Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Institute of Biosciences
Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Institute of Biosciences

Purpose of the Naming Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Institute of Biosciences

Mohammad Shamsuzzoha (1934-1969) was an educationist, writer, professor and proctor at Rajshahi University. He was born in the district of Bankura in West Bengal and passed the matriculation in 1948 from Bankura Zilla School and ISc from Bankura Christian College in 1950. After the partition of India, his family migrated to East Bengal. Shamsuzzoha got himself admitted to B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry at Dhaka University in 1950. He got a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Chemistry in 1953 and M.Sc. in 1954 from Dhaka University. While a student at Dhaka University Shamsuzzoha took an active part in the language movement in 1952. He obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in 1957 from the Imperial College of London and had his Ph.D degree in 1964.

Mohammad Shamsuzzoha began his career as a Development Officer at Rajshahi University in 1961, and soon after was appointed as Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. He was promoted to the post of Reader of Chemistry in 1966. Earlier in 1965 he was the house tutor of Shah Makhdum Hall and later he joined as a proctor at Rajshahi University in 1966 till his death in 1969.

Mohammad Shamsuzzoha was martyred in the Anti-Ayub mass movement in 1969. From the closing of 1968 Anti-Ayub movement began to gain momentum. At one stage of the movement student leader asaduzzaman was killed by the army on 20 January 1969, and Sergeant Jahurul Haq, an accused in the Agartala conspiracy case, was killed in Dhaka Cantonment on 15 February 1969.

Following the killing a flame of protest spread throughout erstwhile East Pakistan. On February 17, Section 144 was imposed on Rajshahi City. The students of Rajshahi University who had joined the protest took out a procession in violation of Section 144 and were locked in a clash with police in front of the residence of the principal of Rajshahi College. As a result, several students were injured. On hearing this, Dr Zoha rushed to the spot and took the injured students to the hospital.

On 18 February the students of the University organised a demonstration at the main gate of the University. On the same day the local administration-imposed Section 144 on the Natore-Rajshahi Highway adjacent to the University. The students were preparing to violate Section 144 again. The armed forces were deployed in front of the university’s main gate, which was kept locked to prevent the agitating students from going out. The students, however, started jumping over the gate to scale the walls. The armed forces started taking positions facing the students. Dr. Zoha repeatedly requested the officers not to fire. He said, “Don’t fire! I say don’t fire! My students will go back now. Your bullets will pierce my heart first before they hit the students.” But he was ignored. The situation deteriorated further and at one point Dr. Zoha was shot in the back at 11:00 in the morning later, he was bayonet charged too. He breathed his last at around 4:00 PM. His death accelerated the ongoing mass movement against the Pakistan army for withdrawal of the historic Agartala conspiracy case.

Dr. Shamsuzzoha’s death was a national event. There is no time to separate this death from contemporary society and politics. Professor Dr. Shamsuzzoha was the first martyred intellectual who embraced martyrdom during the pre-liberation period of Bangladesh in an attempt to save his students from the Pakistani military force during the mass upsurge in 1969, which ultimately led to the liberation war of Bangladesh. He was also the first university teacher in erstwhile East Pakistan and a dutiful proctor at Rajshahi University who sacrificed his life for the sake of the country and the country’s people. This great pedagogue is a source of pride and inspiration for the entire teacher community and his unforgettable sacrifice encourages and inspires the entire nation. His teaching is instructive for teachers all over the world. The second instance of such an occurrence is not available in the history of the world. Professor Shamsuzzoha was buried in front of the administrative building of Rajshahi University.

A residential hall of Rajshahi University was named Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall in commemoration of his highest sacrifice for the cause of the nation. A memorial sculpture was built right beside the hall, called “Sfulinga” for Dr. Shamsuzzoha as a symbol of respect. That’s not enough for a martyr.

Dr. Mohammad Shamsuzzoha’s martyrdom passed away a long time ago, but he is still neglected nationally. So far no effective initiative has been taken to observe this day nationally. Professor Zoha was different from other martyred intellectuals in the sense that he was the only one who sacrificed his life for his students.

Shamsuzzoha was the first university teacher in erstwhile East Pakistan who was killed by the Pakistani Military forces on the eve of the 1969 revolution movement of East Pakistan, which ultimately grew the nationalist spirit in East Pakistanis. As a result of the liberation war was took place in 1971, and East Pakistanis gained independence in return for their sacrifices.

In fact, after the assassination of Dr. Shamsuzzoha Sir, the anti-Pakistani movement took shape all over the country. As a result, the Pakistani military government was forced to release Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others from the Agartala conspiracy case. Due to this, the movement against the military government of West Pakistan gained enormously throughout East Pakistan. On December 16, 1971, East Pakistan gained independence after defeating the Pakistani military and a new state called Bangladesh emerged. So, we can say that the killing of Dr. Shamsuzzohar sir by the Pakistani government is closely related to gaining the independence of Bangladesh. Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Institute of Biosciences was established to commemorate the death and contribution of Dr. Shaheed Shamsuzzoha to the independence of Bangladesh.

Contact Address

Holding no-127, Katakhali, Rajshahi-6212
North side from Rajshahi to Dhaka Highway.
Mobile no: 017962277200, 01712077200
Institute Code: 410

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