Bir Shreshto (বীর_শ্রেষ্ঠ_পদক) – means “The Most Valiant Hero” is the highest gallantry award of Bangladesh. It was awarded to seven freedom fighters who showed utmost bravery and died in action for their nation during the Liberation War of 1971.
Bir Shreshtho – Bangladesh Army website
Birshreshtha Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir
Birshreshtha Sepoy Mohammad Hamidur Rahman
Birshreshtha Sepoy Mostafa Kamal
Birshreshtha Engine Artificer Mohammad Ruhul Amin
Birshreshtha flight Lt Motiur Rahman
Birshreshtha Lance Nayek Munshi Abdur Rouf
Birshreshtha Lance Nayek Noor Mohammad Sheikh
Bir Sreshtho Munshi Abdur Rouf
Bir Sreshtho Munshi Abdur Rouf is one of the valiant heroes in Bangladesh’s history. He is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Lance Nayek (an official position of East Pakistan Rifles [EPR]) Munshi Abdur Rouf. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of the bravery of Bangladesh. He gave his life for independence during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 due to providing fire with an automatic machine gun for Mukti Bahini and tried to restrict the Pakistan Army from using the Rangamati – Mahalchari waterway in Chittagong (near the Chittagong Hill Tracts). He saved nearly 150 soldiers of the Mukti Bahini before his death. He was really a great freedom fighter for Bangladesh.
Munshi Abdur Rouf was born on 1st May in 1943 at Salamatpur village in Faridpur District. His father was Munshi Mehedi Hossain and mother was Mosammat Mukidunnesa. He had two sisters, Zahura and Hazera. His father was an “Imam” at a local mosque. Rouf was quite intelligent but not an attentive student in the school. He was an indomitable and daredevil boy. Rouf was a typical restless Bengali village boy. In 1955, he had to stop his education at his eighth grade due to his father’s death. Rouf’s family faced lots of poverty after his father’s death. As a result, his mother started stitching clothes and making some handicrafts to earn some money to bring up her beloved children.
On 8th May 1963, Munshi Abdur Rouf joined the East Pakistan Rifles (EPR). But he had to increase his age three years to get the job. Rouf learnt from his comrades that he used to be a disciplined and serious type of soldier, who took responsibilities with utmost sincerity and dedication. After completing the preliminary training at the EPR camp at Chuadanga, he went to West Pakistan (present Pakistan) to receive advanced training. After 6 months when he completed his advanced training, he was appointed to Comilla. On joining the EPR he had been regularly sending a major portion of the salary to his mother for maintaining the family.
In 1971, Abdur Rouf joined the EPR sector 8 and on 18 April he died in the battle of Rangamati – Mahalchari waterway in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. He was buried at Naniarchor Upazilla in Rangamati District.
Battle of Rangamati – Mahalchari: After the night of 25 March in1971, Munshi Abdur Rouf joined the EPR sector 8 with a group of soldiers. He was serving as a soldier in this company. East Bengal Regiment wanted to restrict the Pakistan Army from using the Rangamati-Mahalchari waterway. They camped at both of the Chingri Lakes at Burighat. 8th East Bengal Regiment constructed a camp at both sides on the Rangamati – Mahalchari waterway. These camps were established to monitor the Pakistani squads. EPR wanted to attack Pakistani squads after a few days.
But suddenly on 18 April 1971, Pakistani squads identified the defensive position of Mukti Bahini at Rangamati – Mahalchari waterway. They attacked with 7-speed boats and 2 launches at the defence position of Mukti Bahini. Their mission was to drive the Mukti Bahini away from the waterway of Rangamati and Mahalchari. Munshi Abdur Rouf’s company also started returning fire. Pakistani forces managed to disorient Mukti Bahini by coming closer to them and firing heavily. They surrounded the freedom fighters and managed to isolate nearly 100 of them. Munshi Abdur Rouf realized the threat to his company and he crawled forward to his trench and continuously fired towards the enemies with his automatic machine gun.
