Country’s first Shaheed Minar seeks state recognition

Published : 21 Feb 2022 08:13 PM

The first Shahid Minar of the country built 60 years ago to pay tribute to the language movement martyred was established at the campus of Rajshahi College on the very night of February-21, 1952. The Shahid Minar was was built with bricks by the students and local people of Rajshahi in front of Muslim Hostel of the college.

But, the next day, the then Pakistani Police forces demolished the first ever Shahid Minar of the country.

Advocate Golam Arif Tipu, a language movement veteran of 1952, said in February-21, 1952 when Police opened fire on the agitated people in Dhaka, many people including students died there. Hearing this news, students and people of Rajshahi also took to the street and started agitation. 

The same night, agitated people here started a Torch Procession which paraded various streets of Rajshahi town. Later,  they collected bricks, cement and sand and then erected the first ever Shahid Minar of the country at Rajshahi College Hostel premises for paying tribute for the martyrs in Dhaka. But, the next morning police declared an  emergency in Rajshahi and other places of the country and demolished the Shahid Minar.

Veteran journalist Mustafizur Rahman Khan Alam who is also another Language Movement activist said on the night of February 21, 1952, agitated students with local people established the first Shahid Minar of the country with bricks and mortars at Rajshahi College Muslim Hostel premises and named it as' Shahid Smriti Stombho' ( Martyred Memorial Plaque).  However, the next morning police demolished the establishment. Aftermath of the incident demolition on February-22, several thousand people from diverse professional groups including students thronged at the local Bhubon Mohon Park and held a meeting there. Among others Captain Samsul Haque and Madar Baux spoke in the meeting .

After the demolition of the country's first Shahid Minar- The 'Shahid Smriti Stombho', no other Shahid Minar was made in that place of Rajshahi College for a long time. In 2008, many Language Movement veterans asked the government to establish a new Shahid Minar in that place and Rajshahi College authorities built a new Shahid Minar over the ruins of the first ever Shahid Minar there. Mr Alam also demands the state recognition of the first ever Shahid Minar of the country built at Rajshahi College. 

Dr. Ali Reza Md. Abdul Mazid, former Principal of Rajshahi College said, Rajshahi College authorities had  built the Shahid Minar over the same place where the first Shahid Minar of the country was erected.  He hopes government will recognise this Shahid Minar as the first Shahid Minar of the country. Many students of Rajshahi College and common people alike said, the government should recognise the Shahid Minar of Rajshahi College as the first ever Shahid Minar of the country and should build a larger Shahid Minar on the spot. They also said they feel proud to call the Shahid Minar as the first ever in the country.