Journey Through Bangladesh
Bir Uttam Khwaja Nizam Uddin
The name of the valiant freedom fighter, Captain Khwaja Nizam Uddin Bhuiyan, like the multitude of other near forgotten names remained in the shadows for decades. The man had sacrificed his life in face to face battle with the Pakistan army at a remote village of Kanaighat upazila in Sylhet during the liberation war.
Bhuiyan was born in a well to-do Muslim family at the Lamapara village of Brahmanpara Upazila under Comilla district. His father Abdul Latif Bhuiyan was a renowned social activist.
It was July 12, 1971. As a fighter of sector 4, Nizam Uddin and about 20 to 25 of his companions started for the Kotalpur Bridge in Kanaighat before sunrise. The plan was to damage the bridge in order to cripple communication between troops of the occupation army. Braving the inclement weather, the freedom fighters' group had reached their destination and strategically had fit mines on the bridge before going around it to hide in ambush. The operation was a success, and the group was able to set up base in the village to bar off any advances by Pakistani troops.
It was soon after that a Pak contingent surrounded the village from the remaining three open sides with the help of local Rajakers and opened fire. The freedom fighters were ready to defend their stronghold and returned fire under Nizam's orders. About 15 of the enemy troopers, including Rajakers, were killed in the battle. But sadly, Nizam was hit with a bullet himself and had fallen just as the enemy was on their retreat. Nizam expelled his last breath soon after.
Nizam was laid to rest on the foot of the nearby Pata Shah's Mokam Tila by his companions. He is remembered by the villagers and all the surviving freedom fighters in the region, to this day, for his valiant contribution towards our Independence.
Nizam was awarded the 'Bir Uttam' title soon after the war for his gallantry. His grave however remained unattended to till 2007, for its remote location at the village in Kanaighat Upazila in Sylhet. The Zilla Parishad built a small memorial to commemorate the valiance of the freedom fighter in 2007.
The great warrior's name was recently honored again with presenting him with the 'Bir Uttam' award at the University of Dhaka just a few weeks back. In addition, the Dhaka City Corporation have also named the road leading to the Malibag rail-crossing in the capital after him. A small marble plaque on the busy intersection commemorates the valiant freedom fighter's name and contribution.
(R) thedailystar.net 2011