Monday, July 25, 2011

Bir Sreshtho Mohammad Ruhul Amin

Bir Sreshtho Mohammad Ruhul Amin is a great freedom fighter in the Bangladesh’s history. He is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Engine room Artificer (an official post of Bangladesh Navy) Mohammad Ruhul Amin. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of bravery of Bangladesh. He was killed in the Bangladesh Liberation War due to mistaken fire from the Indian Air Forces. After mistaking fire of the Indian Air Forces, he had caught by the Pakistani Razakars who killed him using their bayonets. He was really a great freedom fighter in the
liberation war.

Mohammad Ruhul Amin was born in 1st February 1934 at Bagpanchra village under sonaimuri upazilla of Noakhali district. His father was Mohammad Azhar Patwari and mother was Zulekha Khatun. He was the eldest son of the family. From his boyhood he was very obedient, courageous, dutiful and sincere. He had also a great thirst for education and Knowledge. As a result, he took up a job in a newspaper, but he did not stay there long time due to his inquisitive mind. Mohammad Ruhul Amin finished his primary education from local schools and in 1949, he passed his Matriculation Examination.

In 1951, Mohammad Ruhul Amin joined the then Pakistan Navy as a sailor. He went to Karsaz Naval Base in Karachi for training and there he received initial and technical training. After completion of necessary training he was promoted to the rank of Artificier-1 in 1965 and in 1968 he was appointed to PNS Bakhtiar at Chittagong and was serving there till liberation war broke out.

When the liberation war broke out, Mohammad Ruhul Amin was acting as Engine Room Artificier-1 in the gunboat PNS Comilla under Bakhtiar Naval Base at Chittagong. After the dark night of March 25, he left his duty and returned to his village home. There he organized the students and youths of the village for the liberation war. In May, Ruhul Amin along with nearly 500 trained soldiers joined at Sector-3 in Agartala under the Ex Chief of Army Staff Major General Shafiullah.

In 28 September 1971, Bangladesh Navy raised with two warships “Padma” and “Polash”. At that time no Bengali officers were available and as a result, two Indian Naval officers were in charge of these two warships. Mohammad Ruhul Amin being a sailor joined in the Navy and was posted to Polash.

On 10 December 1971, Polash and Padma reached at Mongla. This time their mission was to capture Pakistani squads at Mongla port. Earlier that day, Indian Air Force fired at different places of Khulna city. When the convoy reached nearer to Mongla port, 4 Indian aircrafts flew over the convoy. But surprisingly after a few minutes those aircrafts first bombed Padma and then on to Polash. The ships were on fire.

The ship magazine of Polash stared exploding putting the safety of the ship in jeopardy. On such dangerous situation maximum crews of Polash abandoned the ship, but Ruhul Amin did not leave the ship. He said to other crews “If we can not keep the ship floating Bangladesh Navy will not survive, the infant Navy would die forever.” So he kept on trying to extinguish the fire. The crews requested him to leave the ship but he did not. After the heavy bombing, the engine room got burned and the Polash shrunk on the river and Ruhul Amin dive into the water. When he reached the river shore, he got caught by the Razakars and they killed Mohammad Ruhul Amin using their bayonets. He died on 10 December 1971 in Khulna.

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”.

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