Mass grave in Dinajpur needs preservation

Published : 26 Mar 2022 08:50 PM | Updated : 27 Mar 2022 04:53 PM

Although 50 years of independence have passed, mass graves have not been preserved in Khansama Upazila of Dinajpur. As a result family members of martyrs, Khansama Degree College and Khansama Upazila Chatro League paying their homage to a temporary bamboo fence memorial.

It is learned that during the liberation war of 1971, in 1st June, Babu Amiya Kumar Guha, General Secretary of Khansama Upazila Awami League, a member of Sangram Committee and one of the members of Mukti Bahini was arrested by Razakars from the house of then Awami League leader Advocate Zohir Uddin and brought him to Khansama Police Station. The next day, after informing the Pak army, the Razakars handed over Babu Amiya Kumar Guha to the Pakistani army. He was then tied to a bicycle with a rope and shot dead on the banks of the Ichhamati River at Pulhat, the junction of Nilphamari and Khansama upazilas. At the same place, the Pak army killed Teddy Doctor and Khattu Mia, an associate of the freedom fighters who were providing medical services to the injured freedom fighters.

Later, local Tarni Kant, Nazrul Islam and many others picked up the bodies from the river and buried them. But even in the 50 years of independence and death of the martyrs, these families have not been officially recognized as martyrs' families. Apart from naming a road after Amiya Kumar Guha and naming sports on different days organized by the upazila administration, the families have not received any help or sympathy till date.

The heroic freedom fighters and members of the martyr's family also expressed their displeasure over the non-publication of the list and preservation of mass graves, the list of martyrs' families and the list of razakars on the eve of independence.

However, for the last 8 years in a row, the martyrs were commemorated on the day of genocide in an unprotected massacre on the banks of Ichhamati River on March 25 organized by Khansama Degree College. In the light of this, Khansama Degree College and Upazila Chhatra League paid homage at the temporary bamboo fence memorial on Friday morning. After that the lecturer of Khansama Degree College Rashidul Islam conducted the commemorative meeting. Teachers of Khansama Degree College, leaders and activists of Upazila Chhatra League and Swechchhasebak League and local residents were present on the occasion. Nazrul Islam, an eyewitness to the mass grave and a local resident, said with emotion that some people, including Amiya Babu, had been tortured and killed here. That memory still floats in our eyes but there is no initiative to preserve it in this memorable place. Which is painful for us. Otherwise the graves will be lost in the river. 

Rakesh Guha, grandson of Shaheed Amiya Kumar Guha and convener of Upazila Chhatra League, said, “My grandfather did not compromise till his death in the interest of independence and Awami League. As a result, he died. But we are not officially listed now and mass graves have not been preserved. Therefore, request to the concern authority to preserve the mass grave and include the list as martyr's family.  Saiful Islam, acting principal of Khansama Degree College and vice-president of Upazila Awami League, said, "We got independent Bangladesh under the leadership of Bangabandhu because of the martyrs." Therefore, I am strongly demanding the preservation of mass graves to preserve their memory.

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