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Satkhira, A devastated City

Written By: MuniraMaheen
24/12/2013 5:51 24/12/2013 5:41

(*Mainly translated from Daily Manab Zamin)

Satkhira, in a word it has become a wreck within few days. The situation is such like the localities are affected by the devastating earthquake. Without seeing the scene with one’s own eyes, the scenario is completely unbelievable. Tear is flowing by air. Crying and grieving is all over.  People are about to deranged losing their chattels. The environment of the entire district has become heavy by their outcry. Few thousands of people have become homeless and shelter less. Seeing the joint forces, people are fleeing. Women - children and elderly people are even not attack-free.  At dusk, beginning of every night, men and young boys are going to various places to hide. Arson incidents are happening in every night. There are more dangers. Time to time during the current government, 216 cases have been filed against leaders of Jamat-Shibir, BNP and the activists of their co-organization. 4500 workers have been accused in these cases. 73,977 unidentified people have been also accused. 1,449 leaders and activists have been arrested under these cases.

During the last December from 16th to 19th, people of Satkhira region have become bewildered by the rampage of joint forces and Awamileague’s activists and supporters thereby losing their last roof over the heads of people in Satkhira.  Losing the houses and business establishments which are built by the single whit of their earned money. The family members and kin they are, under extreme insecurity, being forced to live in miserable way under the open sky in this fierce winter.  Supplying food is not being able to them. While looking for their relatives, numerous women and children have fallen on the wrath of police and Awmileague terrorists. Overall the protectors are busy to play the role of spoiler in this district located near the borderline of the country. Human rights workers of the country cannot cover these images of torture and repression. Journalists are also not delineating the real information due to their life security.

According to the fact finding, the destructive cyclone AILA hit on 5 May 2009 to the marginal Upazila of the Sundarban of Shayamnagar, Ashashuni and Tala under the coastal district of the country of Satkhira. Gabura and Padmapukura union of Shayamnagar were ransacked by it. Due to splitting of the surrounding circular embankment, these two regions were merged with the river. As a result, homes and agricultural farms of these areas remain submerged throughout the year. People are leading a miserable life for the crisis of food and drinking water, lack of employment opportunity including shutdown of their children’s education and also many other critical situations. No sooner had the detriment of the natural disaster has overcome the rampage of Awamileague and joint forces have started in this time. Since the last 15th December till today, 57 leaders and activists of BNP and Jamat-Shibir have been arrested by raiding from the different places of this district. At that time 7 people were killed by them including Jamat’s activists Jahangir Morol and Shaheb Babu. Apart from this, more than hundreds of activist’s including Satkhira district Jamat’s president and former parliament member Professor Mowlana Abdul Khaleque, assistant president Rafikul Islam, BNP leader and Agordari union Parishad’s Chairman Anawarul Islam’s residential houses, shops and business properties have been demolished by bulldozer and also fired to burn.

Recently, the people of 7 Upazilla of this district run to the streets and strongly stand for implementing all programs announced by the central body of the 18 party alliances. In consequence, during the last 11 months, 33 BNP-Jamat activists and 27 Awamileague activists were killed. In retaliation to these killing, Awamileague activists carried out massive rampage in different parts of the district. BNP-Jamat’s activists were also not backward.  Yet, to make successful the blockade program announced by the 18 party alliance they isolated the Satkhira district headquarter from the Upazilla headquarters of  Shamnagar, Kaligonj, Debhata, Ashashuni, Tala and  Kalaroa. As a result, the government started the joint forces operations in this region. Publicity secretary of Satkhira district of Jamaat, Azizur Rahman has claimed that the raids were conducted to vanish the leaders and workers so that they cannot implement the program of 18 party alliances in these Jamat inhabitant areas. Locals complain police brutality on opposition leaders as well as activists of Awami League continued to attack people in different areas of the district. Awami League leaders and workers were forced to leave the areas by public resistance in many places. However, they are attacking in collaboration with various government agencies. They are attacking with the collaboration of the police as an associate. In many operations Jubo League and Chhatra League activists are even being seen to carry the weapons of police.

