PABNA, Dec 19: The Liberation War moments get alive through a three-band radio of early 70s. Abul Kashem Mollah, an 85-year old tea vendor at Rooppur village under Ishwardi upazila of the district commemorates the Liberation War holding his broken radio.
It was early of December, 1971, when Pakistani occupation army, assisted by local collaborators, attacked his small tea stall beneath the tree. They stormed the shop and also beat him up mercilessly on the allegations of hearing Liberation War news of British Broadcasting Centre (BBC) through his three-band radio. The occupation troops also broke it down. Later, Kashem repaired the radio. People of the area came to his shop to hear BBC news, and since then the area took the name of BBC Bazar.
Due to poverty, Abul Kashm Mollah could not participate in the Liberation War, but throughout the war period, he helped freedom fighters by providing them with secret messages.
"Villagers from Ruppur, Pakshey, Shahapur and the adjoining 5-7 villages came to my shop for hearing the BBC news," said Kashem Mollah.
They also heard programmes aired by 'Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra' and the famous 'Charampatra', he said.
"Increasing presence of people in the shop turned the place into a familiar one although it was a jungle area four decades ago," freedom fighter Md. Rashidullah, a resident of Rooppur village said.
"I have arrived at the poignant moment of my life. My beloved wife passed away, sons and daughters are busy with their own families. My historic radio is on the verge of ruin, which is my only companion," Kashem said, adding that after my death, there would be no value of the radio.
"I was honoured as a freedom fighter due to my historic radio. I urge the government to keep my radio in the museum," he added.
Now there are more than hundred shops at BBC Bazar. There are so many devices now such as TV, music players, CD, and mobile phones, but this radio is all to him, said Kasehm Mollah.