On April 25, 1971, barbaric Pakistani soldiers entered and wreaked havoc across the village
After 47 years of the Liberation War, the government has finally decided to award the status of freedom fighters to ten war heroines, better known as Birangonas, from Ataikula village of Raninagar upazila in Naogaon district.
However, four of the freedom fighters - Rani Pal, Kanto Rani Pal, Renu Bala, and Sushma Dhar - died without even being able to access to proper treatment The rest of the survivors are living a life of extreme poverty.
On April 25, 1971, barbaric Pakistani soldiers entered and wreaked havoc across the village.
They looted things, set houses on fire, and killed 52 men of the village.
During the carnage, they tortured and abused women.
Recalling the harrowing incident, Kali Das Pal, a Birangona who is now 75, said: “As we heard that the Pakistani soldiers had entered our village, my husband and I went into hiding, but the war criminals (razakars) found us. Then the Pakistani soldiers dragged my husband out of our hiding place and made him sit with 52 other men, where they brutally killed my husband in front of me. Then the Pakistani soldiers started their abuse on me. Now, getting respect from the government after 47 years makes me feel wonderful and proud to be a Bangladeshi.”
Another Birangona Shodha Rani Pal, 70, said: “The Pakistanis, with the help of war criminals (razakars), captured my husband that day and killed him brutally. I was hiding with my small child. As my child started to cry the Pakistanis got a hold of me and my child. They abused me and tortured me. I thank the prime minister for recognizing us, and giving us the respect as freedom fighters.”
Israfil Alam, MP from Naogaon-6, thanked the Prime Minister for her wonderful work.
He also stated that, from now onwards, each of the six living Birangonas will live her life with her head held high.