Satkhira district Jamaat publicity secretary Azizur Rahman informed that during the time of present government, 216 cases have been filed in different times. 4,500 people name has been mentioned in these cases and 73,977 people have anonymously been accused. 1,449 people have been arrested in these cases. At present, there are 282 people in lockup.

Local people informed that Shops of five Hindu people named Jagodish, Tapos, Biswanath and Indrajit has been burnt by Joined forces and armed Awami league terrorists at Choumuhuni, Mukondopur, Faridpur, Sridhorkathi, Hogla villages of Bisnupur Union and Gobindopur , Vodrokhali of Kusholia Union under Kaliganj Upazila since tuesday evening to wednesday morning. The victim families said, the worth of damage is around two crore. No members of fire brigade has not been alowed to enter this are during arson. Among the victims, 12 homes, 27 shops in Bisnupur Union and 19 homes, business organizations at Gobindapur, Vodrakhali villages of Kusholia Union has been vandalized, burnt and looted. The house of Baharul Islam, Mosharaf Hossain, Mowlana Mizanur Rahman, Mowlana Abdul Kader Helali and Siddikul Islam at Choumuhuni village of Bisnupur Union; the house of Abdul Salam and Abdus Sabur of Sridhorkati; Professor Abdul Aziz from Faridpur, Professor Mosharaf from Ramnagar Krishnanagar Union and Abdul Karim from Mukondopur have been aslo vandalized, looted and burnt. Besides, Baharul’s shop, Aluminium shop of Mosharaf, Saiful’s pharmacy, six shops of Abdul Kalam, grocery store of Shamsur Ali, Daud’s sweet store, Abdullah’s shop, Jagadish’s shop, fruit store of Moyna and shops of Mukul, Salam, Hanif, Tapos, Shohor Ali, Shohidul, Maut Ali, Mizan, Biswanath, Mahabub have been looted, vandalized and fired. Likewise, shops of Mahbub, saiful from Hogla village has also been burnt. Most of the shops of Vodrokhali Bazar in Kusholia Union under Kaliganj Upazila have been burnt. Among the victims, drug store of Shirajul Islam, lungi store of Muzam, salon of Belal, Hannan’s grocery store, tea store of Monirul, shops of Boni Adam and Mohiuddin were vandalized and burnt.

Local people complained that people of AL including joint forces did rampage by the direction of Upazila vice chairman Sayed Mehedi, Abu Taleb led by upazila Awami League chairman Ohaduzzaman. They also complained that overnight looting and arson happend on Tuesday despite the joint force members did not allow local people to enter into the affected area. Even, on hearing the news of the massive fire, the fire service staff  did not have  been allowed to come to the scene. The only one shelter of Mizanur Rahman, Abdur Rashid, Abdul Hakim, Babu and Lily Begum's has been burnt in this village. However, reporters asked the joint forces during this incidents they said mob vandalized and looted it.


At half past noon on Tuesday during the strike and blockade in Kaliganj, Choumuhini area of Bisnupur union, AL president Moslem Uddin (65) - who was stabbed and beaten to death. At that time his assistant Hashem Ali and Didar Ali were seriously injured. They have been admitted into the nearest health complex. For this incident Afroza Khatun of deceased person filed a case specifying 24 people and 15-20 anonymous people as accused. Kaliganj police chief Ali Azam Khan said, immediately four persons arrested in this connection, however lecturer Abdul Aziz, Shabbir Ahmed and Babar Ali has shown arrested in the murder case. Abdul Jalil has also sent to court in a different case.

