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DHAKA | Wednesday | 14 December 2011
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On martyred journalist Selina Parveen→ Parvez Babul
 With a great sense of respect I offer my salute to the martyred lady journalist Selina Parveen. She was imbued with a matchless and unrivalled bravery, which enabled her to think like an idealist. As a visionary she dreamt of an independent Bangladesh and fought for that with her pen. When an individual have the courage to confront fears head-on, shehe wins.

We know that pen is mightier than sword or bullet. Patriotism found expression through her mighty pen. That is why the beastly occupation army of Pakistan and their local collaborators brutally killed her as well as other important intellectuals of Bangladesh in December 14, 1971 only two days before the historical Victory Day!

Pursuant to the Wikipedia (http:en.wikipedia.orgwikiSelina_Parvin), Selina Parveen was born in Feni district in March 31, 1931. As a journalist she used to work for Weekly Begum and Weekly Lolona. She also edited and published a periodical titled Shilalipi.

Her father Md. Abidur Rahman was a teacher. After the World War II her father's house was seized at Feni town and their family had to settle in a village. Selina Parveen started writing stories and poems at the age 12. In the traditional conservative rural context she had to put an end to her studies.

Selina Parveen came to Dhaka in 1958 at the age of 27 and got the job of matron of Rokeya Hall in Dhaka University but after a dispute with the authority she quit the job. She married a politician. She used to work with various periodicals and published her own periodical on an irregular basis.

On December 13, 1971 she was kidnapped by the members of the paramilitary force Al-Badr and was brutally killed the next day. Her dead body was later discovered at the Rayerbazar Boddhobhumy.

Shumon Zahid, the only son of martyred Selina Parveen, was eight years old in 1971 and is now 48. Recently I met with him and listened to the tragic story of his mother's killing. Shumon narrated the brutality of the Pakistan army and the Al-Badrs: they tactfully picked up his mother from their residence at Siddheshwari when she was preparing the lunch. At about noon, some members of the Pak army and the collaborators entered her house and asked her to go with them. She questioned, 'where?' 'To the Secretariat. We will drop you back very soon' they lied. Shumon was trying to follow his mother but was prevented by them. Taking her out, they covered her eyes with a towel.

Shumon passed four days with great anxiety for his mother but did not get her alive! On December 18, 1971, people discovered her dead body. It was really a matter of unbearable shock for him and his near and dear ones.

A survivor of the massacre narrated the scene of the brutal killing of his mother. He informed Shumon that the hated killers killed his mother charging bayonet on her chest and with gun shots. Shumon's eyes became filled with tears and took a pause. After a while he said, "My sorrows become double when I see that the enemies of our independence and the killers of my mother as well as other intellectuals, are not yet tried and punished."

"My mother used to edit and publish a Bangla periodical named Shilalipi since 1969. Prominent journalists and writers wrote for it supporting the independence of Bangladesh. In addition, my mother supported the war of independence, gave the freedom fighters shelter at our house, and supplied them with food and medicine and arranged for the treatment of the wounded freedom fighters. The killers put my mother's name in their hit list and killed my mother and other intellectuals of Bangladesh," Shuman added.

Shumon applied to the Dhaka City Corporation and knocked for long nine years to name a road after his mother. Accordingly, the Siddheshwari road has been named: Martyr Journalist Selina Parveen Road. Though Shumon struggled a lot to survive after losing his mother, and is still struggling to run his family with a meagre income from a small job, he does not have any demand for his personal gain. He requested the government to set up a mural with the portrait of his mother containing full information about her. It will help the new generation to know about the supreme sacrifice his mother made for the country.

"My sorrows know no bounds but if I see that the war criminals are tried, killers of my mother are punished, the soul of my mother will rest in peace," Shumon expected.

The writer is a journalist.

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