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Forgotten graveyards of unknown martyrs

  • Published at 12:21 am March 27th, 2019
National Memorial-unknown martyrs
The National Memorial in Savar has 10 graveyards for unknown martyrs Dhaka Tribune

Hundreds of mass graves lie unmarked to this day

Hundreds of thousands of brave souls fought in the Liberation War in 1971. A massive number of freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for the country, but a great number of their families were unable to bury them.

Many have been lost in mass graves, hundreds of which lie unmarked to this day.

The National Martyrs’ Memorial in Savar has 10 graveyards for unknown martyrs.

Anwar Khan, section officer of National Memorial, said: “The number of martyrs buried in these 10 graveyards is unknown. Some of these bodies were found whole, some were not.”

When asked about the graveyards, many people stated they knew nothing about them.

Rakib, an undergraduate student from Narayanganj said: “I think this architectural mark is for decoration.”

A higher secondary student Suman said: “Maybe these are graveyards for martyrs of the Language Movement.”

Ibrahim Ahmed, a primary school teacher said: “I know these are the mass graveyards of 1971 martyrs, but many of the young people have no idea about this.

“The authorities should take initiative to acquaint the youths with the proper history of these graveyards.”

Shahriar Kabir, president of Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971, popularly known as Ghatak Nirmul Committee, said: “In 1997, under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the government took initiative to recognize mass graveyards across the country. The initiative was stopped, and it never took off again.”