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Blood and Tears - Chapter 6: Satkhira Aflame PDF Print E-mail
Written by Qutubuddin Aziz   
Friday, 26 March 2004 00:50
Article Index
Blood and Tears
Introduction
Chapter 1: The Ides of March in Dacca
Chapter 2: Terror in Narayanganj
Chapter 3: Human Abattoirs in Chittagong
Chapter 4: Massacres in Chandraghona, Rangamati
Chapter 5: Fire and Death in Khulna
Chapter 6: Satkhira Aflame
Chapter 7: Hell in Dinajpur
Chapter 8: Carnage in Parbatipur
Chapter 9: Slaying in Thakurgaon, Hilli
Chapter 10: Slaughter in Laksham, Rajbari and Faridpur
Epilogue
All Pages
About the same time as Khulna was aflame with the genocidal fury of the Bengali rebels, the non-Bengali population in the town of Satkhira also became the victim of loot, arson and murder. It is estimated that more than 2,000 non-Bengalis perished in the massacres in Satkhira town and other places in the sub-dvision between the second half of March and the first fortnight of April 1971. Eye-witnesses reported that as Satkhira is close to the Indian border, the Bengali rebels received substantial military assistance from the Indian Border Security Force. The Sub-Divisional Officer of Satkhira, who was a West Pakistani, was taken prisoner by the Bengali rebels and was dragged through the streets of the town.

Thirty-two year-old Maula Bux, who worked as a Jute trader and lived in the Kazipara locality of Satkhira, gave this account of the horrifying events in what used to be his home town:

“I had lived for more than 10 years in Satkhira town and I spoke Bengali so well that I was often mistaken for a genuine Bengali. As Satkhira town is barely a couple of miles from the Indian border, it had served for years as the operational base of Indian agents. When the Awami League launched its rebellion in Dacca on March 1, 1971, its impact was immediately felt in Satkhira. The Awami Leaguers organized demonstrations and protest marches and imported arms and ammunition from India. Para-military Indian personnel infiltrated in mufti into Satkhira and guided the Awami Leaguers in their anti-Government operations.......

“The civil administration collapsed; the Bengali rebels kidnapped a number of Government officials and set up their own regime of terror. The Police and the East Pakistan Rifles also revolted. The rebels had taken over control of all the access roads to Satkhira and blocked the exit of the terrorised non-Bengalis. By the middle of March, heavily armed Bengali rebel contingents were holding ominous displays of strength to frighten the non-Bengalis. Some shops and stores owned by non-Bengalis were looted and burnt. A number of West Pakistanis were “arrested” on the charge of “spying” for the federal government and were liquidated with rifle shots. On March 17 and 18, the rebels went on the rampage and slaughtered hundreds of non-Bengalis.…..

“In the morning of March 18, I was striking a business deal in the jute godown of a leading non-Bengali jute trader, Abdul Qayuum. All of a sudden, a killer mob attacked the jute god own, gunned Mr. Qayuum and his non-Bengali staff and set the jute stock on fire. As huge tongues of fire leapt from the blazing jute godown, the killers tossed all the dead bodies into the fire, My command over the Bengali language enabled me to convince the killers that I was a genuine Bengali and they spared my life. But they belaboured me on the charge that I was a “West Pakistani agent” and ordered me “never to do business with the non-Bengalis”..........

“I walked swiftly in the direction of my house and did my best to avoid detection by the killer gangs which were on the loose in the town. On the way, I saw the rebels dragging through the streets the West Pakistani Sub-divisional Officer of Satkhira. Blood was oozing from his forehead and knees and his hands were tied with a rope. Some Bengalis spat on him and threw stones. I also saw the killers pushing, at the point of a bayonet, a hapless non-Bengali woman with two shrieking, small children who were clinging to her body. As she collapsed on the ground from sheer exhaustion, one of her captors kicked her head with his boot while the other throttled the older child….....

“When I reached my house, I found it ablaze. My younger brother, who was its only occupant at that time, had escaped the dragnet of the killers. I sought shelter in the house of a trusted Bengali friend. After the federal army re-established its control over Satkhira in April 1971, my brother rejoined me. I moved to Dacca, and in January 1974, I was repatriated to Karachi…….

“The rebels kidnapped many non-Bengali young women from Satkhira. Some, who resisted the rapists, were killed; others were taken away to India by the retreating rebels and sold to brothels in West Bengal.”

Twenty-six year-old Nawab Ali, who lived in his father’s house in Bara Bazaar in Satkhira and was engaged in the jute trade, had this unhappy memory of the Ides of March 1971:

“My father had lived for many years in Calcutta. After Partition in 1947, we moved to Khulna where my father prospered in business. We spoke Bengali very well. Profits in the jute trade in Satkhira were far more attractive and we settled there. We bought a house and some other property. I assisted my father in his business.......

“The massacre of non-Bengalis was started in the second week of March 1971 with stray incidents. Between March 17 and 20, the pogrom of the Bengali rebels against the non-Bengalis received impetus from the infiltration of trained Indian saboteurs into Satkhira. The rebels had machine guns, rifles, grenades and an endless supply of ammunition........

“On March 20, the rebels unleashed all over the town the campaign of terror and fire which they had initially conducted in a few selected localities against the non-Bengali residents. My parents were killed in the massacre; I went into hiding before they stormed my house and I escaped the noose of death. The killer gangs committed acts of unimaginable brutality; they tortured the non-Bengali men before shooting them. They chopped up the bodies of women and carved “Joi Bangla” on their foreheads. They slaughtered children by the hundreds and tossed their bodies into blazing houses or dumped them in a nearby river. They kidnapped many scores of innocent girls and subjected them to multiple rape in deserted school buildings which were converted into ‘comfort lodgings’ for the sex-hungry rebel soldiers. The retreating rebels carried away many of these captive girls to India; some who tried to escape were shot.”

