By June of 1971, Pakistani forces had occupied most of Rajshahi district’s key installations and were expanding their control to remote areas through mass killings, rape and burning villages.
“…Then after dark, a tentative ‘Joy Bangla’ in the back streets. Older men came out and persuaded the lads back into their homes; ‘there is still a curfew’. Then a more determined ‘Joy Bangla’. The Mukti Bahini had taken over the streets.
It was a cold winter night. Some 75 freedom fighters were deftly making their way in a quiet village called Betiara; only the whooshing sound of breeze blowing through bamboo bushes and trees and the chirping of insects were disturbing the eerie silence.
The tin shack was almost hidden behind a bush. A thick canopy of mango and coconut trees kept it under a blissful shade. Behind its backyard was a wide canal that separated it from the rest of the village.
It was sometime in mid-August of 1971. The Pakistan occupation forces continued its atrocities in the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. In the Haor region, encompassing Sunamganj, Habiganj, Kishoreganj and Netrakona, the marauding army was using the Bheramohona River on Sherpur-Ajmiriganj route to supply arms and ammunition to different places.
Maleka Khan, former director of Bangladesh Central Women’s Rehabilitation Centre and former organising secretary of Bangladesh Girl Guides Association, shares her story of losing her younger brother in the Liberation War in 1971.
Social worker Maleka Khan, who served as a director of the Bangladesh Central Women’s Rehabilitation Centre, shares how she became involved with the centre and started working with Begam Sufia Kamal.
Ahamed Ali, retired assistant director of BTCL and a freedom fighter who fought in Sector 8 under Major General Muhammad Abul Manzoor, tells his stories of training and war days during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.