakistan army (and Navy) in Jessore-Khulna region, Osman managed to hold the largest landmass of Bangladesh under his control till the end of May 1971. Pakistan army suffered huge losses during this period.
Compared to the news of South-East and Eastern fronts, the activities and the success stories of freedom fighters in the South-West front during the initial phase of Liberation War were more widely publicized in the world media. It was a source of inspiration and encouragement to the besieged people of Bangladesh. Osman then commanded the reorganized Sector 8 from May to August 1971. Osman was then sidelined for some petty personal reasons involving the then-Bangladesh higher military authority and as a result did not get 'Bir Uttam' award. He also did not receive his due promotion in independent Bangladesh. He retired from Bangladesh army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1976.
Abu Osman Chowdhury always remained loyal to the principles of Liberation War. We are fortunate to have him among us till today. I would like to request the president and the prime minister of Bangladesh to correct this great injustice by immediately conferring 'Bir Uttam' award on Abu Osman Chowdhury.

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