46th death anniversary of Matiur Rahman

MNA Feature Desk: Today is the 46th death anniversary of Shaheed Flight Lieutenant M Matiur Rahman Bir Shrestha, one of the most valiant heroes of the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

Matiur Rahman, a flight lieutenant of Pakistan Air Force and a recipient of Bir Sreshtho, Bangladesh’s highest military gallantry award for his utmost bravery during the Liberation War of Bangladesh, was born in October 29, 1941.

He attempted, in order to escape from Pakistan and join the Bangladesh Liberation War, to hijack a T-33 aircraft (code named “Blue Bird”) being flown by a 21 year old Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, who was conducting his second solo flight.

Rahman stopped the aircraft on the runway, climbed into the cockpit and knocked Minhas unconcious. He nearly reached the Indian border, but Rashid Minhas regained consciousness and diverted the plane. Both men struggled to control the low flying jet.

Minhas then released the canopy, since he wasn’t properly strapped in; Rahman flew out of the cockpit. The jet was flying too low for Minhas to recover. It shortly crashed nearby, killing him. For his support to the state of Bangladesh, Rahman was decorated by Bangladesh with the Bir Sreshtha award, which is the highest honour given in the country.

Matiur Rahman was born in Old Dhaka Aga Sadek Road 109 in his ancestral houses “Mobarok Lodge”. His father was Maulvi Abdus Samad and his mother was Syeda Khatun Mobarakunnesa. Among nine brothers and two sisters, Rahman was the sixth.

His family was a solvent and middle class educated family. Matiur Rahman was very good in sport and other co-curricular activities. He developed a very good team spirit and comradeship from the very school life. He completed his primary education at Dhaka Collegiate School.

After that he was admitted into Pakistan Air Force School Sargodha in West Pakistan. In 15th August 1961, he joined in the Pakistan Air Force Academy (then Pakistan Air Force College) at Risalpur.

His rank was Flying Officer during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. After the war, he went back to Sargodha to attend the Mig Conversion Course. He was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant in 1967.

After over 30 years of negotiations, Rahman’s body was finally returned to Bangladesh on 24 June 2006 for a ceremonial and highly symbolic reburial in 2006.

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