Freedom fighters seek steps to preserve mass grave | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 20, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 20, 2008

Grave of Lt Col Abdul Qadir traced

Freedom fighters seek steps to preserve mass grave


An under-construction building now stands on a plot at Panchlaish, the site of a mass grave where Lt Col Mohammad Abdul Qadir and at least 18 other martyred freedom fighters were buried in 1971.Photo: STAR

As the grave of Lt Col Mohammad Abdul Qadir, a martyr of the Liberation War, was finally traced after 36 years, freedom fighters now seek to protect the site in order to pay homage to him and other martyrs buried there.
Lt Col Qadir, a valiant son of the soil, had disappeared following his arrest from his 70 Panchlaish residence in Chittagong by the invading Pakistani army on April 17, 1971 during the War of Liberation.
After a relentless search for over three decades, journalist Nadeem Qadir traced the grave of his father Lt Col Qadir recently.
Lt Col Qadir and at least 18 others martyred freedom fighters were buried in the mass grave at Panchlaish behind the Apollo Poly Clinic -- only a few yards away from the Chittagong Medical College and Hospital.
A multi-storied building has now been under construction on the site what was a vacant plot back in 1971.
The construction of the building, however, remained halted at the instruction of the local unit of taskforce after Nadeem Qadir informed the authorities of his findings.
A group of freedom fighters from Swadhinata Smriti Trust (Independence Memorial Trust) visited the site yesterday as a report on the grave was published in The Daily Star the same day.
Leaders of the organisation, which is also credited for unearthing and preserving Madhya Nath Para Badhyabhumi (mass killing ground) in the city's Halishahar area, demanded steps to turn the site into a memorial.
They also decided to erect a monument on the roundabout, locally known as Golchattar, located just to the right of the site.
Talking to The Daily Star, Dr Mahfuzur Rahman, a commander of freedom fighters and researcher, urged the government to take a decision on the matter without delay.
"Without government initiatives and support, it would not be possible to take any steps to preserve the site where there has already been an under-construction multi-storied building," he observed.
"We will hold a meeting with Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) soon to seek permission to erect a monument on the roundabout and a memorial plaque beside the site," said Nasiruddin Chowdhury, convener of Swadhinata Smriti Trust.
"We have already approached sculptor Dhali Al Mamun to create the monument," said freedom fighter Fahim Uddin.
Freedom fighter Nurul Alam Mantu, another member of the trust, said he is trying to contact the owner of the apartment building on the site. "I think the owner of the plot would come forward to cooperate with us in doing something to preserve the memory of the martyrs.”

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