Massacre at Faiz Lake

by Rounaq Jahan

in Samuel Totten, et al.
Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views
New York: Garland Publishing, 1997
Chapter 10, pp. 291-316

This testimony is from Abdul Gofran's "Faiz Lake-Gonohataya" ("Massacreat Faiz Lake"), which first appeared in Rashid Haider (ed.), 1971: Terrible Experiences. It was translated by Sohela Nazneen.

I own a shop near Akbar Shah mosque in Pahartali. On November lOth, 1971, at 6. A.M. about forty to fifty Biharis came to my shop and forced me to accompany them. I had to comply as any form of resistance would have been useless against such a large number of people. They took me to Faiz Lake. As we passed through the gates of Faiz Lake I saw that hundreds of non-Bengalis had assembled near the Pump house and wireless colony. The Bengalis who had been brought in were tied up. They were huddled by the side of the lake which was at the north side of the Pump-house. Many of the Biharis were carrying knives, swords and other sharp instruments. The Biharis were first kicking and beating up the Bengalis brutally and then were shoving their victims towards towards those carrying weapons. These other group of armed Biharis were then jabbing their victims in the stomach and then severing their heads with the swords. I witnessed several groups of Bengalis being killed in such a manner. ...When the Biharis came for me one of them took away my sweater. I hen punched him and jumped into the lake. ...I swam to the other side and hid among the bushes. .. The Biharis came to look for me but I was fortunate and barely escaped their notice. From my hiding place I witnessed the mass murder that was taking place. Many Bengalis were killed in the manner which had been described earlier.

The massacre went on till about two o'clock in the afternoon. After they had disposed off the last Bengal victim, the Biharis brought in a group of ten to twelve Bengali men. It was evident from their gestures that they were asking the Bengalis to dig a grave for the bodies lying about. I also understood from their gestures that the Biharis were promising the group that if they completed the task they would be allowed to go free. The group complied to their wish. After the group had finished burying the bodies, they were also killed, and the Biharis went away rejoicing. There were still many dead bodies thrown around the place.

In the afternoon many Biharis and [the] Pakistani army went along that road. But the Pakistani soldiers showed no sign of remorse. They seemed rather happy and did nothing to bury the dead.

When night fell I came back to my shop but left Chittagong the next day.

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Collected from Eyewitness Accounts: Genocide in Bangladesh

1 comment:

  1. I hate all those evil miscreants. All those stab behind brothers back. Bangladesh is famous for such type of people’s heaven. Mater of interest is there that such miscreants are sometimes ruling the govt. of Bangladesh. Not only in 1971 but also after then in 1971 to 75 some miscreant continues killing Bangladeshi men, violating women. How surprising it is. We need not to cry only seeing old black and white. We can see such picture in color format now a day around us. But interesting we have no feelings on color picture we are only mourning for black and white pictures. Truth is those are crying for only black and white picture are the digital miscreant playing with Bangladeshi peoples to get the power of the nation. We know those people, truth is opening. Soon they will be buried.

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