12 – Genocide ’71-12 – 3d015d90-d97c-4311-892f-de2568c233c8

Munshi Siddiqur Rahman was an influential person with political affiliations with the Awami League party, and as such, his family home – widely known to locals as “Munshibari” – was a place of interest in the Goalkhali region. Located east of the Jessore-Khulna highway and next to the railway, Munshibari was one of the most important incidents of mass killings in Khulna.

Munshi Siddiqur led the Bengalis in the region through the communal violence that broke out during March 27 – the Biharis in the region, led by Motiullah, wanted to punish Siddiqur for his role in organising the Bengalis in the region. Motiullah thus devised a plan – since Siddiqur was the only politically involved Bengali who did not flee after Khulna fell in the hands of the Pakistanis, Motiullah approached him on the morning of 6th April with a proposal of keeping the peace in the locality. Accompanying Motiullah was Mohammad Ali, Farid Miah, Musgunni Ghulam. In the meeting, both parties agreed to keep the peace and Siddiqur was put in charge of distributing and storing wheat as relief for the affected people of the area. Siddiqur then met with locals loyal to him on the 7th of April in order to devise a distribution plan. Around 3 PM, alerted by the sound of approaching soldiers, Siddiqur took some people and escaped out of the back of the house. Under command of Major Babar, the Pakistani soldiers surrounded the house with their vehicles – sitting in those vehicles were Motiullah, Ezaz, Tofayel and Harun. Upon entering the house and being unable to find Siddiqur, the Pakistanis started killing the people they found inside – they bayonetted Christian caretaker Shontu in a balcony and bound everyone else. The 12 people who were found inside were marched to the pond beside the house and killed by firing. The Munshibari family graveyard lists all the casualties of 7th April.

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