Journey through Bangladesh
Coming Back to Demra
Ahmed Humayun Kabir Topu
Baishakh 30, May 13 is the anniversary of the Demra Mass Killing. It was on this day that the Pakistan occupation army with the help of their local collaborators killed over 8 hundred people in Demra village of Faridpur upazila under Pabna district. It is one of the largest mass killings of the northern region. No memorials exist on this site yet.
The older residents of Demra said the Pak army killed 800 people that day, although it is not certain how accurate these figures are. The victims include Hindus, Muslims, freedom fighters, women, innocent boys of the villages Rupsi and Bausgari, on that fateful day.
“It was in the early hours of Baishakh 30. Perhaps a Friday, the occupation army entered the village from Baghabari camp along the river. The local collaborators led the occupation forces. The occupation army had cordoned Bausgari, Rupsi as well as the whole of Demra from the early morning that day,” Md. Ainul Haque, a retired primary school teacher of the village said.
Over 3 to 4 hundred people were killed at Bausgari point, villagers said. The Pak army caught several hundred villagers at a trench in front of Bausgari graveyard. They brush fired on them. The village turned into a graveyard with dead bodies scattered everywhere.
The occupation army looted and burnt down houses. It is said that this particular village was targeted because it was a Hindu-majority area.
“Several hundred people, mostly Hindus, were sheltered in Demra during the Liberation War as it was a Hindu-majority area. 3 to 4 hundred Hindus were killed that day,” said Shushil Chandra, son of a martyr of the village Demra.
Fathers were killed in front of their sons and daughters. Lal Bihari was killed in front of his youngest daughter when he was trying to escape with her. They attacked Boloram Roy's residence. Boloram and his brother were burnt to death. They killed four sons of Narayan Chandra Das.
Villagers said the dead bodies were buried in different spots of the villages just a day after the massacre. Meanwhile some people of the village recovered bodies of Muslim martyrs from the Bausgari mass killing spot and buried them in the Bausgari mass graveyard a day after the killing. No funeral took place.
“Freedom fighters want a memorial here in Demra in remembrance of the martyrs. We had submitted an application earlier. 38 years after the war, still there is no memorial established,” said Md. Moniruzzanmam Moni, Commander of the Faridpur Upazila Mukti Juddho Shangshad.
“No programmes are held to remember the martyrs. Authorities do not take any steps to observe the massacre day,” Moloy Kumar Kundu, Chairman of Demra Union Parishad, said.
(R) thedailystar.net 2009