Behind the Scene
Dr. Shamsuddin Ahmed, Surgeon, Martyr
DR. Shamsuddin Ahmed was a soul dedicated to taking care of the distressed and poor. At the time he was head of the Surgery Department- Professor Ahmed wholeheartedly extended his hands for the treatment of the freedom fighters at the very beginning of the liberation war. The man embraced martyrdom when the Pakistan army killed him on 9 April, 1971.
Son of a railway employee Imam Uddin, the great man Shamsuddin Ahmed was born in the then Karimganj subdivision (now in the Indian state of Assam) of Sylhet district in 1920. He passed his matriculation in the first division from Sylhet Government High School in 1939 and his ISc in 1941 from the MC College in first division. The he obtained his medical degree by studying for 5 years at the Calcutta Medical College. He went to the UK on a scholarship in 1948 and earned his FRCS there. After studying for two and half years, Dr. Ahmed returned to the country and established the Jalalabad Aundho Kalyan Samity for the blind and the Jalalabad TB Association. To this day the organisations are giving service to the poor and distressed of the region.
Dr. Ahmed was also associated with student politics. He organised events and actively got involved in places as the then Assam Provincial chapter of the Muslim Chhatra Federation in 1939-40.
It was the morning of 9th April, 1971. Almost all the physicians, nurses and others left the Sylhet Medical College Hospital fearing the threat of the Pak army's operation there. The army by that time sensed the hospital men had been giving treatment to the freedom fighters. But Dr. Ahmed didn't leave. Along with some other staff, he remained at the hospital, standing his ground.
All of a sudden, Colonel Safder of the Pak army entered the hospital and asked Professor Ahmed how many freedom fighters were there under treatment in the medical college hospital. Within moments of Dr. Ahmed's reply, the Colonel burst into abusive words telling the hospital workers to stand in a line. These men were then shot at. They were all killed that day.
Relatives collected the bodies and within a short time arranged the burial of Dr. Shamsuddin Ahmed and other physicians and staff members on a side of the hospital area. The graves recall the supreme sacrifice of those people. A memorial was also built there. It stands on the Hajrat Shahjalal (RA) Dargah road.
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