The death of the Queen of Britain in Sreepur of Gazipur has left the village of Bairagirchala mourning her memory.
Bairagirchala village of Sripur upazila of Gazipur is about 60 km away from the capital Dhaka.
Three centuries ago, on November 16, 1983, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II came to Bairagirchala village of Sripur upazila in Gazipur to see the image of a self-sufficient village.
Villagers are saddened to hear the news of Rani’s death through various channels. Rani is gone today but the villagers of Bairagirchala could not forget the memory of Rani. The people of Bairagirchala village of Sripur upazila of Gazipur are also saddened by the death of the Queen of Britain.
On hearing the news of Rani’s death, the authorities of Bairagirchala Government Primary School and Bairagirchala High School, which mourned her death, flagged black flags on Friday afternoon.
Sreepur Pilot Girls’ High School Acting Headmaster Bairagir Chala Village Md. Shafiqul Islam said, on the occasion of Rani’s arrival, the village of Bairagirchala in Sreepur was struck by electricity. The Sreepur to Bairagirchala road and the Sreepur railway station platform were paved.
New buildings and infrastructure of upazila parishads and hospitals were constructed. In short, on the occasion of the queen’s arrival, Sreepur was decorated in a new form. Among the many villages of the country, the village of Bairagir Chala is a special one. The village comes into discussion on the arrival of the queen.
He said that Shafiqul Islam was a sixth grade student of Sreepur Government Pilot High School when the Queen of Britain came to their village. On the day of Rani’s arrival, they were all dressed in the same dress and taken to receive the Rani near Sreepur railway station.
There, the students were standing in line to receive the two flags of Bangladesh and Britain in their hands and flowers. Rani came to Sreepur by Balaka commuter train from Dhaka. Later from there Rani went by car to Bairagir Chala village which is three kilometers away. The villagers gave a red carpet and flower reception when they went there. Since that day, the people of this village have remembered the queen with respect.
On Friday afternoon, the authorities of Rani’s memorial Bairagirchala Government Primary School and Bairagirchala High School expressed their condolences with black flags.
Rani was known to the people of Bairagirchala village in a slightly different way. On the occasion of Rani’s arrival in 1983 during the regime of the then President Hussain Muhammad Ershad, Bairagirchala village became an independent village. From November 16 of that year, the villagers took pride in identifying themselves as self-reliant villages and still do. Queen Elizabeth II’s only visit to independent Bangladesh at that time. President Ershad was also a traveling companion at that time. During his four-day state visit, he paid tribute to the martyrs of the Liberation War at the National Memorial.
Resident of Bairagirchala village AKM Md. Shakhawat Hossain Khan said that in 1983 the village was a self-reliant village. Rani will visit Bangladesh. The then Major General Abdur Rahman Khan informed his father that Rani would visit Bairagirchala self-reliant village.
Major Abdur Rahman also visited the village four months before Rani arrived. At that time, the village people had cows and goats, farms full of roosters and chickens, ponds full of fish, cropland, vegetables and rice. Nothing was lacking. They did not import anything from outside. Originally Queen Elizabeth II of Britain came to the village to see this scene.
At that time his father Mizanur Rahman Khan was the chairman of Sripur Union Parishad. The Queen of Britain accepted the identity of self-sufficient village after looking around the house. A silver key was presented to the queen by the villagers. The queen can go to any house at any time. That is why he was gifted with this symbolic key.
Village housewife Saleha Akhtar (70) said that Rani used to sit in the jackfruit garden of the village and talk to the local women. On behalf of this village, a silver key was handed over to the queen as a symbol. This means that anytime Rani can come to Bairagirchala village. All the doors of the village are always open for him.
Abdur Rahim, assistant teacher of Bairagi Chala Government Primary School (Retd.), said that his school was a tin shed printing house then. And the neighboring Bairagir Chala High School was a semi-ripe tin shed. Now that school consists of two paved and multi-storied buildings. However, the pond in which Queen Elizabeth released the fish when she came to Bairagirchala village has now become dry due to lack of care and maintenance. The bank of the pond is breaking. On the occasion of Rani’s arrival, the road was paved with electricity connection in Bairagirchala village. Electricity connection was also provided for the first time in the village.
Anjaman Ara Shiuli, Midwaff of Red Crescent Matrasdan, said that the Bairagir Chala Red Crescent Matrasdan, post office, which was built in the same area at that time, is still in operation. The Vairagichala branch of Agrani Bank, which was built there, is no longer there. Rani also visited this maternity home at that time. There is no queen today even though there is a mother house in which her memory is scattered. We mourn for him.
Rokaya Begum (60) of the village said, we have seen the queen. I sat and talked with Rani. We did not understand what he said, but the people who were with him explained it to us. We were lucky to see the Queen of Britain up close. He visited the pond, he sat in the hut set up beside the pond. On the banks of the pond there were cottage industries, weaving industries, poultry farms and saw the activities of making rice and rice by pounding it.
He saw the fish released and caught in the pond. At one stage of the fishermen’s fishing that day, a large cuttlefish also jumped at the feet of the queen who was standing on the bank of the pond. Rani was very impressed by the scene of big fish jumping up and down. We are deeply saddened by the news of his death.
Mayor of Sreepur Municipality. Anishur Rahman said, the arrival of British Queen Elizabeth II in Sreepur made us proud of the world. The development of Sreepur started with the steps of Rani. We will never forget the Queen’s memory. We are deeply saddened by the passing of the Queen of Britain. We pray for his soul to rest in peace.