Most mass graves in C'nawabganj now 'a matter of indifference' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 18, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:55 PM, December 15, 2016

Most mass graves in C'nawabganj now 'a matter of indifference'

Top: The killing ground known as 'Pakistan Bagan' near Shibganj Girls' College in Chapainawabganj has almost been devoured by Pagla River, while, right, the mass grave near Gomostapur police station is now about to be obliterated. Bottom: Memorial on the mass grave at Rahanpur Railstationpara in Gomostapur upazila of Chapainawabganj.Photo: STAR

Most of the mass graves of Liberation War martyrs in different upazilas lie uncared for while a few face obliteration largely due to indifference of the authorities. Freedom fighters said, a large number of people were killed by the Pakistan occupation forces with the help of local collaborators and buried in those places, 1971. Due to lack of maintenance, a number of the identified mass graves have turned into abandoned places while others are about to be obliterated, they said. Some of the places where the mass graves are located are Shmashan Ghat, Rehaichar and BGB camp in the town, Zamindar House of Baroghoria, Poragaon, Teroroshia and Dashroshia villages in Islampur union under Sadar upazila. Besides, there is one at Doroshia village, two mass graves at Monakasha union, several at Kalabari village, Dhobra, Baliadighi, Kansat Musa Chowdhry's mango orchard and two other at Pakistani Bagan and Selimabad in Shibgonj upazila. The other graves are at Shahpurgarh in Bholahar upazila and Gomostapur village, Rohonpur Rail Station Para, Rohonpur AB High School, Tikrampur village, Ginarpur village, Enayetpur village and Gomostapur Smriti Mandir in Gomostapur upazila. Major portion of Rehaichar mass grave has been devoured by Mohananda River while Shmashan Ghat mass grave is also in bad shape. People built houses in Shmashan Ghat mass grave area almost obliterating the spot. Pakistan army killed and dumped the bodies of a large number of people at Shmashan Ghat, Rehaichar and former EPR camp (BGB headquarters) in Chapainawabganj town. Locals built houses on the mass graves at Zamindar House in Baroghoria and now there is no sign of any mass grave. Major portion of the two mass graves in Pakistani Bagan in Shibgonj has been devoured by Pagla River. From July to August, Pakistan army and their collaborators killed several hundred people in these places. Pakistan army killed at least 200 people in Poragaon, Dashroshia and Teroroshia village under Islampur union of Sadar upazila and dumped their bodies at different spots. Doroshia village mass grave in Shibgonj upazila has been lost forever due to river erosion. On October 10, 1971 Pakistan army killed 38 villagers in the village. Pakistan army in collusion with the local collaborators raided Gomostapur Hindupara village and caught a large number of villagers. They forced them to stand in a row, shot them dead and dumped their bodies under earth. On April 23, Pakistan army raided Gomostapur village again and caught and killed 35 villagers. During the liberation war, they killed 14 freedom fighters at Shahpurgarh and buried in the area. Most of the aforesaid mass graves are still without any memorial, while the memorials at several places are lying neglected, said local freedom fighters. Only Baliadighi mass grave and Rohonpur Rail Station Para mass grave have memorials, they said. Leaders of Chapaianwabganj district unit of Muktijoddha Sangsad have demanded steps for proper maintenance of all identified mass graves and build memorials where martyrs were killed and buried by the Pakistan occupation forces during the liberation war. “During the liberation war, a number of massacres took place in the district. There are mass grave everywhere, of which only 25 to 30 have so far been identified,” said Dr Mazharul Islam Toru, writer of Chapainawabganjer Itihas (History of Chapainawabganj). Proper steps should be taken to identify and preserve the mass graves, he said.

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