Foriza Khatun's Ordeal
A 50 year old survivor from the time of the liberation war, Foriza survived, but not without physical and emotional scarring. She was 9 when one of her legs was blown away in a barbaric attack by the Pakistani Army; she now uses a bamboo stick to walk.
Twelve unfortunate lives were lost while many others suffered serious injuries in the air attack on the remote village of Holderpur of Baniachang in Habiganj on the 25th of April, 1971. Foriza was a survivor, but one without a family to look after her. She did receive financial benefits twice from the government during the post independence period in the late 70s', during which time she was promised a lot of assistance from the government, yet to this day none of those promises have been fulfilled.
The Pakistani Army attacked the village with grenades and gunfire thinking that it was the home of the Assistant Chief of the Liberation Force – Colonel M. A. Rob (who later got promoted to the post of General and after which he became a lawmaker). The villagers were taken unaware while harvesting Boro paddy. The Pakistani Army swooped in and started slaughtering everyone in sight.
Although 9 year old Foriza survived the attack, she lost many things apart from her leg. She lost the chance to get married and remained a confirmed bachelor since nobody would marry a poor and crippled woman. Foriza's suffering hasn't ended yet, she faces a lot of hardships to live.
Even after everything that happened to her, Foriza like to think about how things were back then. Hundreds of thousands of freedom fighters embraced martyrdom while many others were injured. “Losing a leg isn't something big, but I feel like it's a poor contribution, and I also think there should be a memorial for the 12 martyrs of the village,” said Foriza.
(R) thedailystar.net 2012