Journey through Bangladesh
Remembering the Day
April is not a particularly important day in our calendar. Nevertheless, this year a local children's organisation in Sylhet arranged an event to remember some of the martyrs killed in the hands of the Pak Army.
A massacre had taken place at the Met office located on a hillock in Sylhet town's Shahi Eidgah area. On that day, 9 employees were killed.
This was towards the very beginning of the resistance after the Pakistan army's crackdown throughout the country in the night following 25 March, 1971.The troops took possession of a lot of land in the Sylhet town that had number of hillock-like places and trees around.
However, the resident people and freedom fighters were also trying unite in resisting the occupation of the army men. As both the groups exchanged gunshots, a group of freedom fighters had to retreat as ammunition was about to be exhausted. They moved towards Shibganj area from the Eidgah and the electric supply area.
At one stage, a group of Pak army men surrounded the Met office tila (hillock) near the Shahi Eidgah area. Finding none of the freedom fighters there, they became angry and entered the Met office and picked up 9 officers and employees. Before anybody could realise what was happening, they were made to stand in line and the Pak Army opened fire on them.
People who gave their lives that day are Abdus Sabur Khondaker-SO, Aminul Haque-SO, Anwar Hossain-Observer, Abu Taher-Observer, Jamal Hossain-Mechanic, Momtaz Uddin- assistant, Aklim Uddin- peon, Renu Miah-guard and Akaddas Ali- cook.
They were all buried in the same grave in the premises of the office. The list of martyrs from that day has been engraved on a marble slab. A boundary wall was built around the site to keep it somewhat preserved. Sylhet District Unit of Khelaghar Asar organised a mourning procession and placed floral wreaths at the mass grave on the afternoon of 5th April.
(R) thedailystar.net 2009