Tomorrow (April 7) is Kurigram 'jail killing day'.
On the day during the 1971 Liberation War, Pakistani occupation forces brutally killed five on-duty staff at the then Kurigram sub-jail (now district jail).
Family members of the victims -- acting sub-jailor Hedayet Ullah, jail keeper Lal Mohammad Pramanik, and Ansar members Ali Akanda, Sajjad Hossen and Fakar Uddin are still waiting for their recognition as martyred freedom fighters.
“Around 5:30pm on April 7, Pakistani soldiers shot them near the sub-jail. Lal Mohammad, Ali Akanda, Sajjad Hossen and Fakar Uddin died on the spot. They were buried beside the jail boundary the next morning,” said freedom fighter Harun Ar Rashid Lal, an eyewitness of the incident.
Seriously injured Hedayet died in his staff quarter at night and he was buried outside the jail boundary. Bullet-hit Abdul Jalil Paiker survived with the treatment of Dr Safar Uddin of nearby Kaley village. After a week, the Pak army shot dead the physician.
“They were the first martyrs in Kurigram during the Liberation War. I think they should be recognised as martyred freedom fighters,” Harun said.
Ansar Ali Akanda's son Shafiqur Rahman, 58, and Sajjad Hossain's son Samsul Islam, 60, said they expect the authorities concerned will recognise their fathers and their colleagues as Liberation War martyrs.
Kurigram District Jail Superintendent Md Omar Faruq said, “We will observe the day by burning candles and placing flowers on the martyrs' graves, and arranging discussion and milad mahfil. The martyrs' relatives will be invited.”
“Work of preparing the design for a memorial for the jail staff is going on. We are also trying to get their recognition as Liberation War martyrs,” he said.