Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today handed over ‘Swadhinata Padak’ (Independence Award) 2016, the highest state award, to 15 distinguished personalities and the Bangladesh Navy in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their respective fields.
The recipients are Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith for defecting for Bangladesh government while working in Pakistan embassy in United States in 1971 and mobilising public opinion in favour of the Liberation War, Jute and Textiles Minister M Imazuddin Pramanik as an organiser of the Liberation War and a freedom fighter, poet Nirmalendu Goon for his outstanding contributions to literature, late Moulvi Asmat Ali Khan as a successful politician, freedom fighter and noted social worker, Squadron Leader (retd) Badrul Alam (Bir Uttam) a successful pilot of F-6 supersonic aircraft who had a prominent role in the formation process of Bangladesh Air Force after the country’s independence.
The other recipients in this category are Shaheed (martyr) Shah Abdul Mazid as the police super of Rajshahi district who led the formation of the police force in resisting the attacks of Pakistani occupation forces in Rajshahi Police Lines in 1971, M Abdul Ali, the then Deputy Commissioner of Rangamati who embraced martyrdom while leading as an organiser of the Liberation War in the district, late AKM Abdur Rouf, who defected for Bangladesh government while working in Pakistan High Commission in London and handwrote the first constitution of Bangladesh in 1971, KM Shihab Uddin, who defected for Bangladesh government while working in Pakistan High Commission in Delhi in 1971 and established the first mission of Bangladesh in Delhi and Syed Hasam Imam for playing a bold role in organising cultural activities in favour of the Liberation War.
In the field of language, late Rafiqul Islam and Abdus Salam were given the award for their pioneering role in achieving recognition for ‘Amar Ekushey’ (February 21) as the International Mother Language Day.
In the field of science and technology, late Prof Dr Maksudul Alam, an agriculture researcher, got the award for decoding the genome sequence of ‘Tosha’, a local variety of jute, while reputed child specialist Dr Mohammad Rafi Khan (MR Khan) received the award in the field of medical treatment.
Rabindra Sangeet exponent and researcher Rezwana Chowdhury Banya received the award in the field of culture.
Besides, the Bangladesh Navy got the award for its unparalleled contributions to the Liberation War and its untiring efforts in guarding the independence and sovereignty of the country’s maritime boundary.
The each award carries a gold medal, a Tk three lakh cheque and a citation.
Later, on behalf of the award recipients, Syed Hasan Imam shared his feelings with the audience upon receiving the award.