Pabna: 8 November 2010: Record books of investigators are being filled with statements and evidences collected from families of martyrs and victims of tortures by Pakistani soldiers and their local collaborators Rajakar, Al-Badr and Al-shams. The list of war criminals of Ishwardi is also getting longer as victims and families of martyrs are disclosing the names of Rajakar and Al Badr men, whose brutalities during the Liberation War in 1971 still haunt them.The investigation team yesterday visited different killing grounds, mass graves and torture sells at Ishwardi upazila of Pabna. They found concrete evidences of crimes against humanity committed by Jamaat chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, Maolana Abdus Sobhan and Islami Oikkya Jote leader Moulana Ishaq. Rajakars Khoda Baks Khan, Maolana Ismail, Alam, Saiful, Siddique were also among heinous killers, victims and eye witness said.Villages like Shahpur, Varuimari, Bedundia, Baharpur, Ramchandrapur, Bhutergari and Patirajpur were almost razed to the ground and the incidents of arson, tortures and murders are still fresh in memories of many in the localities.Males were killed indiscriminately and women were raped and murdered, villagers said in the first chance in their lifetime to state what they saw in 1971.Shaukat Ali Paramanik narated how he had lost most of his family members in Bhuter Gari village. “I was a 9-year old boy at that time. They killed my father Dabir Uddin Paramanik. Fazlu, Gafur, Abdul Gafur Mal, and Jaminuddin – all from my family along with 26 people of our village,” Shaukat said. “We could not even bury them. The bodies were dumped here,” he said pointing at the place which was a canal at that time.Moazzem Hossain and some other people took shelter at the Ishwardi central mosque. Many people were killed there, but only 18 of them could be identified. “My father, uncle, and cousin and cousin’s son were killed here. Their bodies were also dumped in the ditch. I could not get the opportunity to bury them. Returning back after the war, firstly I searched the mosque where huge people took shelter. But none could survive. I found some sharp weapons, used by the collaborators,” Alhaj Tahurul Alam Mollah at Ishwardi town narrated. He said some people took shelter in the mosque assuming that the religious site might not be attacked.
But none of them could survive, as Biharies entered the mosque and dragged the insiders out to kill them beside a railway coal-depot and dumped the bodies in a nearby ditch. “My father was one of them, my dear father, who was never involved in politics. What was his offence! I met him on April 11 and that was the last,” he said. These people were killed though they did not take up arms. They were merely peace loving people. I was a student of Dhaka University. I and two of my brothers joined guerrilla warfare, said Tahurul Alam. “Motiur Rahman Nizami used to come twice a week. He supervised the activities of collaborators and gave instructions. The genocide was committed according to his direction,” he said.The investigators visited another killing ground at Ishwardi where at least 50 people were killed. “Shahid Akher Uddin, my father, was killed here,” said freedom fighter Samsul Huq. I was a student of Dhaka University at that time. I fought for Bangladesh, not my father,” he said responding to a query.He named rajakars Maulana Ismail, Mujahid, Quader, Kallol and many others, who were active in torture, killing and arson. Nizami, Abdus Sobhan, Maulana Ishaq were the top organizers of rajakars, he said. Ismail Maulvi is now Amir of Ishwardi Upazila unit of Jamaat-e-Islami. Killer Aroj Ali has changed his name as Taslim. He has become central publicity secretary of Jamaat,” he informed. A mass grave has a tombstone inscribed with names of martyrs Dr Rafique Uddin Ahmed, his three sons Zia, Roise, Saif and another person Aminul Huq.Dr Aminul did not flee thinking that he would not be killed as he had given healthcare service to all kinds of people. But Biharies did not spare him. He was killed along with his sons, locals said.Hamida Khatun is now 80. To investigators at Pakshi railway colony, she said she was still alive to see that killers of her husband Shahid Yaqub were hanged.
By Pulack Ghatack; Courtesy: Daily Sun