Journey Through Bangladesh
The Jail Killing Day
The day was April 7, 1971. A dark day in the history of Kurigram, it was on this unfortunate day the Pakistani army killed 5 jail-keepers (including the Jail-in-charge). The martyrs were Lal Mohammad, Ansar Ali, Sajjad Hossen, Jahir Uddin and the jail in-charge was Hadaet Ullah.
To honor the deceased, the Kurigram municipality authority has named the road from the Circuit House to the Kurigram Jail as Shahid Hedaet Ullah Road. The jail-in-charge Hedaet Ullah was an inhabitant of the Manirgaon village under Rumganj upazila of the Laxmipur district. His family set up a memorial stone in front of the jail's gate with the permission of Kurigram municipality in 2010.
Freedom Fighter Harun Ar Rashid said “The Pakistani army entered Kurigram on April 7th, 1971. The army held six jail-keepers including the Jail-in-charge. At about 5:30pm the Pakistani army made the jail keepers stand in a line under a Krisnatura tree near the jail-house and open fired on them. Now the spot is located in front of Kurigram Circuit House. The jail keepers Lal Mohammad, Ansar Ali, Sajjad Hossen and Jahir Uddin died on the spot. But jail-keeper Abdul Zalil and the jail-in-charge Sheikh Hedaet Ullah were severely injured. Sheikh Hedaet Ullah passed away at 12:15 am on the morning of April 8th.
Three local youths who lived near the jail - Harun Ar Rashid Lal (freedom fighter), Matiur Rahman Chawdhury Naya and Rajob Ali recovered the bodies of the jailers at night after the army left the area and laid them to rest with fresh white sheets near the jail-house.
The Jail-keeper Abdul Zalil was taken to a local physician Dr. Safor Uddin late at night. After treatment he was deemed fit to leave, and went to his house. Unfortunately he was killed later during the week by Pakistani occupation forces.
40 years after the liberation war, none have taken any steps to preserve the graveyard and memories of the martyrs. A local NGO Solidarity had organized a program to mark the day in Kurigram. The program included burning candles and discussion in the Circuit House area on the 7 April 2012. At 6:50 pm, the program started off with burning candles at the Circuit House premises on the Sheikh Hedaet Ullah Road. A discussion meeting was also held there.
Deputy Commissioner of Kurigram Md. Habibur Rahman was chief guest and General Secretary of Kurigram unit of Bangladesh Mohila Parishad Rawshanwara Chawdhury was the special guest, while Executive Director of the NGO Solidarity and freedom fighter Harun Ar Rashid Lal was the chairperson of the discussion. About two hundred local people, NGO activists and freedom fighters came together for the event.
Harun Ar Rashid Lal said, “The 7th of April, 1971 was a very frightening day in Kurigram. The Pakistani army first attacked Kurigram on that day. All the shops were closed; people were driven away from their houses. Back then, I was a student. I, along with my friends who lived close to the jail-house recovered the bodies at night and laid them to rest wrapped in white sheets”.
“They were the first martyrs in Kurigram during the Liberation War of 1971. I feel that their memorials should be preserved along with the preservation of the history of Kurigram. In order to accomplish this, government initiative will be essential”, he concluded.