Volume 2 Issue 93| November 06, 2010|


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Behind the Scene
From Sylhet

A Freedom Fighter in Quagmire

Farouque may still have a smile on his face, for freeing his country through the
Liberation War, but how has this nation thanked him? How far has it come
to break free from its own oppressions?

Iqbal Siddiquee

Syed Omar Faruque still remembers his memorable days in 1971, when he fought the liberation war. Joyous memories take him back to the days while unsavoury incidents still haunt him. Faruque has been suffering from age-related ailments and has been in acute financial crisis for quite some time. He lives in a remote village in the district of Sunamganj. He is bedridden most of the time.

Son of Kazi Syed Ishaque, Kazi Syed Omar Faruque joined the liberation war while he was a student of Sylhet MC College. When asked, Omar Faruque says that the historic call by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for joining the liberation war moved him to join the fight against oppression.

Like many others, Faruque crossed the border and began training to be a freedom fighter at the Eco01 camp in Shillong. Trained for guerilla warfare, he joined Sub-Sector 4 at Tekerghat, which fell under Sector 5. He participated in battles in the upazillas of Tahirpur, Jamalganj, Derai and Shulla. Omar Faruque sustained serious injuries in a difficult fight against the Pakistani army at Ajmiriganj in the district of Habiganj. A splinter from a grenade hit his chest, but the blow was not lethal.

Ailing Syed omar Faruque holding one of his Freedom
Fighter's certificates

After liberation, he took training in Homeopathy and started practicing in his own village. He got married and led a good life. He fathered one son and two daughters, but unfortunately, the family lost its mother and wife 15 years ago. In the past, this homeopathy practitioner could run his family well. However, he has not been able to earn for a long time as he has been suffering greatly from severe illness. He was forced to sell his shop at the marketplace near Tahirpur upazila headquarters along with his land to meet the expenses of treatment and other family needs. He has been suffering from ailments such as diabetes and bronchitis along with others for years.

The man has a collection of certificates that cement him as a freedom fighter. He has a certificate signed by General Osmani and one signed by the local district and upazila commanders of Muktijoddha Sangsad. Also, the then NAP president and general secretary Syed Altaf Hossain and Harun Ur Rashid also presented a certificate to Omar Faruque stating him a party man and freedom fighter who took training from a centre run by the party during 1971. In addition, he possesses a certificate from the AL stalwart Suranjit Sengupta, who had supervised the freedom fighters in the region during the war.

The man now owns only a small thatched hut. He never got any assistance or allowance on account of being a freedom fighter. His daughter manages to run the family with the money she earns by sewing clothes. Faruque is happy that he contributed for the country's victory, which gave the people a country of their own. But the man reckons that the country has not been able to free itself from all forms of oppression, and it still has a long way to go.



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