MA Rouf Square in Rangamati | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 29, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 29, 2009

MA Rouf Square in Rangamati

Homage to a Freedom Fighter

These dead shall not have died in vain.Photo: STAR

The construction of a monument, dedicated to the memory of martyred freedom fighter Birshrestha Munshi Abdur Rouf, has been recently completed. The monument is at Shalbagan, mid-point of Chittagong-Rangamati road, Sapchhari. The monument was formally inaugurated by army chief, General Moeen U Ahmed when the Ranirhat Bridge on the Chittagong-Rangamati road was opened.
The monument was constructed by Engineering Construction Battalion (ECB-16). The structure is a tribute to the contribution of the war heroes.
Portraits of three other martyred freedom fighters -- Khagendra Lal Chakma, Shukkur Ali and Arjun Chandra Dey -- all residents of Rangamati, are also on display.
After the state of emergency, ECB-16 planned construction of structures to draw tourists: a fountain, a small shop featuring indigenous items, coffee and tea stalls in the area. A 40-foot mural on the lifestyle and traditions of the ethnic communities is also on display.
Munshi Abdur Rouf is a name that evokes respect and gratitude. He fought valiantly in Rangamati against the Pakistani occupying forces during the Liberation War.
On April 20, 1971 Rouf was on guard at Burighat at the Chingri Khal (lake). The Pakistani military was marching to Mohalchhari to attack the main camp of the Mukti Bahini. It was then that Rouf charged the enemy with uninterrupted gunshots, destroying two launches and a speedboat.
The brave freedom fighter met his untimely end when he was hit by a mortar shell fired by the enemy. Doyal Krishna Chakma, who was at the time assisting the Mukti Bahini, recovered Rouf's body and buried him in Burighat under Naniachar upazila of the district. A memorial was built on his grave by the Rangamati Hill District Council (RHDC) later.

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