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Friday, October 7, 2022

Krishnapur massacre of 1971

It was on Mahalaya when Pakistan Army and Razakars came to Krishnapur, a village in between the districts of Kishoreganj and Sylhet’s Habiganj, in the year of 1971. Krishnapur and the neighbouring villages such as Chandipur were all Hindu villages.

The survivors tell how when the war started, hundreds of Hindus travelled through ‘Haors’ by boat from neighbouring villages like Rampur and Bajitpur to take shelter in Krishnapur, a more secure village, where they used to put around 50 men on guard.

A Haor

The survivors said that on second day of Ashwin, on Mahalaya, the people were about to let their guards down when someone started shouting that Army has come. The survivors say that on previous day, there were boats in Chak Bazar, boats of local Razakars who knew the landscape.

The villagers did not understand then why there were boats, as they have never encountered a situation like that before. It was when they started hearing the sounds of machine gun firing that the villagers started hiding.

When the Razakars said in Bangla that there is no use in hiding because they have already discovered them. All the girls, married and unmarried, started jumping in the ponds with babies in their arms, fearing rape and torture.

The Army and Razakars took the remaining ladies and pointed out to a smashan ghat, telling them that they will see all their men in smashan (crematorium). The unarmed villagers were all robbed, looted and executed on their holiest time of Mahalaya. Very few survived the carnage. Survivors Priyotosh Ray and Krishnamohan Ray tell their stories:

Many Razakars have lived for decades in independent Bangladesh, and even gone into politics. Ministers like Sabur Khan, who instigated anti-Hindu genocide, were pardoned by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and continued in politics.

11 years ago, survivor Haridas Rai filed a case of war crime against a local Awami League Leader Liakat Ali for assisting Pakistan Army for killing more than 100 Hindus of Krishnapur.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of Stories of Bengali Hindus @storiesofBHs)

(Featured image source: thetruepicture.org)

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