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Sylhet District


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Sylhet District (sylhet division) area 3490.40 sq km, located in between 24°36′ and 25°11′ north latitudes and in between 91°38′ and 92°30′ east longitudes. It is bounded by Meghalaya state of India on the north, maulvibazar district on the south, assam state of India on the east, sunamganj and habiganj districts on the west.

Population Total 2555566; male 1314317, female 1241249; Muslim 2365728, Hindu 186565, Buddhist 1831, Christian 352 and others 1090. Indigenous communities such as khasia, manipuri and patra (Pathor) belong to this upazila.

Water bodies Main rivers: surma, kushiyara, piyain, Gorai.

Area (sq km) Upazila Municipality Union Mouza Village Population Density (per sq km) Literacy rate (%)
Urban Rural
3490.40 12 4 98 1693 3225 433598 2121968 732 45.59
City Corporation
City Corporation Metropolitan Thana Ward Mahalla
1 6 27 224
Name of Metropolitan Thana Area (sq km) Ward and Union Mahalla and Mouza Population Density
(per sq km)
Literacy rate (%)
Bimanbandar (part) 110.59 2+2 (part) 39 97524 882 58.07
Kotwali 17.22 18 144 168271 9772 71.75
Jalalabad 133.36 4 42 91822 689 37.71
Dakshin Surma (part) 78.82 7 54 114370 1451 62.16
Moglabazar 115.83 4 57 94215 813 55.36
Shah Paran (part) 63.56 6 48 99224 1561 63.38
Others Information of District
Name of Upazila Area (sq km) Municipality Union Mouza Village Population Density
(per sq km)
Literacy rate (%)
Kanaighat 412.25 1 9 252 292 216495 525 29.62
Companiganj 278.55 3 74 138 113784 408 22.75
Gowainghat 486.10 8 260 267 207170 426 22.81
Golabganj 278.34 1 11 108 256 263953 948 48.24
Zakiganj 287.33 1 9 119 276 198399 690 45.22
Jaintiapur 258.69 5 160 177 121458 470 35.11
Dakshin Surma 194.26 9 102 326 188675 971 58.70
Fenchuganj 114.48 3 30 85 95161 831 46.29
Balaganj 389.51 14 241 471 256239 358 47.85
Beanibazar 253.22 1 11 145 183 210673 832 52.52
Bishwanath 214.50 8 118 446 189775 885 39.94
Sylhet Sadar 323.17 8 84 372 493784 1528 59.14

Source Bangladesh Population Census 2001, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

Administration Sylhet district was established on 3 January 1782. Until 1878, Sylhet was under the jurisdiction of dhaka division. In the same year, Sylhet was included in the newly created Assam Province. Municipality was formed in 1878. Up to 1947 (excepting the Banga Bhanga period of 1905-1911) it remained a part of Assam. In 1947, as a result of a referendum, it was attached to the East Pakistan and was in the Chittagong Division. The greater Sylhet was divided into four new districts viz Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj and Maulvibazar in 1983-84. On 1 August 1995 Sylhet was declared as the 6th division of the country. Of the twelve upazilas of the district gowainghat is the largest (486.10 sq km) and fenchuganj is the smallest (114.48 sq km).

