Name: Nohuddin Sarker.
Fathers Name: Darasuddin Sarker
Vill: Chatni, Union: Chatni, P.O: Chatni
P.S: Natore Sadar, Dt: Natore
Educational Qualification: Literate
Age in 1971: 40/42 yrs.
Occupation in : Service in 1971
Present Occupation: Service:
Q Do you remember about 1971, was there an election in that year?
A. Yes, I remember. We voted for ‘Boat”, in favor of Sh. Mujibur Rahman. Because of this we Bengalis became guilty. Even after winning the elections the Khans did not hand over power to Sh. Mujib. Then they (Pakistanis) started the war. They started killing us throughout days and nights. That is why we were so sad and angry. But what could we do? There was no way we could stop them.
Q. Did you hear about the attack on Mar 25/26 by the Pakistan army?
A. Yes, I heard about it. We heard on the radio that the Pakistan army attacked Dhaka. They killed a lot of people.
Q. What did you do when you heard this?
A. We common people, what could we do? We had no arms or weapons, no skill to do anything.
Q. Did you take part in the liberation war?
A. I did not. But we fed the freedom fighters. In the darkness of night we fed them inside jungles and wherever they were hiding.
Q. In 1971 were you attacked? .
Q. How did it happen?
A. I used to work in the Chatni School as an office worker. In that school many Hindu women of the area took shelter out of fear of life. It was my duty to guard them. At that time there were more than 230/240 Hindu women under my care. One day I heard that there could be an attack on Chatni. At the time I was not at the school. When I got the news I rushed to my school and started guarding them and keeping watch on the road. Within a little while the military came and surrounded the school. When I saw the military I told the ladies to run away from the school in any direction they could. Then they started fleeing the school compound. A little while later they crossed the river and came to the school. They caught me at the school gate and then roped me.
Q. Who were they?
A. The Biharis and the Pak troops. With them was Hafez Abdur Rahman. This man Hafez
Rahman roped me and Salim Bihari’s son shot several people and Sadeq Bihari cut my throat, almost slaughtered me but he couldn’t quite complete his job.
Q. Will you narrate the incident more clearly?
A. The Bihris cordoned off the area and caught some people andtheytied our hands and feet with ropes and then tied our hands together and made us sit in a line. A little later Salim Bihari’s son fired at us. We wee 30 in one line. There were more people around us who were also roped. When they fired we all lay down on the ground. And then Sadeq Bihari pressed our heads down on the ground with his foot and slashed our neck with a machete one by one. Hafez Abdur Rahman also took part in the slaughter. He was busy in another line. Sadeq Bihari’s first victim was Nimai Chowdhury. And then he slaughtered Ayezudin and then Shachin. And then he came to our line, pressed his foot on my head and pushed his knife on my neck. I was fourth in the line. And the next victim was a man named Shukta Jogi. After this I don’t know what happened. My throat was not completely slashed and so I had some sense. It was just blood all around and a lot of screaming, shouting and wailing and then I couldn’t see anything more. A little later someone from amongst them blew his whistle and suddenly the killers started running towards south. After they left I untied the piece of rope with which the killers tied my hands with my teeth. All around me the victims were throwing their hands and feet and heads violently with terrible pain before dying like a bunch of slaughtered chicken. But these unfortunate men were already dead. Of all the thirty men in my line I was the only survivor. The Biharis killed most of the captured men by cutting their throats.
Q. How did you survive, do you remember anything else that happened to you later on?
A. After I untied myself I somehow managed to enter a plot of rice field. Then I pressed my bleeding neck with some paddy leaves and I started chewing paddy leaves as I needed a drink very badly. But everything was coming out of my neck (through the wound). After I staggered a little distance I found some water left for a buffalo by the cowboy. But the water came out of my throat. Then I pressed my neck with my hand and with some difficulty walked towards a little stream nearby. I walked into the stream and tried to have a drink pressing my palms against my neck wounds. A woman who had come to the stream to fetch water saw me. She guided me to the other bank of the river, the western side. The woman took me to the side of a hut and helped me to lie down on the ground and then pressed her hands firmly on my neck wounds. There were two or three other women. One of them put some oil on my head (so that I would feel better). The woman who brought me from the strem sent someone to my sons At the time my sons were hiding in the house of Ajit chairman. My sons came and took me to the house of Tapu daktar(doctor). He lived in Mirzapur. He is the one who stitched my slashed neck wound and put a bandage around the wounds and I was left to rest. In the evening my sons took me the house of one Badla fakir of Mominpur. I stayed there for some days. He gave me medicine and I gradually recovered.
I couldn’t stay in peace at Mominpur. While I was there the Rajakars of the locality tried to repress me. There were four women with me and my wife. Having suffered in their hands for some time I once told them that I was from Chhatni, I was not dead yet and I had such powerful relatives as my father-in-law, Ana Mondol and my brother- in –law Ameer Mondol. If I stay alive I would be even with them. After that they did not cerate any problem for me. Then a rumor spread that the Pak army and the Biharis cordoned off the Mirjapur school. Then I left for Donopur and went to the house of one Meru Khandker but he did not give me shelter. Then I went to another house and hid myself. Later I came to know that that it was all a hoax and I returned home.
Q. Did you stay home after this?
A. Yes, I did. When the country became free another incident took place.
Q. What was the incident?
A. I got the Rajakars, who had threatened me earlier, arrested. I saw the four of them. walking down the street in front of my house. I asked them where were they heading for. They replied that they were going to Natore. ‘The country has become free, so they were going to see it(the fun)’, they said. So I invited them to have lunch in my house. They did not agree but I kept on insisting and when they were having lunch I informed the Muktibahini who were camped in our area. One Alek was the commander of the force. I told Alek that the four Rajakars who tortured me when I had taken shelter in the house of Badla fakir were in my house. Alek ordered his men, ‘Arrest the bastards’, and the four were arrested and taken away.
Q. Are the four Rajakars still alive?
A. No. they are dead.
Q. Did the Pakistanis or the Biharis loot your house?
A. Yes they did. They had taken away every bit my possession. They also looted my neighbors’ houses all around.
Q. Did the Pak army torture women?
A. They couldn’t do it in our para(area) as the womenfolk had already taken shelter elsewhere. I do not know if they did it in other areas.
Q. After the country became free did you get any help or cooperation from the government?
A. Sheikh Shahib gave us two bundles of C.I. sheets and some bricks. This was just enough for a room. I did not get anything else. I am still working in the seme school as I did then. But we don’t get our salary regularly. After every two three months we get one month’s salary. The school cannot survive on student’s fees only. Who will help us?
Interviewer: S. M. Abu Bakr.
Date of Interview: July 12, 1997
Translator: Faruq Aziz Khan