As a result of Rouf’s fire, Pakistanis dragged their launches back to a safer place and resumed their firing from there. Then Pakistani squad brought massive mortar fire, which created panic and shock among the protective Mukti Bahini squads. Due to shock and fear, most of the teammates of Munshi Abdur Rouf jumped into the water. But only Bir Sreshtho Munshi Abdur Rouf stood audaciously with an automatic machine gun to stop the enemy advance. Company Commander Captain Khalequzzaman could foresee that he would suffer heavy casualties if he did not withdraw at this stage. But the brave and courageous soldier Munshi Abdur Rouf told the company commander, “Sir, I will keep the enemy busy with covering fire, you should move behind with the company.”
Then suddenly Bir Sreshtho Rouf’s bunker was exposed to the enemy and a mortar directly hit Munshi Abdur Rouf. He breathed his last holding his automatic machine gun. Munshi Abdur Rouf’s act saved nearly 150 soldiers of the Mukti Bahini.
After the independence of Bangladesh in recognition of his sacrifice in the War of Liberation, he was honoured with the highest state insignia of “Bir Sreshtho.
Bir Sreshtho Mohammad Ruhul Amin
Bir Sreshtho Mohammad Ruhul Amin is a great freedom fighter in Bangladesh’s history. He is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Engine room Artificer (an official post of Bangladesh Navy) Mohammad Ruhul Amin. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of the bravery of Bangladesh. He was killed in the Bangladesh Liberation War due to mistaken fire from the Indian Air Forces. After mistaking fire of the Indian Air Forces, he had caught by the Pakistani Razakars who killed him using their bayonets. He was really a great freedom fighter in the Liberation War.
Mohammad Ruhul Amin was born in 1st February 1934 at Bagpanchra village under Sonaimuri Upazila of Noakhali district. His father was Mohammad Azhar Patwari and mother was Zulekha Khatun. He was the eldest son of the family. From his boyhood, he was very obedient, courageous, dutiful and sincere. He had also a great thirst for education and Knowledge. As a result, he took up a job in a newspaper, but he did not stay there long time due to his inquisitive mind. Mohammad Ruhul Amin finished his primary education from local schools and in 1949, he passed his Matriculation Examination.
In 1951, Mohammad Ruhul Amin joined the then Pakistan Navy as a sailor. He went to Karsaz Naval Base in Karachi for training and there he received initial and technical training. After completion of necessary training he was promoted to the rank of Artificier-1 in 1965 and 1968 he was appointed to PNS Bakhtiar at Chittagong and was serving there till liberation war broke out.
When the liberation war broke out, Mohammad Ruhul Amin was acting as Engine Room Artificer-1 in the gunboat PNS Comilla under Bakhtiar Naval Base at Chittagong. After the night of March 25, he left his duty and returned to his village home. There he organized the students and youths of the village for the liberation war. In May, Ruhul Amin along with nearly 500 trained soldiers joined at Sector-3 in Agartala under the Ex-Chief of Army Staff Major General Shafiullah.
On 28 September 1971, Bangladesh Navy raised with two warships “Padma” and “Polash”. At that time no Bengali officers were available and as a result, two Indian Naval officers were in charge of these two warships. Mohammad Ruhul Amin being a sailor joined in the Navy and was posted to Polash.
On 10 December 1971, Polash and Padma reached Mongla. This time their mission was to capture Pakistani squads at Mongla port. Earlier that day, Indian Air Force fired at different places of Khulna city. When the convoy reached nearer to Mongla port, 4 Indian aircraft flew over the convoy. But surprisingly after a few minutes, those aircraft first bombed the Padma and then on to Polash. The ships were on fire.
The ship magazine of Polash stared exploding putting the safety of the ship in jeopardy. On such a dangerous situation, maximum crews of Polash abandoned the ship, but Ruhul Amin did not leave the ship. He said to other crews “If we cannot keep the ship floating Bangladesh Navy will not survive, the infant Navy would die forever.” So he kept on trying to extinguish the fire. The crews requested him to leave the ship but he did not. After the heavy bombing, the engine room got burned and the Polash shrunk on the river and Ruhul Amin dive into the water. When he reached the river shore, he got caught by the Razakars and they killed Mohammad Ruhul Amin using their bayonets. He died on 10 December 1971 in Khulna.
After the independence of Bangladesh in recognition of his sacrifice in the War of Liberation, he was honoured with the highest state insignia of “Bir Sreshtho”.
