Today, December 20 is a reminder of Moulvibazar mine blast tragedy.
On this day in 1971, over 25 freedom fighters were killed in a series of explosions that followed an accidental mine blast at the transit camp of freedom fighters at Moulvibazar Government High School in the district town, four days after the nation's final victory over the Pakistan occupation forces.
After December 16, local freedom fighters in batches started joining the transit camp and arms, ammunition, mines and other explosives carried by the freedom fighters were being kept there.
“On the morning of December 20, a mine from the hand of a freedom fighter accidentally fell on the floor of the school building and exploded with a big bang. It caused blasting of several other mines,” Azizur Rahman, chairman of Moulvibazar Zila Parishad.
“Hearing the sound of explosions, locals rushed to the spot. They later recovered the bodies of over 25 freedom fighters,” said Azizar, also an eyewitness to the incident.
They were buried with due honour in the south-eastern corner of the school ground and a martyrs' memorial built in front of the burial place, came to be known as the Central Shaheed Minar of Moulvibazar district, he said.
Another monument was later built with inscriptions of a list of 25 freedom fighters who died in the tragic incident.
The number of the victims would be much more as several bodies got burnt and destroyed beyond recognition, said a few senior politicians of the area.
Marking the day, different government, non-government, socio-cultural and political organisations have taken up day-long programmes including placing of floral wreaths at the memorial, doa mahfil and discussion meeting.