Behind the Scene
Freedom Fighter Pulls Rickshaw
In 1971, at the age of 21, Abdul Bari fought for the liberation of the country under the command of commander Mizanur Rahmn Kushum of Harispur village. Today he pulls a rickshaw.
Abdul Bari was born in 1950, at the village of Harishpur under the Harinakundo upazila of Jhenidah district. He passed his SSC exam in 1968 from Joradah Secondary School. Unfortunately he wasn't able to continue his studies due to the untimely death of his father; Bari had to find means to provide for his family since then.
In 1971, at the age of 21, he signed up to be a freedom fighter. Bari was under the command of group commander Mizanur Rahmn Kushum of Harispur village. He was later sent to train at an Indian Youth camp located in Kalani, India. After 29 days of intense training he was given a rifle and sent back to Harinakundo.
Kushum's group consisted of 14 members and faced their first exchange of fire at Arpara under Almdanga upazila in Cuadanga district. This encounter claimed the lives of three freedom fighters and five Pakistani soldiers. Two of the deceased freedom fighters were friends of Bari; their names were Abdur Razzak and Rintu Mia.
The group faced their second conflict against the Pakistani occupation forces at Bittipara in Kushtia district during the Bengali month, Kartik. The fighting lasted 10 hours, ending at 6am in the morning. The second encounter involved 150 freedom fighters.
Bari was captured along with five of his fellow freedom fighters by the Pakistani occupation forces from Mahishagari field in Harinakuno upazila at some point. He and his companions were detained for 13 days in a Pakistani camp at Khulna, after which they managed to escape.
Now Abdul Bari is a father to 6. He lives in a small rented hut in the Harishpur village. His only source of income is the money he makes using his rickshaw.
While speaking Abdul Bari burst into tears and said “What was the use of fighting against the Pakistani occupation forces at the risk of my life? What has the country done for me? Not a single plot of land was allotted to me! I get an allowance of Tk. 2000. Is it possible to support a family of 7 with that money? I barely have anything left for medicine, which I need every day.”
Bari's wife, Fulmoti Begum, who has been entreating the government to sanction khash land, said “Freedom fighters freed this country at the risk of their lives, yet many of their families like ours are forced to live in dilapidated huts on lands belonging to other people.”
Muktijuddah Commander Mohiuddin, Master of Harinakundo upazila was contacted regarding Bari. The commander said that they would try to manage a plot of land for Bari by recommending it to the upazila chairman and UNO.
(R) thedailystar.net 2012