Journey through Bangladesh
On the Anniversary of the Dhulauri Massacre
November 27 was the anniversary of the Dhulauri massacre. The Pakistan occupation army with the assistance of their local collaborators killed 35 freedom fighters including 8 trained freedom fighters on this day in 1971 at the village of Dhulauri in Santhia upazila under Pabna district. People remember the massacre day every year and the pain that it caused. But unfortunately no monument has been built in the 37 years since independence by the government. The people of the village, however, have their own little memorial.
According to sources over two hundred freedom fighters took shelter in the village of Nariagodai, Bilkhalishi, Ramakantapur and Paik village of Dhulauri union in Santhia upazila under the district on 27 November 1971. The freedom fighters gathered to free Santhia upazila from Pakistan occupation forces.
All the freedom fighters gathered at Dhulauri in the dead of the night. The alleged Pakistan collaborators of this village came to know of the presence of the freedom fighters in the village. The spies of Albadar informed the Pakistan occupation force.
The Pakistan army with the help of their local collaborators caught the freedom fighters and the villagers raiding different residences of the village. They entered a bridal party at Kasim Uddin's residence and killed 9 people including the new couple, locals said.
The army caught many innocent villagers and killed them with gunshots and burnt them alive. The occupation force then torched the residences of the village. Many of the villagers including the children were burnt to death. The army also raped the women of the village. They then caught 27 villagers from different residences of the village and brush fired on them.
At least 8 trained freedom fighters in the village were killed that day. They are Chand Bishwas, Dara, Khabir Uddin, Mohsin, Mohid Akter Hossain, Shajahan Ali, Moslem and Moksed. Freedom fighter Abdus Samad was caught from another village and then hung from a tree. The army burnt at least 50 houses in Nariagodai, Haludgor and villages adjoining Dhulauri.
Those in the village old enough to remember that day will never forget. The villagers have built a brick monument in order to remember the martyrs. No such steps have been taken by the government though.
“Freedom fighters here sacrificed their lives for the nation. But it is matter of shame that no official monuments have been built. But the people here built something with their own efforts. A proposal was sent to Upazila Parishad for a monument here but no step was taken,” Md. Mokbul Hossain Mukul, Commander of Shanthia Upazila Muktizudhha Sangshad said.
A discussion was held on 27 November this year at the mass graveyard in Dhulauri village for paying homage to the martyrs. Remembering the supreme sacrifice made by the freedom fighters in the Liberation War the speakers on the occasion stressed the need to build a memorial in Dhulauri to honour those who gave their lives.
(R) thedailystar.net 2008