Bir Sreshtho Nur Mohammad Sheikh
Bir Sreshtho Nur Mohammad Sheikh is one of the brave heroes in Bangladesh’s history and he is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Lance Nayek (an official position of East Pakistan Rifles [EPR]) Nur Mohammad Sheikh. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of the bravery of Bangladesh. He was killed in the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 due to providing fire with covering the extrication of fellow soldiers at Goalhati in Jessore district. He tried to save his teammates and finally he did it but he sacrified his life for his country. The Mukti Bahini saved their life’s due in large part to Nur Mohammad Sheikh’s efforts.
Nur Mohammad Sheikh was born on 26th February 1936 in Moheshkhali village at Narail. His father was Mohammad Amanat Sheikh and his mother was Mosammat Jinnatunnesa Khanam. He lost his parents at an early age. An orphan in childhood he had to sell his paternal landed property for his livelihood. He continued his study up to seventh grade at local schools. After that, Nur Mohammad Sheikh joined the local Ansar Force. And then he joined the East Pakistan Rifles (EPR). He was appointed at the Dinajpur sector after completion of training.
Later on 1st July in 1970, he was transferred to Jessore sector. Nur Mohammad Sheikh participated in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In March 1971, he was staying at his village on a vacation. After the night of March 25, when the liberation war started, he joined sector 8 and continued to take part in different battles at Jessore. He was then in charge of a regular petrol force. Due to his good performance, Lance Nayek Nur Mohammad was selected as the captain of the Standing Patrol team at Goalhati. This Standing Patrol team was created to monitor the Pakistani Army. He died on 5th September 1971 in the battle of Goalhati at Jessore.
Battle of Goalhati – Jessore: For strategic importance, the freedom fighters monitor the Pakistani squad. They wanted to capture the Pakistani Army after a few days. But on September 5 in 1971, suddenly the Pakistani Army managed to point out the position of Nur Mohammad’s squad and that time Nur Mohammad was patrolling with only 4 fellow soldiers. After managing the point out of the Nur Mohammad squad’s position the Pakistani Army attacked them from three different sides. Nur Mohammad Sheikh wanted to retreat to his base, so he continued to fire towards the Pakistani enemies.
That time, one of his fellow soldier was shot by the bullet and Nur Mohammad started carrying him towards safety. Then Nur Mohammad was also hit by a mortar. Though he was seriously injured, Nur Mohammad decided to continue to provide covering fire for his team. When Nur Mohammad was seriously bleeding, his fellow Shipahi (an official position of Bangladesh Army) Mostafa, urged Nur Mohammad to go with him. Mostafa even forced Nur Mohammad to go with him but Nur Mohammad refused to go but gave his Light Machine Gun to Mostafa so that it would not be captured after his death. He kept a self loaded rifle with him and kept on fighting until he died. He was buried in Jessore.
Bir Sreshtho Hamidur Rahman
Bir Sreshtho Hamidur Rahman is one of the great heroes of Bangladesh and he is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Shipahi (an official position of Bangladesh Army), Hamidur Rahman. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of the bravery of Bangladesh. He scarified his life during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 because he was an excellent freedom fighter. The advancing Mukti Bahini column finally captured the Dhalai Border Outpost in Sylhet due in large part to his efforts. He saved his teammates and the whole country by
Sacrificing his life.
Hamidur Rahman was born on 2nd February 1953 in Khardo Khalishpur village under the Jhenaidah district. He was the eldest son of his family. In 1947, during the partition of India, his family lost all of their properties and they settled in the bordering area of Khorda Khalishpur of Jhenaidah district. He had his primary education at Khalishpur Primary School and subsequently at a local night school. When he passed in the primary school, he joined East Bengal Regiment on 2 February 1971. He was posted at EBR centre in Chittagong cantonment.
Hamidur Rahman participated in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. On March 25, Hamidur Rahman left the cantonment for his village home, and then he joined the Mukti Bahini (liberation force). He also made a significant contribution during the war in the battle of Dhalai Border Outpost at Srimangal in Sylhet district. Mukti Bahini captured their enemies for Hamidur Rahman’s significant contribution. Hamidur Rahman also sacrificed his life in the battle of Dhalai Border Outpost.
