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Massacre of 437 Marwaris By Pak Army in Saidpur's Golahat

Mass grave in utter neglect

Golahat mass grave near Saidpur railway station in the district bearing the horrifying memory of the massacre of 437 Marwaris by Pakistan occupation forces on June 13 in 1971 still lies uncared, 45 years after the independence.

Relatives of the victims and local people formed 'Golahat mass grave preservation committee' in last year and started building a memorial there but the work stopped halfway for want of fund.

“We have a plan to build a boundary wall around the 1.40-acre area, make a memorial, a concrete plaque with names of the martyrs, a garden and an artificial fountain here,” said Niju Kumar Agarwal, convener of the committee, who lost his father and 10 relatives on that fateful day.

"With help of local lawmaker Shawkat Chowdhury and our own subscription, we earth-filled a portion of the spot and started building a memorial but the work stopped in midway due to fund constraints," he added.

Visiting the area on Sunday, this correspondent found an incomplete memorial there.

Cows and goats were grazing there while some addicts were loitering around.

Prodip Agarwal, 60, a survivor of the massacre, narrated the horrific incident to this correspondent at his business office in Saidpur town.

"After March 26 of 1971, the Hindu Marwaris living in Saidpur railway town became confined to their houses amid security concerns.

"At one stage, Pakistani army officers told our community leaders that the government decided to send us to India by train through Saidpur-Chilahati route.

"In evening of June 13, all the members of our community were taken to Saidpur station by army trucks and then taken onto a train.

"At midnight, the train started moving very slowly and after 10 minutes stopped at a lonely place near railway culvert No-338 at Golahat, two kilometres from the station.

"Suddenly civil dressed Pak army and Urdu speaking Biharis who were in two bogies of the train attacked us. They looted and killed 437 Marwaris in 3-4 hours with knives and bayonets. Only 10-12 youths could escape the massacre," Prodip said in a chocked voice.

The bodies, left in ditches on both sides of the rail track, were mostly consumed by dogs and foxes.

Shamlal Agarwal, son of a martyred couple, lamented, “It is another tragedy that no memorial has yet to be built at Golahat mass grave while 45th Victory Day is approaching.”

 

Chronological list of the archives:


1971 in International Media Reports

March, 1971

April, 1971

May, 1971

June, 1971

July, 1971

August, 1971

September, 1971

October, 1971

November, 1971

December, 1971

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Freedom in the air is a non-profit project aimed at building a rich repository for all sorts of contents on Bangladesh's Liberation War of 1971. Besides producing exclusive video interviews of war heroes and experts and a turn-by-turn daily interactive calendar of 1971, The Daily Star Online gathered very rare declassified diplomatic cables, the sensational Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report that proved genocide by Pakistan army, significant collection of rarely seen photographs and international newspaper reports. There is an exceptional collection of TV reports, video footages and documentaries which The Daily Star does not own but using with courtesy of the original owners and those who uploaded.