Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman

Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman is one of the brave heroes in the Bangladesh’s liberation war and he is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Flight Lieutenant (an official post of West Pakistan Air Force) Matiur Rahman. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of bravery of Bangladesh. He dedicated his life for the freedom of Bangladesh and made a great contribution in the Bangladesh’s history. He attempted to hijack T-33 aircraft (code named “Blue Bird”) in order to defect from the Pakistan Air Force but he did not succeeded in that operation and as a result,
he was killed by a Pakistani member.

Matiur Rahman was born on 21st February 1945 or 29th November 1942 in Ramnagar under Roypura Thana near Dhaka. His family was a solvent and middle class educated family. Matiur Rahman was very good in sport and other co-curricular activities. He developed a very good team spirit and comradeship from the very school life. He completed his primary education at Dhaka Collegiate School. After he was admitted into PAF Public School, Sargodha in West Pakistan and there he completed his twelfth class course. In 1963, when he completed his twelfth class cours, he joined in the Pakistan Air Force Academy.

On 22nd June, Matiur Rahman was commmisioned as a pilot officier and was posted at Risalpur in West Pakistan. After he successfully completed the Jet Conversion Course in Karachi. He was appointed as a Jet Pilot in Peshawar due to his bright result in the Jet Conversion Course.

Bir Sreshtho Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman was a well known person about Bangladesh liberation war. He realized that, West Pakistani’s torture is unbearable. As a result, he could not stand still due to his patriotic and dedicated soul. It was impossible for Matiur Rahman to bombing on the soil of his motherland by the Pakistani aircraft as a pilot. But it was also impossible for Matiur Rahman to join the liberation war at that time due to the obstruction from his family. He was fully aware that, he might die and the fate of his wife and children. But his limitless courage, unbelievable brave, a deep sense of patriotism and dedication could not stop him.

On 20 August 1971, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman decided to execute his secret mission. His mission was to hijack a T-33 aircraft (code named “Blue Bird”) from Karachi in Pakistan to India in order to defect from the Pakistan Air Force and join the Liberation war of Bangladesh. At 1100 hours on that day, Matiur Rahman attempted to hijack T-33 aircraft from Mashroor Air Port of Karachi. Pilot Officer Minhaj approached to the runway leading to the taxi track No: 4 and reached behind a hillock due to received the clearance from the control tower. At that moment Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman drove his jeep with speed and stopped T-33 under the cover of his appointment. As soon as the Pilot Officer Minhaj opened the canopy, Flight Lieutenant Matiur jumped on the cockpit before any one could understand anything the Blue Bird went in the sky. The imbalance movement of the aircraft indicated that there was fight between Pilot Officer Minhaj and Flight Lieutenant Matiur for the control of the aircraft.

No radar could ever detect T-33 aircraft due to Matiur Rahman’s excellent professional skill. T-33 flew away in a very low level. Matiur Rahman planned to take the aircraft to Jamnagor airfield of Gujrat. But unfortunately the T-33 could not reach Gujrat as it was destroyed near Thatta (40 kilometres near the Indian border) due to the struggle to regain control of the aircraft. The great hero, Matiur Rahman’s body was found near the crash site. He was burried at the military graveyard for fourth class employees at Masroor Air Base of Karachi without any Muslim religious formalities (Janaja). Matiur Rahman’s wife (Mily) and his two infant daughters were imprisoned for a month by Pakistan Air Force and they were released on 29th September in 1971.

After the independence of Bangladesh in recognition of his sacrifice in the War of Liberation he was honored with the highest state insignia of “Bir Sreshtho”. The Bangladesh Air Force's Air Base at Jessore is also named in his honour.

On 24th June 2006, Bir Sreshtho Motiur Rahman's body was finally returned to Bangladesh after over 30 years of negotiations for a ceremonial and highly symbolic reburial. He was buried at the Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard, in Mirpur, Dhaka with full military honors.

If you want to know more about Bangladesh’s Bir Sreshtho, please visit: Bir Sreshtho Hamidur Rahman, Bir Sreshtho Mostofa Kamal, Bir Sreshtho Munshi Abdur Rouf, Bir Sreshtho Nur Mohammad Sheikh, Bir Sreshtho Ruhul Amin and Bir Sreshtho Mohiuddin Jahangir.

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