Hamidur Rahman was buried in Tripura in India but later on October 27, 2007 advisers of the Bangladeshi caretaker government decided to bring back his remains dead body to Bangladesh and bury him besides Bir Srestho Matiur Rahman. 10 December 2007 the remains dead body of Hamidur Rahman was bought back to Bangladesh and on 11 December 2007 he has been buried again at “Buddhijibi Koborsthan (Cemetery)”, Dhaka.
Battle of Dhalai Border Outpost – Sylhet: For its strategic importance the freedom fighters took a bid for capturing the Dhalai border outpost of the Pakistani Army. Though the Mukti Bahini (independence fighters) came very close to the border outpost it was very difficult to capture owing to the enemy machine gun which was continuously firing from the south-western corner of the Dhalai Border Outpost. The ‘C’ Company of the First East Bengal Regiment was entrusted with the task with which Hamidur Rahman was enrolled.
On the night of October 28, 1971, three platoons of freedom fighters with 125 members silently advanced towards the outpost. They decided to use grenades on the machine gun posts of the Pakistani army. The platoons while approaching near to the enemy post and were on the verge of attempting a surprise, an explosion of a mine alarmed the enemies who started indiscriminate firing. A battle continued for hours, but the advance of the freedom fighters was seriously obstructed by enemy firing with LMG from the south-west direction.
At this critical situation, Hamidur Rahman took the responsibility of throwing grenades and crawled through the hilly canals. He seceded in the darkness, silently proceeded by crawling towards the LMG post, attacked and killed the two LMG operators, thereby silencing the enemy guns. When some bullet was shot into Hamidur Rahman’s leg and chest, he jumped into the enemy machine-gun post and engaged in hand to hand fighting with the two crews (who were guarding the gun) and at one point neutralized the gun.
When the EBR realizing the fact that the machine gun outpost was damaged, they approach towards the enemy captured their first line within a short period of time. After the capture of the Dhalai Border Outpost, members of the EBR found the dead body of Rahman. Sipahi Hamidur Rahman’s efforts helped the East Bengal Regiment take the outpost.
Bir Sreshtho Mohiuddin Jahangir
Bir Sreshtho Mohiuddin Jahangir is one of the valiant freedom fighters in Bangladesh’s history, who dedicated his life for the freedom of Bangladesh and made a great contribution in Bangladesh’s liberation war. He is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Captain (an official post of Bangladesh Army) Mohiuddin Jahangir. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of the bravery of Bangladesh. He was killed due to an attempt to break the enemy defence on the bank of the Mahananda River near Chapainawabganj district. The advancing
Mukti Bahini won that mission due to Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir’s great contribution and they reached very closer to independence.
Mohiuddin Jahangir was born on 8th March 1949 in Rahimgonj village under Babugonj Thana in the district of Barisal. He was the eldest son of Abdul Motalib Hawladar. His father was an influential personality in that area and his grandfather Abdul Rahim Hawladar was a Jamindar, who contributed a lot for the improvement of that area. For this reason, people honoured him by keeping the name of the village after his name as Rahimgonj.
Mohiuddin Jahangir was brought up well under the care of his parents. His father thought that there was no good educational institution. So, his father wanted to send him to the house of Jahangir’s maternal uncle. When Jahangir was 4 years and 6 months old, he was sent to the house of his maternal uncle (Mr Fazlur Rahman), who was an Engineer working in Mulladi Thana. There he completed his primary education at a local primary school. In 1959, Mohiuddin achieved scholarship in talent pool in his 5th grade and 1962; he achieved scholarship in talent pool in his 8th grade. In 1964, he passed his SSC examination from Mulladi Mahbudjan High School in second Division from science group obtaining letter marks in Mathematics.
After completing SSC he took admission in Barisal B.M College and there he became well known in his college as a good sportsman. In 1966, he passed his HSC from the Barisal BM College in 2nd Division from science group obtaining letter marks in Mathematics. Mohiuddin had been cherishing a dream to be an engineer from his childhood but unfortunately due to financial problems, he could not take admission in engineering course. In 1967, he got admitted at the department of Statistics at the University of Dhaka. After a few months, Mohiuddin decided to join the Pakistan Army. As a result, he joined the armed forces as a cadet at the Pakistan Military Academy on 5th October 1967.
