Bhanu Hazra, an eyewitness to the Srimangal tea garden massacre, said, ‘I still shudder to remember the massacre. In those days the atmosphere was like a procession of corpses. Dead bodies all around, dead bodies on top of dead bodies.
Image Credit source: Courtesy of University of Alabama
The story of the partition of Bangladesh is the war of 1971, when Pakistan was creating havoc in Bangladesh. And India was giving full cooperation to give freedom to Bangladesh from Pakistan. In 1971, Pakistan massacred Bengali nationalists and Hindus in Bangladesh. Several mass massacres were carried out in Bangladesh. About 30 lakh people were killed in these. Pakistani army had carried out one such massacre in the tea garden of Srimangal.
According to a report in India Today, Bhanu Hazra, an eyewitness to the Srimangal tea garden massacre, said, ‘I still shudder to remember the massacre. In those days the atmosphere was like a procession of corpses. Dead bodies all around, dead bodies on top of dead bodies. Many dead bodies remained lying in the canal for 2-3 days. In the Srimangal tea garden massacre, all those who were caught in the garden were killed.
The soil of the canal had turned red with blood
On May 1, 1971, Bhanu Hajra, an eyewitness, became inconsolable remembering the scene of the massacre carried out by the Pakistani army in a rented tea garden in Shrimangal Upazila of Moulvibazar. He said that he was 20 years old during the Bangladesh war in 1971. His father Mangu Hazra was killed by the Pakistani army 2-3 days before the Bharaura massacre. Mangu Hazra had guided the soldiers of the Indian Army at Sherpur in Maulvibazar. At the same time, Mangu was killed by Pakistani soldiers in the firing from both sides. Mangu was buried next to his house.
Bhanu Hazra said, ‘We were hearing gunshots from the garden. Only 7-8 people were able to survive in that firing. Everyone left the garden after hearing the sound of gunfire. This incident took place around 10-11 am. When the Pakistani soldiers went back, Bhanu went to the spot and saw a pile of dead bodies in the canal. That day the soil of the Shakhmura fodder canal adjacent to the tea garden turned red with the blood of 47 tea workers. After this Bhanu Hazra left for India with his mother and brothers. However, during the war, mother Sanchari Hajra and brother Mana Hajra died in Kamalpur due to Pakistani army’s cannon shelling.
Pakistanis killed everyone
Another eyewitness, injured Lalchan Hazra of the South Line of the tea garden, said, ‘I was in the garden that day. I was looking at Pakistani soldiers. There was a fire in the far away labor line. Only then saw two people firing. I saw Kalachan, Nakla Hazra and three people firing near the river. I hid under a banyan tree in Charabari and kept watching them. I saw people gathering. Many of my relatives were killed that day. After this incident, I left the garden. Seven people including Ramesh Hazra, Golpachan Hazra, Karma Hazra, Depua Hazra and Kedarlal Hazra survived that day. Some of them were abused while some were injured. Although none of them are alive.