Volume 5 Issue 35| December 17, 2011|


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Journey Through Bangladesh


Dolura Smriti Soudha:
Remembering 1971's Martyrs of Sunamganj

On this month of victory, we turn our gaze to a memorial site in Eastern Bangladesh, Sunamganj, where lies buried four dozen freedom fighters who were martyred in the Glorious Liberation War of 1971.

Dolura Smriti Soudha, located in a village close to the Indo-Bangladesh border in the district of Sunamganj, reminds people of the heroic sacrifice by freedom fighters during the War of Liberation. The remote area has a scenic view and just stands near the foot of the Meghalayan hilly region.

The memorial was built in 1973 on a plot of 82 by 81 feet. A 5-feet high boundary wall is still there. At least 48 freedom fighters, including some unidentified ones, who had laid down their lives were buried there. They were martyred in several battles with the Pakistan Army and their collaborators on different nearby places. Most of them were martyred at the nearby Joy Bangla Bazar, where several battles had broken out in 1971. Others were martyred at Mongalkata. The names of the 48 luminous sons are inscripted on the main gate and their graves are separately marked inside the boundary wall.

The burial site of the martyred freedom fighters

Although the memorial is about 12 kilometres off of Sunamganj district town, it is troublesome for anyone trying to visit it due to the poor travel conditions. Someone has to reach Haluarghat first, 3 kilometres from the district town. Crossing the Surma river by small countryboat ferry, he or she needs to start a tedious journey either by battery-run 3-wheeler or by age-old auto-rickshaw. However, motorbike service is also an option. On payment the biker will take 2 persons to the Dolura site. Return trip can also be negotiated.

The then lawmaker and a leading organizer of the liberation war Dewan Obaidur Raza Chowdhury formed the 'Dolura Shahid Mazar Committee' with Platoon Commander Modhu Miah as its convener. With the help of others, Modhu Mia led the burial activities during the war. For a long time before he passed away, Modhu Miah also looked after the memorial. His body has also been buried there, since he was a freedom fighter as well.

The Sunamganj Zila Parishad renovated the Dolura Smriti Soudha in the 1990s. Every day, dozens of visitors come to the site and pay homage to the martyrs. A new monument has also been built recently by the Zila Parishad.

Of the 48, Md. Montaj Miah, Rahim Baksh, Joban Ali, Suruj Miah, Dhonu Miah, Zoinal Abedin, Mohrom Ali, Sattar Miah, Lal Miah, Chandu Miah, Ali Ahmed, Siddik Miah, AB Siddique, Saidur Rahman, Rahmat Ali, Abdul Hamid Khan, Abdul Khaleuqe and Arobindu Roy were martyred in fights at the nearby Joy Bangla Bazaar area.

Md. Salah- uddin, Taher Ali, Abul Haque, Mujibur Rahman, Nurul Islam, Abdul Karim, Wazid Ali, Sazu Miah, Fazlul Haque, Shamsul Islam, Abdur Rahman, Kendu Miah, Mostafa Miah, Azman Ali, Siraj Miah, Shomsu Miah, Tara Miah, Abed Ali, Atar Ali, Somuj Ali, Siddiqur Rahman, Danu Miah, Monaf Miah, Rahim Miah, Abu Siddik, Srikanta Das, Zogendra Das, Haralal Das, Adhar Das, and Kabindra nath were martyred at other nearby places.

The gate of the memorial is painted with the colours of the Bangladesh flag