During the Liberation War in 1971, more than 500 men and women were hauled in a group and forced to dig their own graves before they were shot dead by the Pakistani occupation force.
A memorial lacking the list of victims or a flag lifting platform was built at the site, located in a paddy field near Railway line of Rasulpur village in the Sadar upazila, in 2008 to remember the victims. After years of negligence, it now lies in almost ruins.
Local farmers use the memorial for drying paddy in day time while drug addicts use the site at night.
“The youths were lined up and shot dead one after another. Later, their bodies were dumped in the mass grave,” he said, adding that wild animals and stray dogs had feasted upon the bodies.
Nannu said the delay in constructing the memorial and subsequent negligence is a matter of shame.
“We, the freedom fighters demand proper preservation of the memories of the martyrs,” he said.
Shafiul Ahmed Bablu, Former Commander of local Muktijoddha Sangsad, said the freedom fighters and the Pakistani army had fought a protracted battle in Rasulpur. “The defeated Pakistani forces indiscriminately killed the locals and dumped their bodies in mass grave,” he said.
Bablu said they had been requesting the local authorities for preserving the memorial. “The government has built a memorial but failed to honour it,” he said.
The people of Bangladesh joined the War of Independence responding to the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971. During the War, the Pakistani army targeted nationalist Bengali civilians, students, intelligentsia, and religious minorities.