A mass grave where at least 26 martyrs of the 1971 Independence War was recently recognised officially in Bogura district — 49 years after Bangladesh’s birth. Better late than never, but why so it took so long to put up a memorial is a sad question we need to address.
We want to thank the local administration and all others involved in ensuring honour to those martyrs who fell victim to the brutality of the Pakistan Army.
In 2014 the grave was found during the construction of the Fapor union parishad building when workers dug out a large number of human skeletons. The remains were then re-buried near the building and was all forgotten.
One Mujibor Rahman, who was among those who buried the martyrs, put the number of those killed, mainly from the Hindu faith, in May 1971 by the Pakistani Army, while 21, all Hindus, were since identified by the Bogura district administration.
There are many such unmarked mass graves in Bangladesh still with some either forgotten or have vanished with the construction of different structures or lying uncared.
If not the local administration, the residents must take initiatives to put up memorials along with brief history of the killings so that the history of the Pakistani Army’s genocide is not erased.
The memorials will also help the young to learn about the country’s history and the sacrifices made by their elders to achieve Bangladesh’s independence. These memorials are a more powerful way in teaching our young than from the text books.
The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs must take up a plan and order officials from the lowest tier of administration to immediately start working on finding such mass graves to honour the martyrs.
We must remember the memorials are the carriers of true history and cannot be distorted.