A university student named Shefali Begum from Batra, Ashashuni said that joint forces and AL people entered into habitations with a new technique by making “Naray Takbir Allahu Akbar” sounds. Muslim worshippers came out to hear their sounds were surrounded from all the sides, charged baton even some people were shot left. Some of them being tied their faces and eyes.  I do not know what happened at the end of their fate. Many of them injured are not going to the hospital due to fear of arrest.  Emerging-old girls took shelter in the house of relatives in town from the village to protect their honor. And those who have no shelter are sacrificing their honor to the culprits. She expressed wrath and said that we heard stories of torture of Pak war army. And now seeing the brutal torturing to the general population by the government forces and the government of our country. When we will represent the image of the violence to the next generation they will say, you were a resident of Goth.

On the other hand, Satkhira district police super Monjurul Alam Chowdhury said to the reporters that joint forces formed by BGB, RAB and police members started their operation in seven upazila including Shamnagar, Ashahuni, kaliganj, Debhata, Patkelghata, Tala, kalaroa and head quarter of Satkhira district since 15 December night. Azharul Islam, Molla Sana, Sultan Ahmed, Riazul Islam, Abdul Majid Morol, Imran Sardar, Abdul Motaleb Saradr from Tala Upazila; Azizur Rahman, Sabbir Ahmed Sabuj, Md. Abdul Jalil, Babar Ali Morol from Kaliganj Upazila; Mostafizur Rahman, Mohidul Islam from patkelghata and Mehedi Hasan, Shafiul Ajam Sujon, Arshad Ali, Anisur Rahman, Aktar Hossain, Ahamid,  Mohasin from Ashashuni Upazila; Alamgir Hossain (30) son of Nurul Amin, Shahin Shardar (25) son of Monir Uddin, Abul Hossain (26) son of late Surot Ali, Sowkat Ali Sardar (33) son of Shukur Ali Sardar, Aminur Rahman Luvlu (40) son of Rezaul Islam from Roichpur of district head quarter including 57 people have been arrested until yesterday. Operation has been continuing in the area.

Satkhira ASP Monjurul Kabir avoided such questions, how thousands of people became shelter less and pauper, how people are being murdered, how looting of houses and arson has been carried out by Awami terrorists in the operation of joint forces.

However Ali Azam Khan officer in charge of Kaligonj police station said, whose homes, shops and business establishments were vandalized and set on fire, they ruled this area for a long time. Angry crowd became excited and vandalized and torched to their homes, shops and business establishments. When he was asked about whether there is anyone from Awamileague with this joint forces and offended crowd or not, he became excited and said those who lead the area for long time this is the time to tyrannize them. They are doing so. Not more than that. He was also asked about the vandalism and arson to the Hindu community people at Chowmuhona on yesterday night, he replied, it has been done by Jamat-Shibir. For this reasons, their houses are on fire by the mobs.

Shyamnagar (Satkhira) representative Zahid Suman said, in the clash between Jamat-Shibir and joint forces 10 people were injured including officer in charge (OC) and a police constable on yesterday at Gorer Math village of Kushlia union under Kaliganj Upazilla. Islami Chhatra Shibir activists named Ashraful Islam Babu (22) was arrested with bullet wounds during the clash.

OC of Kaligonj police station informed that the joint forces started an operation against the accused in the murder case of Moslem Uddin, Awamileague president of Bisnopur union, from the yesterday afternoon. In such a situation when they reached at Gorer Math, Jamat-Shibir activists were throwing brick bits and pieces. At that time joint forces started gun shooting results in Shibir activists Ashraful Islam Babu fell down after being shot, police detained him and admitted to hospital. In this clash, OC Ali Azam and police constable Shariful Islam as well became wounded hit by brick pieces. However, local people said, this statement of OC is ridiculous. They claimed that as of yesterday afternoon’s operation, joint forces along with Awamileague activists started attacking to lots of the innocent people’s houses and vandalized in this area. At the same time joint forces started to maim severely the innocent peoples. Women and daughters were not attack free from their charging of baton. Subsequently, local people tried to prevent and resist against them. They began throwing brickbats. Joint forces tried to disperse the villagers and continued to shot in counter.


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About MuniraMaheen

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    PhD researcher, University of Manitoba, Canada

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