It was a surprise for locals. While Kanchdah villagers in Rangpur's Pirganj were lifting sand from the Karatoa river on Friday afternoon, they discovered an object they could not imagine: a Liberation War tank.
During the Liberation War in 1971, nine tanks from India entered Bangladesh through Hili border in Dinajpur's Hakimpur upazila. According to witnesses, one of them got stuck in quicksand near Kanchdah ghat when they were crossing the river.
Abdus Sattar, commander of Pirganj Muktijoddha Sangsad, said the tanks were going to Pirganj via Dinajpur's Birampur on December 4, 1971.
Locals and Indian soldiers tried to salvage it for three days, but failed. Later, the Indian soldiers abandoned it, he recalled, urging the local administration to recover it as soon as possible.
Shahadat Hossain, of Santoshpur village under Rangpur's Mithapukur upazila, who witnessed the incident 47 years ago, visited the spot on Saturday.
Shahadat said he saw the tank after it got stuck in 1971. “Indian soldiers tried to pull the tank out of the quicksand by chains, but they could not.”
Talking to this correspondent yesterday, Ataur Rahman, chairman of Tukuria union parishad in Pirganj upazila, confirmed that a tank had been found.
Locals said the tank is in knee-deep water.
Rezaul Karim, officer-in-charge of Pirganj Police Station, said police were guarding the spot round the clock.
After visiting the spot, Enamul Habib, deputy commissioner of Rangpur, said steps would be taken to recover the tank as soon as possible.