Dhakaiya Profession

February 25th 2009-BDR Massacre

Posted in BDR Massacre by rrasheeka on March 14, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

My cell phone shook in my hand as I dialed my brother’s number. I could hear continuous shots being fired. I felt angry and frustrated. Inspite of my objection my brother went to watch it. On the third ring he picked up and tried to calm me down by telling me that the BDR were firing above. And the army wasn’t really doing anything except for keeping a watch. I need not worry.

I knew it was no good trying to make him see the danger I felt, so I hung up and looked at the clock hanging in the wall. It was around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I looked out of the window, focusing nowhere. My mind went to the events of the day before.

During this time the previous day, I, along with a friend of mine, I had been frantically looking for a way to get back to my home. I had gone to my university and while writing an exam we got the news that the BDR were keeping all the army personnel who where inside the BDR area captive. Shots could be heard from outside and the BDR had also fired some shots randomly on the streets.

My house is very near to gate no.1 of the BDR. By the time I got near my home, the army had positioned themselves on the streets and didn’t want any civilians there as a safety measure. So I was stuck. After a while my friend found a small path and we followed it to my home.

After I reached home, I sat in front of the television with my family. From the media it could be gathered that the BDR captured the army because according to them, the army had been exploiting them for years. They admitted to killing the DG and his wife. They said that they had some demands, one of which was to excuse them from these murders. If all their demands would be met with, they would surrender their arms and ammunition.

The media was all sympathetic towards the exploited BDR and many general people sympathized with them too. After all, they seemed to be the victims.

All through the day we kept hearing shots and did not know what to make of it. Where they killing more people? Where they just firing empty shots to scare the army and the police away? We knew not. The only thing we knew was that everything was uncertain. We were stuck inside our homes. We didn’t know whether we would stay alive or not if we went outside our homes as everybody felt that a mutiny was on its way.

All this while, the government kept on having meetings and discussions on how to solve this problem. Home Minister Sahara Khatun even went inside the BDR area and came out with a group of women and children who were trapped inside. According to her, the government was working on it and everything was soon going to be alright.

We, the people, who lived near that area, still heard shots and wondered why.

Early the next morning more shots were fired and then everything was calm. The army had left the main road and moved to lanes with their arms and ammunition.

At around one, some shots were heard again and we all wondered whether a war was breaking out, whether the army would attack in response. But as my brother had said, nothing happened.

At around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the Prime Minister gave a speech asking the BDR to surrender or else strict measures would be taken.

After a while announcements were made from the government asking all of us, the people living in the nearby areas to leave their houses for safety because the army was ready to attack the BDR. The people of this area became frantic; all of us were very scared. Many people left their homes. We, however, didn’t. Nonetheless, we were extremely scared. We waited and waited for something to happen. Nothing happened.

After a long wait, news came that the BDR were surrendering.

To many it was like an end of a nightmare. Many didn’t realize another nightmare had just begun. a nightmare so brutal that it would embed itself in the memory of the ones who witnessed it in such a manner that it would stay with them forever.

Hardly any officers who went inside on the morning of the 25th came out alive. Not only were they murdered, they were murdered so brutally that their bodies couldn’t be recognized by anyone after they were found. The officers were killed and buried in mass graves. They were also pushed out through drains. Not only that, many women were raped and murdered. Families kept waiting outside the BDR gate while search for the bodies were going on.

So many families were destroyed in that few hours. So many children became fatherless. So many wives lost their husband and so many parents their child. This was a nightmare which seemed to have no end. Day in and day out, news of mass graves and bodies being recovered kept flowing in.

Everybody realized that this barbarity was in no way excusable. No matter how wronged, such killings were not to be forgiven. With this realization another realization dawned. While the reasons the BDR gave may be valid reasons for their anger, but they weren’t strong enough for such murders. The real reasons behind the murders were different. A third realization pronounced itself when the people understood that there were many measures that could’ve been taken but for intentional or unintentional reasons, weren’t taken.

This was a nightmare that the people of Bangladesh are not going to forget anytime soon. One thing is clear; the main reason behind these killings was to break the backbone of our nation. And unfortunately, to an extent, that attempt has been quite successful. So many brilliant men of ranks were killed. The BDR and the army have now reached a stage where they are in conflict with one another. The two forces which were meant to protect us and our nation from outsiders are fighting amongst themselves. We have become vulnerable. But I have not lost hope. I hope that proper justice will be delivered. The people responsible for such inhuman actions will pay for what they have done.

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2 Responses

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  1. Adib Sajed Adel said, on March 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

    We all hope that the victims will get proper justice BUT I doubt about it. Many questions are still unanswered. How an untoward incident like this happen. Where were the Intelligence Agencies? No one knows, and as a common practice those questions will remain unanswered forever.

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