Their pain still intense | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 12, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:20 AM, December 12, 2018

Their pain still intense

Families of 600 martyrs yet to get recognition even 47 years after independence

Their pain is still intense, and hearts still bleed.

Like Fatema Begum and Shilpi Akhter Jharna many martyred family members are still carring the memory of  the horrifying atrocities committed on their dear ones in the town during the Liberation War.

The families of martyrs are yet to get proper recognition even 47 years after independence, lament their near and dear ones.

Around 600 Bangalees, including 84 railway officials and employees, were brutally killed by Pakistani Army and their collaborators at Rickshaw Stand beside Lalmonirhat Railway Station on April 5 in 1971. 

Fatema, 58, of Sahebpara area in the town, said “The Pakistani occupation forces with the help of local Biharis killed my college-going brother Hashem Ali, who was preparing to join the freedom fight, in front of my father Omar Ali, a railway employee, during the Liberation War.”

Later, the occupation forces shot her father dead at the killing ground beside the railway station, said Fatema, adding that their family is yet to get proper recognition for it.

Another martyred family member Shilpi, 57, of the area said Pakistani Army with the help of local Biharis picked up her father Maqbul Hossain, a railway employee, on April 5 in 1971 and killed him brutally along with other railway employees at Rickshaw Stand in the town.

They did not even get her father's body, she said in tears.

“They also killed my elder brother Dara Islam, a college student, in front of my father as he burned the Pakistan flag,” Shilpi said, adding that the occupation forces also took away her brother's body.

Their dear ones sacrificed their lives during the war but their family is yet to be recognised as martyred family, laments Shilpi.

The Pakistani occupation forces and their collaborators picked up railway officers and employees, school and college teachers, businessmen and cultural activists from their residences and offices and took them to the Railway Officers' Club, said Abu Bakkar Siddique, former commander of Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila Muktijoddha Sangsad Command.

The occupation forces then tortured the victims brutally and shot them dead at the rickshaw stand beside the railway station, he said.

Mezbah Uddin Ahmed, former commander of Lalmonirhat District Command of Muktijoddha Sangsad, said they have been contacting the ministry concerned for protecting the killing ground as memorials of the Liberation War and recognising the families of massacre victims as martyred families.

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