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21 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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RU rebuilds Shaheed Minar

Jahidul Islam, RU
RU rebuilds Shaheed Minar

Commemorating the Language Martyrdom of 1952, the Rajshahi University (RU) has rebuilt the demolished first Shaheed Minar in front of the Shahidullah Arts Building on the campus after 55 years.

The Shaheed Minar is to be inaugurated today, marking the International Mother Language Day on Thursday. Meanwhile, students and teachers from different departments praised the decision taken by the authorities. The rebuilt Shaheed Minar, made with aluminium and concrete, stands ten feet long and six feet wide, giving it a gorgeous look.

On February 20, 1964, then students of the campus Abdul Hamid, Abdur Razzak, Bayezid Ahmed, Abul Hossain, Saidur Rahman, Ekramul Hoque Khud, Nazrul Islam along with their friends had taken the initiative to build a Shaheed Minar, to commemorate the martyrs of the Language Movement. They built a Shaheed Minar with brick and concrete, though it was not completed due a funds crisis.

Later, in 1967, with the help of leaders and activists of the then RU Central Students Union (RUCSU) completed its construction in front of the university’s Shahidullah arts faculty building on the campus.

But in 1971, during the Liberation War, the Pakistan army destroyed the memorial, along with most other Shaheed Minars in Rajshahi. Since the destruction of the Shaheed Minar, no initiative was taken to rebuild it, though a pro-liberation party came to power in the country. The place lay barren and a tiny shop was set up here. However, few years back, the shop was evicted.

After Independence, the students and teachers of the campus raised demand for rebuilding Shaheed Minar on the campus for commemorating to martyrdoms of independence and Language Movement under different banner.

Responding the demands, the RU authorities took initiatives to build another Shaheed Minar on the east side of the administration building in 1972. The Shaheed Minar was located in front of Sheer-E- Bangla Hall on four acres of land. It was 12 feet long and six feet wide.

Then Prime Minister Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman laid the foundation stone of the memorial and after his assassination then Prime Minister Muhammad Mansur Ali inaugurated it in 1975. Since then, the first Shaheed Minar of the university gradually faded from memory, whereas it deserved special remembrance as a key historical monument.

Owing to lack of maintenance over a long period, there was nothing left where the Shaheed Minar once stood, save for a few broken bricks. Besides, it had the vital and glorious history on the nine-month-long Great War of Liberation displayed on it, as the university had lost a number of its teachers, students, officials and staff members during the Liberation War.

During the independence war, RU teachers, officials and students had played a determined role to free the country from the enemies.

The martyred teachers were Shahid Prof. Meer Abdul Queem of the psychology department, Shahid Prof. Shuhranjon Samaddar of the language department and Shahid Prof. Habibur Rahman, department of Mathematics.

Among the martyred students of the university were Abdul Manan of the accountacy department, Amirul Islam of the Bengali department, Golam Sarwar Khan MSc previous, Alamgir Hossain, social work, Pradip Kumar, chemistry, Mohammed Ali khan, economics, Shahajan Ali, management department, Minhajul Hoq MSc previous, and Mosharaf Hossain, economics department.

Prof Dr Sujith Kumar of the Bangla department praised the university authorities for rebuilding the Shaheed Minar dedicated to the Language Movement.

“We also request the university authorities to send SMS about the Shaheed Minar and its history.”

Prof Hashibul Alam Prodhan, director of Teacher Student Cultural Center (TSCC) said, “Our vice chancellor Prof Dr M Abdus Sobhan along with top officials will inaugurate the Shaheed Minar, which is a historic memorial for the university. Through the new construction students can learn about it now.”

Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Anand Kumar Saha, supervisor of construction work said, “We will give equal honour to each Shaheed Minar on the campus and we have planned to build several monuments on the campus. As the monument was a memorial of the Language Movement, the Pakistani army destroyed it during the Liberation War. Everyone should know this history. So we took the initiative to preserve the university’s first Shaheed Minar.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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