Apart from its pioneering achievement in education and research, Rajshahi University (RU) had played a historic role in the struggle for an independent Bangladesh.
During the liberation war, RU teachers, officials and students carried out a very tough fight to free the country from enemies. The Shabash Bangladesh Chhattar, martyr archives, mass grave, and tombs of Shamsuzzoha, Sukhrojjon Samaddar, Meer Abdul Qaiyum and Shaheed Habibur Rahman and presence of existing freedom fighters make it a glorious one.
After its establishment in 1953, one year into the 1952 language movement, the RU had been vociferous in all national issues.
The students and teachers of RU have always been conscious to resist all injustices. They never lag behind to play vital roles in different democratic movements.
For instance, their movement for the cancellation of the report of disputed education commission of 1962, mass uprising of 1969 for democracy and above all active participation in the war of liberation in 1971 are remarkable in the history of our country.
The RU’s contribution to independence war began from the massive movement in 1969 that aimed at protesting against the illegal and unlawful tyranny of the Pakistani government.
Since then the students of this university became furious. On 18 February, 1969 the students of the university brought out a protest procession. As the police taking preparation to shoot at the procession, the proctor and professor of the chemistry department Shamsuzzoha laid down his life to save the students from the attack of police. Professor Zoha is the country’s first martyred intellectual.
Besides, three other teachers of RU embraced martyrdom to free the country from Pakistan army in liberation war in 1971. The martyred teachers are professor Meer Abdul Qaiyum of psychology department, professor Shukhranjon Samaddar of language department and professor Habibur Rahman of department of mathematics.
Earlier On 14 April in 1971, the Pakistani military entered the university campus. They first stationed their headquarters at the Rajshahi University guesthouse Juberi Bhaban. Later, they shifted headquarters to Dr Zoha Hall which was used as a concentration camp until Pakistan retreat on 18 December night, 1971.
All the freedom loving and peace loving people were whisked away by the army and their collaborators and kept into Zoha hall and tortured to death. From the RU base, the Pakistani army led their destructive activities in nearby areas of the city.
To pay a tribute, the university authorities set up several monuments and a museum on the campus.
In 1972 the authorities established Shaheed Smriti Sangrashala which is the first museum of the country on the liberation war. After independence, on 23 April, 1972 a mass grave was discovered and it was the largest in the country.
Later in 2003, the university authorities built a mass graveyard monument to pay respect to the martyrs on the east side of the campus.
Though Shamsuzzoha’s graveyard is well decorated and located in front of the administrative building, Rajshahi University, many unsung heroes have no memorials on the campus.