File photo of Bir Uttam Maj Gen (retd) Chitta Ranjan Dutta DT Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
A 1,001-member citizens’ committee has been formed to pay last tributes to the war hero in proper manner
The body of Bir Uttam Chitta Ranjan Dutta, widely known as CR Dutta, will be flown to Dhaka on Monday or Tuesday from the United States, where he passed away on August 25.
Preparations are being taken to hold last rituals of CR Dutta, the commander of Sector No 4 during the 1971 Liberation War, with full state and military honour after bringing back his body from Florida by an Emirates Airlines flight, said a press release singed by General Dutta National Citizens’ Committee Coordinator Rana Dasgupta on Saturday.
It said the war hero’s US expatriate elder daughter Mahua Dutta, son Chiranjeeb Dutta, younger daughter Kabita Dasgupta will reach Dhaka by a Qatar Airlines flight at 2am on Monday.
His Canada expatriate second daughter Chayanika Dutta and her husband Rony Prantice will reach Dhaka at 9am same day by an Emirates Airlines flight to join their father’s last rituals.
Efforts are underway to bring back CR Dutta’s body with his family and if it is not possible, his body is expected to reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka by an Emirates Airlines flight on the next day, Tuesday, at 6:30am.
A 1,001-member national citizens’ committee was formed with Maj Gen (retd) KM Shafiullah, another sector commander during the Liberation War, as convener and journalist Shahriar Kabir as member secretary to pay last tributes to CR Dutta in proper manner.
CR Dutta passed away at a Florida hospital around 9am (Bangladesh time) on August 25 at the age of 93.
Earlier on August 20, Dutta fell in the bathroom and broke his leg. He was admitted to the hospital after his condition deteriorated.
Dutta had also been suffering from various incurable diseases.
He was the founder director general of the then Bangladesh Rifles, former chairman of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Welfare Trust and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation and founding president of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council.
Dutta was born on January 1, 1927 in Shillong, Assam. His ancestral home is in Mirashi village of Chunarughat upazila of Habiganj.
He joined the Pakistan Army in 1951 and a few days later, he was commissioned as second lieutenant.
The then Pakistan government rewarded him for his courageous contribution to the 1965 Indo-Pak war, the first battle of his military life.
In 1971, Colonel MAG Osmani, the commander-in-chief of the Liberation War, appointed Dutta as the commander of Sector No 4.
He made important contributions after being appointed as brigade commander in Rangpur in 1972.
In 1973, the government felt the need to form a border guard force for independent Bangladesh and gave the responsibility to him in this regard.
He later formed a border guard force and it was named Bangladesh Rifles. At present, the force is called Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
He was awarded the title of Bir Uttam for his valiant contribution to the Liberation War.
The road from Kataban to Karwan Bazar Signal in Dhaka city was named after him.