Mohiuddin Jahangir completed his training with the 15th war course and he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. After a few months, he was posted at 173 Engineer’s Battalion in Multan. He showed brilliant performance in basic course-29 in the school of Military Engineering located in Risalpur. After finishing the 13-month long training, he took the bomb disposal training in the same institution.
In 1971, Mohiuddin Jahangir was working at the construction field at the Karakoram in Pakistan. He was not in peace after the night of March 25. He could not stand still in Pakistan due to the highest sense of patriotism. As a result, he decided to join Bangladesh’s liberation war. He had been planning secretly with some other Bengali young officers to find out the way to escape from Pakistan. He took a few days to leave and went back to Risalpur on 10th June. One day later, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir and three other Bengali officers (Captain Shahariar, Captain Salahuddin and Captain Anam) manage to escape from Pakistan through Sialkot border and joined the Mukti Bahini at Mehdipur under Maldah district in West Bengal (present Bangladesh). When they escaped from Pakistan and reached in India, General M A G Osmani (the great leader of Bangladesh liberation war) went to Calcutta just to welcome these heroes personally. Mohiuddin Jahangir became a captain of sector 7 on 3rd July. He was given the responsibility to fight at the Chapainawabganj district at Rajshahi division. Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir died on 14th December 1971 (Two days before the victory day) in the battle of Chapainawabganj.
Battle of Chapainawabganj: Battle of Chapainawabganj was one of the most daring operations undertaken by the freedom fighters. In December, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir was again given the same duty of conquering Chapainawabganj. On 10th December, he set his camp with two officers and near about 50 freedom fighters at a place called Barghoria at the west of Chapainawabganj. On 13th December, Mohiuddin Jahangir divided his army into three groups to attack different enemy camps at Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi. Major Gias led the first group. He was tasked to give blocking position at Chapainawabganj Rajshahi road to cut the communication of Chapainawabganj from Rajshahi. Major Rashid led the second group. He was tasked to act as cut off party. The third group was the most important and was led by Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir. He was tasked to capture Chapainawabganj.
It was planned that the Indian artillery will provide fire support and Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir with his group would go for assault. But on 13th December 1971, on predetermined time there was no artillery shelling on to the enemy position. Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir tried his level best to make communication over wireless set with Indian Force. Mohiuddin Jahangir was not the man to fall back. He decided that he would go for an attack without Indian artillery fire support.
On 14th December 1971, Mohiuddin Jahangir crossed the river by 3-4 country boats through Rehai char. After crossing the river he assaulted from the north. Taking one by one enemy trench he advanced towards south. He intended to destroy one of the light machine gun bunkers of the Pakistan Army and crawled towards it. He managed to come closer to the bunker and charged grenade to it. But suddenly, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir was fired from another bunker and he died on the spot. His dead body fell to the enemies’ trench. Other comrades of Shaheed Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir crossed the river by swimming and gave the message of his death. The death of Shaheed Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir made the freedom fighters more aggressive. As a result, a new attack was launched with more freedom fighters and they successfully captured the enemy and took control of the Chapainawabganj.
The dead body of Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir was carried by the freedom fighters from the Char Area and was laid to rest at the premises of the famous Choto Shona Mosque where most of his activities had taken place during the war.
After the independence of Bangladesh in recognition of his sacrifice in the War of Liberation, he was honoured with the highest state insignia of “Bir Sreshtho”. The main gate of the Dhaka Cantonment “Shaheed Jahangir Gate” is named in his honour.
Bir Sreshtho Mostofa Kamal
Bir Sreshtho Mostofa Kamal is another great hero of Bangladesh and he is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Shipahi (an official position of Bangladesh Army) Mostofa Kamal. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of the bravery of Bangladesh. Mostofa Kamal scarified his life during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 and showed his unbelievable performance. Mostofa Kamal was killed in a defensive battle against the occupying Pakistan Army in Daruin village of Comilla. His actions inflicted heavy casualties on his enemy squads. He saved his teammates and the whole Bangladesh by sacrificed his life.
