The Bir Sreshtho (বীরশ্রেষ্ঠ) or ‘The Most Valiant Hero’ is the highest military award of Bangladesh. It was awarded to seven freedom fighters who showed utmost bravery and made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. They are considered martyrs.
The other three gallantry awards are named, in decreasing order of importance, Bir Uttom, Bir Bikrom and Bir Protik. All of these awards were introduced immediately after the Liberation War in 1971.
All the recipients of this award were killed during the Liberation War of 1971. Click on names for detailed profile.
Born: at Bagpachra in the district of Noakhali in 1934. After completing his secondary education from Sunaimuri High School in 1949, he joined erstwhile Pakistan navy in 1951. During the Liberation Movement in 1971, he was serving as engineer officer in the appointment of ERA-1 in PNS comilla Gunboat under Chittagong Naval base. On 25th March 1971 , he left the pak navy and joined the Liberation war. Later on he joined the naval ship Poash A few days before the country was liberated his ship came under air strike on 10 December 1971 near Khulna shipyard. He foughr bravely to save his ship but was wounded severely and later on the embraced martyrdom. He was honoured with the highest gallantry award “Bir Srestha” for his courage, valour and dedication to the nation.
Born: 1948 in the village of Rahimgonj under Babugonj upazilla of Barisal district. Commissioned in the corps of Engineers on June 1968 from Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. Embraced martyrdom while breaking through enemy defence on the bank of river Mahananda. His bold initiative and aggressive leadership helped wipe out the last vestiges of enemy resistance and the position finally fell to our forces.
Born: 16 December 1947 in Hajipur village of Daulatikhan upazilla under Bhola district. Proud son of retired Havilder Habibur Rahman, Sepoy Mostafa embraced martyrdom on 18 April 1971 in a defensive battle against the enemy in Daruin village of Comilla. With unflinching courage and steadfastness, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.
Born: 2 February 1953 in Khardo Khalishpur village under jessore district. Joined the Army on 2nd February 1971 and enrolled in the corps of Infantry. Embraced martyrodom on 28 October 1971 at Dhalai in an attempt to capture the enemy position which finally fell to our advancing column. He was buried in Tripura in India. On 27 October 2007, advisers of the Bangladeshi caretaker government decided to bring back his remaining to Bangladesh and bury him besides Bir Shrestho Matiur Rahman.
Born: 21 February 1945 at Dhaka. Joined the Pakistan Air Force in August 1961 and commissioned in the GD(P) branch on 23 June 1963. Embraced martyrdom on August 20, 1971 in an attempt to join the Liberation War with a T-33 aircraft from Karachi Air Base which ultimately crashed because Knowing that it meant certain death, his co-pilot Rashid Minhaz damaged the controls and forced the aircraft to crash thirty-two miles short of the border.
Motiur’s intention was to bring an aircraft for use by the warriors in Bangladesh. It was a bold and daring plan. He chose to risk his life. On the other hand, his co-pilot Rashid had only one thing to do, that is, protect and preserve the aircraft which was a property of the state at any cost. Another duty of Minhaz was to prevent Motiur from mutinying. Those are exactly what he did and he did it very well. After the event Pakistan government honoured Pilot Officer Rashid Minhaz with the highest gallantry award of Pakistan: ‘Nishan-e-Haider’.
Born: May 1943 at village Salmat of Boalmari upazila under Faridpur district. Enlisted in ther East Bengal Regiment on 8 May 1963. Was attached with a regular infantry unit during War of Liberation. Embraced martyrdoms on 8 April 1971 at Burighat in Chittagong Hill Tracts after causing extensive damage to enemy’s men and materials with his MG and forcing them to retreat.
Born: 26 February 1936 in Moheskhali village under Jessore district. Enlisted in the East Pakistan Rifiles on 14 March 1959. Embraced martyrdom while engaging the enemy with fire for covering the extrication of fellow soldiers at Goalhati in Jessore district on September 5 1971. Nur Mohammad died fighting along but not before his compatriots were safe and he had inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.