AKM Zahoorul Huq
Sitting on the grass carpeted plains of a hilltop in the twilight of a summer evening, a young Bangalee soldier with a machine gun was just trying to plan out a strategy how to engrave the Pakistani enemies into the soil of Bangladesh.
He was Lance Naik Munshi Abdur Rouf, one of the seven Bir Shresthas who were adorned with the highest award of the War of Liberation.
He was one of a small troupe of renegades from the then East Pakistan Rifles (EPR) who built a defense ambush at Naniarchor under Rangamati during War of Liberation.
The young Bangalee soldier with a decisive mind to demolish all Pakistani demons seemed felt a jerk by himself and suddenly stood up. His deep sense of unbounded patriotism also sprang up inspired by a resolute purpose that he would succeed in freeing the motherland in response to the historic call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Muzibur Rahman.
He threw his eyes straight upon the horizon on the western front and determined emotion hissed out from his bumping basom silently spoke out the vengeance against the devils from Pakistan. “No, never shall we allow the Pakistan army wins the war in our soil. We will win and only we will win.” On April 20 in 1971, the troupe was tipped off about a possible Pakistani commando attack on their stronghold at Naniarchor. Only four days back Pakistani occupation army set up camps in the district headquarters and gunned down a good number of youths there.
However, watchful eyes of the hero suddenly saw an army naval convoy in the Chengi Khal coming in a slow pace towards the Multibahini defense ambush. It was a company of the enemy’s second commando in four speed boats with adequate modern arms.
“We must resist the enemy at any cost,” he mumbled as the whole troupe was spraying fire upon the enemy’s naval convoy. At one state, all his co-fighters became scattered when the Pakistani enemies returned fires from modern weapons including heavy mortar shells.
The determined hero did not looked right or left, nor he cared for anyone of his co-fighters but continued firing from his machine gun on the target until the enemy naval convoy with speed boats, launches, guns, rocket launchers and two full platoon of Pakistani army sank into water .The rest few at once retreated on a mad rush.
The brave son of the soil after winning the battle looked up to the sky, breathed free air to his soul’s content and then uttered ‘Shukr Alhamdullah’ expressing gratitude to the Almighty Allah. Soon he looked down trying to search out his co-fighters but found none.
All on a sudden, a three inch mortar shell stunned and deafened him by thunderous blow on the place he was then standing. In a moment, he was splintered into thousand pieces, thus giving up his life to resist the enemy to enter the Muktijoddha camp at Burighat of Naniarchor, only 25 kilometers away from Rangamati district headquarters.
Son of Munshi Mehedi Hussein, Bir Shrestha Munshi Abdur Rouf was born on May 01 in 1949 in his village home at Salamatpur under Boalmari upazila of Faridpur district. He joined EPR in May 20 in1969.
The hard fact is that the nation was almost ignorant on the whereabouts of the grave of the hero of the Liberation War. An ethnic gentleman of Chakma community, Doyal Krishna Chakma made public whereabouts the grave in 1996. The parts of the body of war liberation hero was buried at Burighat, said Doyal.
Rangamati sector of he then EPR erected mausoleum and it was inaugurated on December 12 in 1997.
The grave is situated on a scrub-studded hilltop, standing erect in the midst of the vast lake where millions of serpentine ripples splash the edge around with the days break round the year. The scenic beauty there still drives the memory back to the horrific ordeal when the faces of Pakistani soldiers reflected a devilish expression during the nine month bloody war.
Meanwhile, locals reported the mausoleum as on the brink of erosion leading to possible disappearance into the river. Sources in local BGB sector said that they were taking due measures for its protection from erosion.
Once in a year only, the passage to the mausoleum becomes some
what busy when a small caravan of visitors comes here to offer Ziarat
for the departed hero lying here in eternal peace.