Sipahi Mostofa Kamal was born in Poshchim Hajipur village under Daulatkhana upazilla in Bhola district in 1947. His father Md. Habibur Rahman was a Habildar (a lower official position of the Pakistani Army, who served the army) in the Pakistani Army. The birth of Mostofa Kamal brought happiness to his parents who were determined to bring him up with extra care. Mostofa Kamal passed his childhood with his parents in the cantonment where he had the scope of witnessing the disciplined life of soldiers. As the days passed by he was fascinated by the military profession and started nurturing the dream of becoming a soldier. But his father was reluctant to allow him to join the Army.
Mostofa Kamal escaped from his house without informing anyone due to his parent’s decision and he joined the East Bengal Regiment on 16 December 1967. Mostofa Kamal was also a well known boxer. It may be noted that the East Bengal Regimental Centre Boxing Ring was named after this great hero to recognize his excellence in the field of boxing which no doubt inspires today’s young soldiers. After the training, Mostofa Kamal was posted to 4th East Bengal Regiment which was located at Comilla Cantonment during the mid-March in 1971. He displayed some extraordinary qualities and as a result, he became one of the best soldiers of the unit in a very short time. He died on 18 April 1971 and buried in Daruin, Comilla (near Akhaura).
Battle of Gangasagar – Brahmanbaria:
Gangasagar is located at Kasba Thana of Brahmanbaria near Akhaura. This battle will be remembered for a long time due to the supreme sacrifice of Mostofa Kamal. After the incidents of 25 March, 4th Regiment successfully brought Brahmanbaria under control. In April 1971, 4th East Bengal took up a defensive position at Akhaura along the river Titas after fighting a series of smaller engagements. Pakistani squads led by 12 Frontier Force (FF), which was advancing from Comilla, succeeded in capturing Saidabad. The enemy then advanced further along the railway line and contacted the defence at Gangasagar. Shipahi Mostofa Kamal was a member of the number 2 Platoon of A Company. On 13 April 1971, the Pakistani forces reached Gangasagar and they attacked Akhaura from Brahmanbaria but their advance was effectively stopped on the southern side of Hawra Nadi by the platoon of Shipahi Md. Mostofa Kamal. Then Pakistani squads immediately launched a quick operation on own defensive position at Daruin supported by heavy artillery fire, but own squads repulsed their attack firmly causing the death of 3 Pakistani officers and about 75-80 soldiers. A fresh battalion was inducted by the Pakistani Brigade Commander and was ordered to clear village Daruin within next two days.
Battle of Daruin – Comilla:
The 4th Regiment set their camp in Gangashagar and Talshahar. To avoid any unexpected attack from the Pakistani army, 2nd Platoon of the company “Alpha” was sent to Daruin village. Mostofa Kamal was one of the section commanders of 2nd Platoon. Pakistan Army started to approach towards the Regiment camp on 16 April 1971. They were coming over the railway of the Comilla-Akhaura root. The 4th regiment also reconciled their position at Daruin. They settled on their trenches near a pond. Mostofa Kamal took the rightmost position. On 17 April 1971, number 11 platoon of Delta Company under Havilder Munir Ahmed was sent to strengthen the defence at Daruin. But Pakistani army opened fire at about 11:00 hours on 18 April 1971. At around 12 PM the Pakistani army attacked Mukti Bahini from West. Another part of the Pakistani Army attacked from behind. As a result, the 4th Regiment had decided to retreat from Daruin. Mostofa Kamal took the responsibly to cover for his fellow fighters. Most of the fighters retreated to a safer position as Kamal relentlessly kept firing with his LMG. He managed to neutralize 8-10 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistani progressed slowly due to the continued fire from the LMG of Shipahi Mostofa Kamal. The last two soldiers who had been fighting alongside Shipahi Mostofa started withdrawing and requested Mostofa repeatedly to fall back. But Mostofa refused to leave his trench. He was well aware that the safe extrication of his comrades largely depended on his continued supporting fire. Pakistanis eventually closed within 50 meters of his trench and encircled him.
Pakistani army asked him to surrender. Mostofa, meanwhile, finished all his ammunition. At this critical situation of his life, Mostofa showed unbelievable courage and decided not to surrender. He utilized both the grenades as the enemy reached within grenade firing distance. He then jumped out of his trench and charged on the enemy with the empty LMG shouting “JOY BANGLA”. In the process, he received a heavy volume of fire. He along with 20 to 40 other soldiers died at this battle.
