DHAKA, June 3, 2018 (BSS) – The frail physical structure had exposed the
poverty of Kakon Bibi who was born in a lower middle class family of Khashia
Hill in India.
She also did not get the touch of happiness and solvency in her family
life after being converted to other religion. In the meantime, 1971
Liberation War started and the freedom-loving Bangalees jumped into the war
at the clarion call of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Muslims,
Hindus, Christians and Buddhists — all were united in the struggle for
protecting the country.
There were many women alongside the men in the war field. Nurjahan Kakon
Bibi was such a valiant woman. Risking the life, she fought against the
Pakistan occupation forces and reached the information of the secret plan of
the Pak soldiers to the freedom fighters.
She luckily survived the death following the brutal torture of the
Pakistani occupation forces. Nobody inquired about her for a long time after
the independence of the country. Though the government awarded her with Bir
Pratik title two and a half decades after independence, she suffered an agony
for not being published of the gazette in this regard. However, Kakon Bibi
used to feel proud of making contributions to independence struggle.
Ending the chapter of getting or not getting, Freedom Fighter Nurjahan
Kakon Bibi, Bir Pratik, has gone forever. The valiant woman, who had set an
example of unique courage in 1971, breathed her last at around 11:15 pm on
March 21 at Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital while undergoing treatment
Two days before the death, the centenarian Kakon Bibi was admitted to the
hospital with pneumonia and respiratory problem. She was undergoing treatment
at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.
Head of the ICU Sabyasachi Roy said Kakon Bibi suffered from brain
haemorrhage. Earlier in July last she had a heart attack and underwent
treatment at the hospital for few days. Kakon Bibi was laid to eternal rest
with state honour on her home premises at Jibra village of Luxmipur union
under Doarabazar upazila in Sunamganj district on March 22.
Kakon Bibi’s nephew Insan Ali and Abu Sufian, a former deputy commander of
Sunamganj district Muktijoddha Sangsad, said she was born in a lower middle
class family at a Netrai Khasia village in the Indian state of Meghalaya in
According to a book titled ‘Muktijuddha Diner Smriti’ published in 2001 by
Bangladesh Mohila Parishad, Kakon Bibi was born in a Khashia family at a
frontier village in Sunamganj. She stayed at her elder sister’s home on the
other side of the border. At the initiatives of her sister, Kakon Bibi was
converted to Islam and was given name as Nurjahan. She married Shahiduddin of
Banglabazar in Sunamganj and after the marriage, her five sons died one after
Shahiduddin divorced Kakon Bibi when her only daughter in her womb and
Panjabi border guard of Bogla Camp Abdul Majid Khan married her when she was
physically and mentally distressed. The liberation war started two years
after this incident.
Kakon Bibi told Mohila Parishad leaders that the Panjabis fought during
the liberation war to protect Pakistan. “My husband also took part in the
battle for saving Pakistan and he did not take any care of me,” she lamented.
Kakon Bibi recalled that she had to stay at Bogla Camp as her husband went
to Sylhet with his associates. “I searched my husband camp after camp as I
had no food to live and I witnessed brutal torture on the Bangalee girls by
the Pak troops,” she said.
At the beginning of the war, Kakon Bibi used to live at the frontier Bogla
Bazar of Doarabazar. She joined the war in 1971 keeping her three-day-old
She also worked in the Pak camps as a spy of the freedom fighters apart
from taking part in the frontal war with heroics.
While working as a spy, she was detained by the Pakistani occupation
forces at Banglabazar in Doarabazar and the Pak troops and their local
collaborators carried out inhuman torture on her for seven consecutive days.
The Pak soldiers left Kakon Bibi in an unconscious state thinking her
dead. She was rescued and taken to Balat sub-sector. After getting cured, she
returned to Banglabazar and took training for operating arms.
Sunamganj was freed from the occupation forces on December 6 in 1971 and
Kakon Bibi took part in the horrific war of that day. Jawar Dakkhindiya was
the camp of the Pakistani troops which she informed to the freedom fighters.
Kakon Bibi gathered the freedom fighters of different camps who crossed
the river by banana tree raft and attacked the Pak camp by splitting into two
The Pak troops from Sylhet could not join the war as the freedom fighters
destroyed Sylhet-Sunamganj Road by detonating bombs. Due to the sudden
attacks of the freedom fighters from two sides, the Pak soldiers were
compelled to accept defeat as their ammunition finished after two nights and
The freedom fighters encircled the Pak troops by chanting Joy Bangla
slogan and holding the beloved red-green flag. In this way, Kakon Bibi made
her as a rare type of freedom fighter by joining the freedom struggle of the
Bangalees and making her life silly.
After the war, she returned to her brothers, but they didn’t accept her as
they thought her activities destroyed their image. On the other hand, she
lost her Panjabi husband after taking part in the liberation war.
At one stage, Kakon Bibi started begging to meet the burning of her hunger
and took shelter at a poultry house of Abdul Karim, a day labour of Luxmipur
village under Doarabazar upazila.
In this way, Kakon Bibi’s passed a painful and neglectful life for 26
years since independence. When her heroics were published in media, the then
prime minister Sheikh Hasina called her in Dhaka in 1997. She was declared
“Bir Pratik” through a reception, but the issue is yet to be included in the
Though the government has constructed house alongside giving recognition,
Kakon Bibi did not get allowance of Bir Pratik in her life and it was her
Kakon Bibi’s fellows want that the new generation to know her as a
gallantry-recipient freedom fighter though she could not listen to it in her
“Kakon Bibi took part in many battles and the freedom fighters carried out
many operations with her cooperation. So it’s our demand to be confered the
title of Bir Pratik on her,” said Manfar Ali, deputy commander of Doarabazar
Upazila Muktijoddha Sangsad.
Former commander of Doarabazar Upazila Muktijoddha Sangsad Md Safar Ali
demanded of conferring the title of Bir Pratik upon Kakon Bibi through
“The Bir Pratik has been written in the certificate of Kakon Bibi but it
was not mentioned in the gazette notification … there was sorrow about it
in her life,” he said.