History of the War of Liberation On 4 April 1971, a serious encounter was held between the freedom fighters and the Pak army in the hospital area of Sylhet Sadar in which a number of Pak soldiers and freedom fighters were killed. On 5 April the freedom fighters caused heavy damages to the Sylhet airport by bomb explosion. To control the situation most of the Pak soldiers of the town rushed to the airport area. Taking advantage of this situation the freedom fighters entered into the Sylhet Jail and liberated about 2500 detainees including freedom fighters. On 19 April, the freedom fighters raided the Airport again. During the war of liberation more than one hundred freedom fighters and civilians were killed in various encounters with the Pak army including at Laltila, Ureatila, Malinichhara Tea Garden, Tultikar, Zindabazar Police Line, Jalalabad of Sylhet sadar upazila. On 6 May the Pak army conducted mass killing at Ilashpur of Balaganj upazila; they also killed 36 persons at Adityapur. Two encounters were held between the freedom fighters and the Pak army at Sherpur and Sadipur; the Pak army was defeated in both the encounters. In the month of May the Pak soldiers from Sylhet, shot two malis (gardeners) dead on the first gate of the Fenchuganj Fertilizer Factory premises. Later on, they also shot dead two labourers of the Monipuri Tea Garden. On 28 November, at dead of night, the Pak army launched a surprise attack on village Ujuhat’ under Gowainghat upazila and killed 25 freedom fighters. During the War of Liberation the Pak army conducted killing, torturing, plundering and firing in different places of Kanaighat upazila including at Maligram and Gauripur. The Pak army killed many innocent persons including Narayan Sen, Jitendra Das, Bomkesh Chowdhury, Basanta Kumar Das and Dhirendra Kumar Das of Bishwanath upazila. The Pak army used to abduct innocent persons from different places of the Beanibazar upazila and killed them at mass killing sites like the backyard of Dak bungalow of the Beanibazar sadar, thana compound and at the present Shahid Tila area. In different encounters with the Pak army 19 freedom fighters of Companiganj upazila were killed.

Marks of the War of Liberation Mass grave 13; mass killing site 9; memorial monument 14; sculpture 1.

Literacy rate and educational institutions Average literacy 45.59%; male 49.43%, female 41.55. Educational institutions: university 5, medical college 4, technical college 3, college 7, secondary school 44, primary school 115, community school 6, kindergarten 80, madrasa 30. Noted educational institutions: shahjalal university of science and technology (1987), Sylhet Agricultural University, Darul Ihsan University, MAG Osmani Medical College (1975), Sylhet Engineering College, Jalalabad Public School and College, MC College (1889), Sylhet Sanskrit College (1902), Sylhet Government Pilot High School (1836), Raja Jimi High School (1886), Agragami Government Girls’ High School (1903), Model High School (1932), Government Madan Mohan College (1940), The Aided High School (1942), Kishori Mohan Girls’ School (1944), Hazrat Shah Jajal (R) High School, Hazrat Shah Paran (R) High School, Sylhet’ Government Alia Madrasa (1948).

Main sources of income Agriculture 38.58%, non-agricultural labourer 7.73%, industry 0.89%, commerce 14.87%, transport and communication 3.01%, service 7.35%, construction 2.22%, religious service 0.56%, rent and remittance 10.50% and others 14.29%.

Newspapers and periodicals Daily: Sylheter Dak, Ajker Sylhet, Sudin, Jagaran, Sabuj Sylhet, Sylhet Sanglap, Manchitra, Yugveri, Sylhet Bani, Alokito Sylhet, Jalalabad; defunct: Shrihatta Prakash (1875), Paridarshak (1875-80), Srihattamihir (1889), Shrihattabasi (1895), Janashakti (1920), Jugbani (1925), Al Islah, Gyanannesan (1931), Jagaran (1938), Al Jalal (1941), Sylhet Samachar (1977), Sylhet Kantha (1981), Weekly Jalalabad (1982), Daily Jalalabadi (1984), Ajker Vishwa Sangbad (1992), Paridarshak (nineteenth century).

Folk culture The prevalent folk culture of the district include Mursidi song, Marfati song, Lai Haroaba dance, Manipuri dance, Kumari dance, Jhum dance, etc.

Important installations Mazar of shah jalal (r), Mazar of Hazrat shah paran (r), Gour Gobinda Fort, Malnichhara Tea Garden, MAG Osmani International Airport, Osmani Museum, Keen Bridge, Shahi Eidgah and Lalkhal (sylhet sadar); Hakaluki Haor (fenchuganj); Dream Land Park (golabganj).

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