Moulvibazar to recall mine blast tragedy today
Today, December 20, is reminder of Moulvibazar mine blast tragedy.
On this day in 1971, at least 25 freedom fighters (FFs) were killed in a series of explosions that followed an accidental mine blast at the FFs’ transit camp at century-old Moulvibazar Government High School in the district town.
After the nation’s final victory against the Pakistani army on December 16, local freedom fighters started joining the transit camp and arms, ammunition, mines and other explosives carried by the freedom fighters were kept there.
Azizur Rahman, chairman of Moulvibazar district council, said 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, also an eyewitness to the incident, said “Hearing the sound of explosions, locals rushed to the spot. They later recovered the bodies of over 25 freedom fighters.”
They were buried with due honour in the south-eastern corner of the school ground, he said, adding that a martyrs’ memorial built in front of the burial place, came to be known as the Central Shaheed Minar of the district.
Another monument was later built with inscriptions of a list of 25 freedom fighters that died in the tragic incident.
The accidental mine blast killed freedom fighters on the spot, said Md Jamal Uddin, district commander of Bangladesh Muktijudha Sangshad, Moulvibazar unit.
The number of the victims would be much more as several bodies got burnt and destroyed beyond recognition, said Fazlur Rahman, mayor of Moulvibazar municipality.
The mayor further said different government and non-govermental socio-cultural organisations and political parties have taken up day-long programmes to mark the day.
The programmes include placing of floral wreaths at the memorial, doa mehfil and discussion meeting.