Nawab Ali was repatriated from Dacca to Karachi in January 1974.


 

Comments  

 
-2 # 2010-04-12 15:23
খুবই মর্মান্তিক একটা ইতিহাস পড়লাম যা অত্যন্ত সুচারুভাবে এতদিন ধামাচাপা দেওয়া হয়েছিল। বাংলাদেশে এরকম কোন বই আজপর্যন্ত কখনই প্রকাশ করতে দেওয়া হয় নাই। এসব খুনি চরিত্রহীন মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের কেই এখন পরিচিত করা হচ্ছে দেশের সেরা সন্তান বলে!!!! এদেশের স্বল্প শিক্ষিত ও কুশিক্ষিত মানুষগুলো যে খুব সহজেই রাতারাতি জানোয়ারে রুপান্তরিত হয় তার নমুনা আমরা সাম্প্রতিককালেই আবার দেখেছি। বিডিআর কি নির্মমভাবে তার স্বজাতিয় আর্মির অফিসারদের হত্যা করল, তাদের স্ত্রী, মেয়েদের সম্ভ্রমহানি করল। এদেরই পূর্বপুরুষ ইপিআর-এ কাজ করার সময় মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের সাথে তাল মিলিয়ে যে গণহত্যা,ধর্ষন ও লুটপাটে লিপ্ত হয়েছিল সেটাতে অবাক হবার কিছু নেই। জাতি হিসেবে আমাদের এসব নৃশংসতার জন্য অবশ্যই ক্ষমা চাওয়া উচিত। লক্ষ লক্ষ অবাঙ্গালিদের হত্যা করে গণ কবর দিয়ে সেগুলোকেই আবার নির্লজ্জের মত নিজেদের বলে প্রচার করে কত যে নিচে নেমেছি আমরা! সাধেই কি আজ আমাদের এই অবস্থা।
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0 # 2010-04-13 00:58

Hello Moinul Hasan you are listening one sided story and are passing your comments without knowing actual facts. Killing goes on on Bengali also by the non Bengalis especially in Pahartali Wireless colony by stopping a train coming from Nazirhat to Chittagong city and slaughtered the innocent passengers.

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+12 # 2010-04-13 16:08

Mr Sikder, you are right for so long we were used to listening one-sided story of Awami propaganda machine. Those liers knew they cannot stand the facts and thats exactly why they always censor this kind of books. What were you trying to imply by the rest of your comment? Firstly, do you know how ludicrous your claim is to accuse a tiny non-Bengali community of mass killings of the huge Bengali community while the incompetent Pakistani Army was lying dormant before 25th March? How can non-Bengalis even think of attacking Bengalis in systematic manner? Especially during the period when the region was virtually run by the mob rule of Awami thugs. Your tone is similar to that of the Hindu mobs of Gujrat, who used the same lie (accusing the Muslim minority for attacking the Hindu majority) to justify their genocidal acts.

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+11 # 2010-04-14 21:21

This video clearly proves the brutality and animal nature of Mukti Bahini.


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+4 # 2010-12-26 06:48


Muslim killing the other Muslim. Is this the lesson what their Prophet taught them? Not strange to me because those also claimed to be Muslims who Martyred the Grand Son of their own Prophet in the field of Karbala.

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+4 # 2010-05-20 14:12

It is not necessary that who killed whom, it is also not necessary to know the color or nationality of killer/victim, but it is very necessary to know whether the victim warranted a brutal death or not. Most of the Bengali and non-Bengali women and children killed during war of liberation were innocent. I was quite matured during that period, to my judgment a very few non-Bengalis should have been punished by bullet, rest could be punished according to their crime. My conclusion is that we did the same crime what Pakistanis and Biharis did.

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+11 # 2010-05-30 01:39

Last week,Indian Army's Eastern Command destroyed documents relating to the liberation war of Bangladesh.It is suspected that those were destroyed as the time approached for declassifying and making the documents available to the public.The documents showed the extent of Indian involvement in then East Pakistan even before formal war was declared on 6 December 1971.One would think that a large number of the freedom fighters was actually Indian saboteurs in disguise and they were responsible for a large number of massacres of both Bengali and non-Bengali innocent persons.

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+11 # 2011-12-16 05:36

Very well said brother Hasan. It was Mukti bahini & India's RAW which carried out brutal massacre during 1971. Separation Movement which was being carried out by Indian Agencies trained Mukti Bahini to kill Bengalis and non Bengalis. But Pak Army was accused. The main culprit were Indian Agents- Awami League and Mukti Bahini.There was a agenda to separate Pakistan to make Indian market therein Bangladesh. Now you can see that Bangladesh is a big market for Indian Products. India is making Dams on Bengali Waters and Bangladesh don't dare to say anything to them. It was to take revenge from Pakistan of Freedom on 1947.

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0 # 2016-05-11 17:09
Since my birth I've listened only one sided story. Today I read some different kind of story. I can predict what Awami league was during the liberation war period as I can see what they are doing now. I'm not saying every person is demon but I can say, I see every bad people (Ideally and morally) always supports Awami League. Don't know why may be they know it very well...
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0 # 2016-08-30 19:17
This is a true story I'm eyewitness, My father had business in Chandraghona co-operative market. Some one killed one of the Bihari infront of me and my elder sister. His name was Barsati and he was selling Ice creme at that area.
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