Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bir Sreshtho Mohiuddin Jahangir (Battle of Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi)

Bir Sreshtho Mohiuddin Jahangir is one of the valiant freedom fighters in the Bangladesh’s history, who dedicated his life for the freedom of Bangladesh and made a great contribution in the Bangladesh’s liberation war. He is generally known as Shaheed (martyr) Captain (an official post of Bangladesh Army) Mohiuddin Jahangir. “Bir Sreshtho” is the highest recognition of bravery of Bangladesh. He was killed due to an attempt to break the enemy defense on the bank of the Mahananda River near Chapainawabganj district. The advancing
Mukti Bahini won that mission due to Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir’s great contribution and they reached very closer to independence.

Mohiuddin Jahangir was born on 8th March 1949 in Rahimgonj village under Babugonj Thana in the district of Barisal. He was the eldest son of Abdul Motalib Hawladar. His father was an influential personality in that area and his grand father Abdul Rahim Hawladar was a Jamindar, who contributed a lot for the improvement of that area. For this reason people honored him by keeping the name of the village after his name as Rahimgonj.

Mohiuddin Jahangir was brought up well under the care of his parents. His father thought that, there was no any good educational institution. So, his father wanted to send him to the house of Jahangir’s maternal uncle. When Jahangir was 4 years and 6 months old, he was sent to the house of his maternal uncle (Mr. Fazlur Rahman), who was an Engineer working in Mulladi Thana. There he completed his primary education at a local primary school. In 1959, Mohiuddin achieved scholarship in talent pool in his 5th grade and in 1962; he achieved scholarship in talent pool in his 8th grade. In 1964, he passed his SSC examination from Mulladi Mahbudjan High School in second Division from science group obtaining letter marks in Mathematics.

After completing SSC he took admission in Barisal B.M College and there he became well known in his college as a good sportsman. In 1966, he passed his HSC from the Barisal BM College in 2nd Division from science group obtaining letter marks in Mathematics. Mohiuddin had been cherishing a dream to be an engineer from his childhood but unfortunately due to financial problems he could not take admission in engineering course. In 1967, he got admitted at the department of Statistics at the University of Dhaka. After a few months Mohiuddin decided to join the Pakistan Army. As a result, he joined the armed forces as a cadet at the Pakistan Military Academy on 5th October 1967.

Mohiuddin Jahangir successfully completed his training with the 15th war course and he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. After a few months, he was posted at 173 Engineer's Battalion in Multan. He showed brilliant performance in basic course-29 in the school of Military Engineering located in Risalpur. After finishing the 13 month long training, he took the bomb disposal training in the same institution.

In 1971, Mohiuddin Jahangir was working at the construction field at Karakoram in Pakistan. He was not in peace after the night of March 25. He could not stand still in Pakistan due to the highest sense of patriotism. As a result, he decided to join the Bangladesh’s liberation war. He had been planning secretly with some other Bengali young officers to find out the way to escape from Pakistan. He took a few days leave and went back to Risalpur on 10th June. One day later, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir and three other Bengali officers (Captain Shahariar, Captain Salahuddin and Captain Anam) manage to escape from Pakistan through Sialkoat border and joined the Mukti Bahini at Mehdipur under Maldah district in West Bengal (present Bangladesh). When they escaped from Pakistan and reached in India, General M A G Osmani (the great leader of Bangladesh liberation war) went to Calcutta just to welcome these heroes personally. Mohiuddin Jahangir became a captain of the sector 7 on 3rd July. He was given the responsibility to fight at the Chapainawabganj district at Rajshahi division. Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir died on 14th December 1971 (Two days prior to the victory day) in the battle of Chapainawabganj.

Battle of Chapainawabganj:

Battle of Chapainawabganj was one of the most daring operations undertaken by the freedom fighters. In December, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir was again given the same duty of conquering Chapainawabganj. On 10th December, he set his camp with two officers and near about 50 freedom fighters at a place called Barghoria at the west of Chapainawabganj. On 13th December, Mohiuddin Jahangir divided his army into three groups in order to attack on different enemy camps at Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi. Major Gias led the first group. He was tasked to give blocking position at Chapainawabganj Rajshahi road to cut the communication of Chapainawabganj from Rajshahi. Major Rashid led the second group. He was tasked to act as cut off party. The third group was the most important group and was led by Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir. He was tasked to capture Chapainawabganj.

It was planned that the Indian artillery will provide fire support and Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir with his group would go for assault. But on 13th December 1971, on predetermined time there was no artillery shelling on to the enemy position. Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir tried his level best to make communication over wireless set with Indian Force. Mohiuddin Jahangir was not the man to fall back. He decided that he would go for attack without Indian artillery fire support.

On 14th December 1971, Mohiuddin Jahangir crossed the river by 3-4 country boats through Rehai char. After crossing the river he made an assault from the north. Taking one by one enemy trench he advanced towards south. He intended to destroy one of the light machine gun bunkers of the Pakistan Army and crawled towards it. He managed to come closer to the bunker and charged grenade to it. But suddenly, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir was fired from another bunker and he died on the spot. His dead body fell to the enemies’ trench. Other comrades of Shaheed Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir crossed the river by swimming and gave the message of his death. The death of Shaheed Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir made the freedom fighters more aggressive. As a result, a new attack was launched with more freedom fighters and they successfully captured the enemy and took control of the Chapainawabganj.

The dead body of Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir was carried by the freedom fighters from the Char Area and was laid to rest at the premises of the famous Choto Shona Mosque where most of his activities had taken place during the war.

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 main gate of the Dhaka Cantonment "Shaheed Jahangir Gate" is named in his honor.

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 Matiur Rahman.

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