Dr Dipu Siddiqui:
In a distressing turn of events, two children of the late Shaheed Mohibullah (Vir Bikram), who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War of Liberation, were forcibly evicted from their ancestral home at No. 1 North Brook Hall Road, Dhaka, without any prior notice. On Monday, June 25, a magistrate-led team abruptly ordered the family to vacate their residence within an hour, leaving them stunned and heartbroken.
The family members present were shocked to tears upon receiving the eviction notice issued by the magistrate. Desperate for time to verify their documents as the family of martyrs, they pleaded with the eviction team. However, their pleas fell on deaf ears, and they were swiftly removed from the house without any consideration.
Amidst the turmoil, Policeman Salahuddin, the youngest son of the martyred freedom fighter, arrived upon hearing his family’s cries. He implored the authorities to postpone the eviction operation, citing the humanitarian aspect and the approaching Eid festival. Unfortunately, Salahuddin himself became a victim of the situation. He was physically assaulted, accused of obstructing government work, and subsequently handed over to the police. As a police inspector, Salahuddin bore the marks of torture on his body and fingers.
Yesterday, Salahuddin and his wife broke down in tears while presenting photographs of the torture and signs of physical abuse to the journalists at the Reporters Unity. This emotional revelation deeply affected the journalists present, including journalist leader Motahar Hossain, Vice President of Bangladesh Press Institute Journalism Alumni Association (PIBJAA), journalist Dr. Dipu Siddiqui, film director Birmuktijoddha Ja-Nesar Osman, and journalists from Dainik Desh Bangla newspaper.
People from all walks of society expressed their outrage at the inhumane treatment and torture inflicted upon the children and descendants of martyrs just days before Eid-ul-Azha, the significant religious festival for Muslims.
It is important to note that on December 10, 1971, Mohibullah, Salahuddin’s father, made the ultimate sacrifice when the enemy bombed the Bangladesh Navy warship ‘Palash’ on the Rupsa River. Mohibullah and Ruhul Amin, Salahuddin’s father, were martyred together and are buried side by side as national heroes.
At the time of their father’s martyrdom, the eldest son was three years old, and Salahuddin, the youngest, was only six months old. In their destitute state, their mother sought refuge in the house at No. 1 Northbrook Hall Road, provided by the government. Now, after being forcibly evicted without any notice from the home they resided in for over 50 years, they find themselves homeless, left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
They alleged that certain political leaders and opportunistic groups within the government, through deceitful means and falsified documents, orchestrated the eviction to wrongfully seize this government property. The family claims they were never served any official notice. They now find themselves helpless and homeless.
In light of these circumstances, the Shaheed family humbly appeals for the immediate intervention of the Prime Minister. They implore the government to acknowledge the status of their renowned freedom fighter father and prevent the mental anguish and eviction of the martyrs’ family, especially during a time when the nation commemorates the spirit of the liberation war. Urging the People’s Leader Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, to recognize their plight.