December 10 in 1971 was one of the last days of the Bangladesh War of Liberation. There were only six days left for victory as the final victory was achieved on December 16 in return for the loss of thousands of martyrs in the nine-month bloody war.
On this day in 1971, fearing defeat, Lt Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Commander of Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army during the war, tried to plot an escape but the BBC leaked his plan. He, however, went to Hotel Intercontinental and said, “Where are the international journalists? I want them to know that I will never leave my army behind.”
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said in New Delhi that the situation would have been better when Bangladesh would have its own government and the 10 million Bangladeshi refugees in India would get back home.
Fighter jets of the joint force carried out bomb attack at the radio station in Dhaka. They also continued rocket attacks on Kurmitola air base to dominate the area.
The sea ports in Chattogram and Chalna became immobile due to the air attacks. Some ships carrying Pakistani troops were caught, one of which was trying to escape and head for Singapore.
Some areas in the northern parts of Bangladesh were freed. The joint force detaches Dinajpur, Rangpur and Syedpur from each other. Rangpur and Dinajpur were completely freed. The Pakistan army left Jamalpur and advanced towards Dhaka. They faced the joint force near Dhaka when a bloody skirmish broke out. Pakistan sustained around 1,500 casualties. The rest of the troops surrendered.
Sirajuddin Hossain, executive editor of Daily Ittefaq, and Syed Nazmul Haque, chief reporter of PPI, were abducted from their houses.
Only six days before the victory, Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin, one of the seven greatest heroes of the Liberation War, was martyred in Rupsha River in Khulna. Mohibullah Bir Bikrom was also killed in the Rupsha.
The nation will recall the memory of Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin on his 51st death anniversary today (Saturday).
Bangladesh Navy has chalked out different programmes in Khulna to observe the death anniversary of the two great heroes. The programmes include placing floral wreaths at their graveyards, discussion, Doa Mahfil and recitation from the Holy Quran.
During the independence war in 1971, Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin was Engine Room Artificer-1 in the gunboat PNS Comilla under Bakhtiar Naval Base in Chattogram.
On December 10 in 1971, a convoy of INS Punuil, Bangladesh Naval Ship (BNS) Polash and BNS Padma sailed for Mongla from Heron Point. The mission was to capture PNS Titumir at Mongla Port.
At about 12 noon, when the convoy reached near Khulna, a fighter plane dropped bombs targeting the BNS Palash. Mohibullah Bir Bikrom, a staff member of the ship, was killed on the spot while the rest of the naval staff members jumped into the river.
Ruhul Amin managed to escape the bomb attack, but he embraced martyrdom on the bank of the Rupsha River where he had reached after swimming around quarter kilometer of the river from the ship.
On the next day, local people buried Ruhul Amin and Mohibullah at Baghmara village under Rupsha PS in Khulna.
Khulna Development Authority built a memorial complex surrounding their graveyards in 1997. The Bangladesh Navy supervises the complex.
Bir Sreshtha Ruhul Amin was born on February 1 in 1934 at Baghpachra village in Sonaimuri upazila (then Begumganj Thana) under Noakhali district.