By Dr Aynal Haque
RAJSHAHI, Mar 1, 2015 (BSS) - Rajshahi University (RU), second largest university in the country, has a great reputation in education and research field and also a testimony of the liberation war till now.
During the independence war of the country RU teachers, officials and students were kept imperative role to free the country from the enemies.
The Shabash Bangladesh Chhattar, martyr archives, mass grave yard, and tombs of Dr. Shamsuzzoha, Sukhrojjon Samaddar, Mir Abdul Qaiyum and Shaheed Habibur Rahman and presence of existing freedom fighters make it glorious one.
As highest pinnacle educational institution it always contributes to the nation in the history of the country in past and continuing this at present time. After established in 1953, one year later of the great language movement it keeps it voice loud at every aspects of the need of the country.
The students and teachers of RU have always been conscious to resist all injustices in the national stage and in the local stages. They never lag behind to play vital roles in different democratic movements. For instance, their movement for the cancellation of the report of disputed education commission of 1962, mass uprising of 1969 for democracy and above all active participation in the war of liberation in 1971 are remarkable in the history of our country.
Contribution in independent war began from the massive movement in 1969 to protest the illegal and unlawful tyranny of the Pakistani government the students of this university became furious.
On February 18, 1969 the students of the university broke out a protest procession and the police force while took preparation to shoot on the procession the Proctor and the professor of the Chemistry department Dr. Shamsuzzoha laid down his life to save the students from the bullet pierced by the then Pakistani law-enforcing agency.
Dr. Shahid Shamsuzzoha, a former associate professor of RU Chemistry dept and proctor is the bright example who embraced martyrdom for the sake of the nation in the mass upsurge against the military regime in 1969, and fought to the last to gain independence from the Pakistani exploitation and oppression.
Besides, three other teachers of RU embraced martyrdom to free the country from Pak army in liberation war in 1971.
The martyred teachers were Shahid Prof. Meer Abdul Queem of Psychology department, Shahid Prof. Shukhranjon Samaddar of language department and Shahid Prof. Habibur Rahman, department of Mathematics.
Among the martyred students of the university who are identified as Abdul Manan of Accounting dept, Amirul Islam Bengali dept, Golam Sarwar Khan M.Sc previous, Alamgir Hossain Social Work, Pradip Kumar of Chemistry dept, Mohammed Ali khan of Economics dept, Shahajan Ali of Management dept, Minhajul Hoq M. Sc previous and Mosharaf Hossain of Economics dept. Almost of these students fought with arms against the Pak forces.
In addition to the three teachers, the following officers and workers lost their lives in the independence war :
night guard Abdur Rajjak, steno typist Sheikh Emaj, upper division assistant SM Saiful Islam, Engineer asst M Kalim Uddin, sweeper Mohan Ali, driver Abdul Bari and Shafiqur Rahaman, carpenter Nuru Mia, guard Md. Yunus Mia, Wahab Ali and Idris Ali, peon Md. Afzal Mirdha, orderly peon Abdul Malek, bearer Korban Ali.
Earlier On 14 April in 1971, the Pakistani military entered into the university campus. They first stationed their head quarter at the Rajshahi University guest house Juberi Bhavan.
Later, they shifted head quarters at Dr. Zoha hall which was used as concentration camps until Pak retreat on December 18 night, 1971.
All the freedom loving and peace loving people were whisked away by the army and their collaborators and kept into Zoha hall for tortured to death. They took a hard situation in the university and led their destructive activities in nearby region of the city.
To pay tribute and recall contribution of these martyrs, the university authorities set up several monuments and a museum on the campus. In 1972 the authority established Shahid Smriti Sangrashala which is the first museum of the country on the liberation war.
After independence, on April 23, 1972 a mass grave was discovered which was the largest in the country, the area of which measures more than 3 acres. Later in 2003 university authorities built a mass graveyard monument to pay respect to the martyrs at the east side of the campus.
Though Dr. Shamsuzzoha's graveyard is well decorated and located in front of the administrative building, Rajshahi University, many unsung heroes have no memorials on the campus.