In 1971 Bangladesh fought the Liberation War against Pakistan to become an Independent country,which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and established the sovereign nation called Bangladesh. The most recognized and respected gallantry awards are the Bir (Bengali: বীর) awards which are Bir Sreshtho, Bir Uttom, Bir Bikrom and Bir Protik in decreasing order of importance. They are awarded to freedom fighters who showed utmost bravery and fought against the Pakistan Army in the Bangladesh Liberation War. All of these awards were introduced immediately after the Liberation War in 1971. Through a gazette notification of the government issued on 15 December 1973, the insignia of Bir Sreshtho was conferred upon 7 martyr freedom fighters (posthumously), Bir Uttom upon 68, Bir Bikrom upon 175, and Bir Protik upon 426 freedom fighters.

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