After the independence of Bangladesh in recognition of his sacrifice in the War of Liberation, he was honoured with the highest state insignia of “Bir Sreshtho”.
Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman
Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman is one of the brave heroes in Bangladesh’s liberation war and he is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Flight Lieutenant (an official post of West Pakistan Air Force) Matiur Rahman. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of the bravery of Bangladesh. He dedicated his life for the freedom of Bangladesh and made a great contribution in Bangladesh’s history. He attempted to hijack T-33 aircraft (code named “Blue Bird”) to defect from the Pakistan Air Force but he did not succeed in that operation and as a result, he was killed by a Pakistani airforce member.
Matiur Rahman was born on 21st February 1945 or 29th November 1942 in Ramnagar under Roypura Thana near Dhaka. His family was a solvent and middle class educated family. Matiur Rahman was very good in sport and other co-curricular activities. He developed a very good team spirit and comradeship from the very school life. He completed his primary education at Dhaka Collegiate School. After he was admitted into PAF Public School, Sargodha in West Pakistan and there he completed his twelfth class course. In 1963, when he completed his twelfth class course, he joined in the Pakistan Air Force Academy.
On 22nd June, Matiur Rahman was commissioned as a pilot officer and was posted at Risalpur in West Pakistan. After he completed the Jet Conversion Course in Karachi. He was appointed as a Jet Pilot in Peshawar due to his bright result in the Jet Conversion Course.
Bir Sreshtho Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman was a well-known person about Bangladesh liberation war. He realized that West Pakistani’s torture is unbearable. As a result, he could not stand still due to his patriotic and dedicated soul. It was impossible for Matiur Rahman to bombing on the soil of his motherland by the Pakistani aircraft as a pilot. But it was also impossible for Matiur Rahman to join the liberation war at that time due to the obstruction from his family. He was fully aware that, he might die and the fate of his wife and children. But his limitless courage, unbelievable brave, a deep sense of patriotism and dedication could not stop him.
On 20 August 1971, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman decided to execute his secret mission. His mission was to hijack a T-33 aircraft (code named “Blue Bird”) from Karachi in Pakistan to India to defect from the Pakistan Air Force and join the Liberation War of Bangladesh. At 1100 hours on that day, Matiur Rahman attempted to hijack T-33 aircraft from Mashroor Air Port of Karachi. Pilot Officer Minhaj approached the runway leading to the taxi track No: 4 and reached behind a hillock due to receive the clearance from the control tower. At that moment Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman drove his jeep with speed and stopped T-33 under the cover of his appointment. As soon as the Pilot Officer Minhaj opened the canopy, Flight Lieutenant Matiur jumped on the cockpit before anyone could understand anything the Blue Bird went in the sky. The imbalance movement of the aircraft indicated that there was a fight between Pilot Officer Minhaj and Flight Lieutenant Matiur for the control of the aircraft.
No radar could ever detect T-33 aircraft due to Matiur Rahman’s excellent professional skill. T-33 flew away in a very low level. Matiur Rahman planned to take the aircraft to Jamnagor airfield of Gujrat. But unfortunately, the T-33 could not reach Gujrat as it was destroyed near Thatta (40 kilometres near the Indian border) due to the struggle to regain control of the aircraft. The great hero, Matiur Rahman’s body was found near the crash site. He was burried at the military graveyard for fourth class employees at Masroor Air Base of Karachi without any Muslim religious formalities (Janaja). Matiur Rahman’s wife (Mily) and his two infant daughters were imprisoned for a month by Pakistan Air Force and they were released on 29th September in 1971.
After the independence of Bangladesh in recognition of his sacrifice in the War of Liberation, he was honoured with the highest state insignia of “Bir Sreshtho”. The Bangladesh Air Force’s Air Base at Jessore is also named in his honour.
On 24th June 2006, Bir Sreshtho Motiur Rahman’s body was finally returned to Bangladesh after over 30 years of negotiations for a ceremonial and highly symbolic reburial. He was buried at the Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard, in Mirpur, Dhaka with full military honours.