Name:  Aleya Khatun

Husband:  Mozammel Huq

Vill:  Barai, Union: Aladippur

P.O.: Khajapur, P.S.: Fulbari

Dist.: Dinajpur

Education: Illiterate

Age in 1971: 20 yrs.

Occupation in 1971: Housewife

Present Occupation: Housewife

 

 

 

 

Q.     Were you attacked by the Pakistan army in 1971?

 

A.     Yes, I was.

 

 

Q.     How were you attacked?

 

A.     The war had already started and we were running away.

 

 

Q.     Where were you going ?

 

A.     Some other place where the Khans wouldn’t go.

 

 

Q.    And then what happened?

 

A.     We had spent two days in a village on the way. My husband with our baby in his arms and our nephew went out to see if any Khan soldiers were around. We were hiding in a bamboo grove. We thought if the road was clear we would get out, if necessary we would go to India. Suddenly two Pak soldiers came and caught my husband and killed him on the road.

 

 

Q.     Did you see it with your own eyes?

 

A.     Yes, I saw it with my own eyes. They killed my husband and my child.

 

 

Q.     How old was your child then?

 

A.     He was only one year old.

 

 

Q.     Only one year old?

 

A.     Yes, only one year old.

 

 

Q.     They killed him?

 

A.     Yes, they killed him.

 

 

Q.     They also killed your husband?

 

A.     Yes, they killed my husband and also the son of my elder brother-in-law.

 

 

Q.     They  killed the boy?

 

A.  Yes, they killed the boy.

 

 

Q.  What was your husband’s name?

 

A.  Mamtaz Ali.

 

 

Q.  You saw the killing of your husband, your baby and your nephew?

 

A.  Yes, I saw the killings.

 

 

Q.  What was your feeling then?

 

A.  I became insane. My mother wept. She said there was no way we could return home. If we did the Khans will kill us also. A lot of people were going to India. Then we also joined them on our way to India.

 

 

Q.     So you went to India?

 

A.     Yes.

 

 

Q.     What did you do with the bodies of your dead husband and baby?

 

A.     What could we do? I had lost my senses. Perhaps the Doms (sweeper) had removed them.

 

 

 

Q.     What is the name of the place where the killings took place?

 

A.  Ambari.

 

 

Q.  And then what did you do?

 

A.  Then we went to India. Everyone else went to India.

 

 

Q.  Where did you stay in India?

 

A.  We went to Basanti.

 

 

Q.  You went to the Basanti refugee camp?

 

A.  We went to the Basanti refugee camp. There was a tree on the bank of a pond. That’s where a tarpaulin was fastened for our shelter. I stayed there for 11 days.

 

 

Q.     And then what did you do?

 

A.     I said I would return to my village. If the Khans want they could kill me. And then I returned to my village.

 

 

Q.     How did you come back?

 

A.     My mother, a daughter of my brother-in-law, her husband and I returned to our village. I was sick. I couldn’t come straight. The rest returned leaving me and my daughter behind. There was a mango grove where we stopped. It was raining and we were all wet. We heard loud sounds all around, I don’t know what caused the sounds. Early in the morning when the sun was about to rise we left the mango grove.

 

 

Q.     Was there no one with you?

 

A.     There was no one else with me, only my daughter.

 

 

Q.     How old was your daughter?

 

A.     She was only 3 yrs old.

 

 

Q.     You were all alone with only a 3 yr old daughter?

 

A.     Yes, I was all alone in that mango grove. When it became somewhat clear I saw an old men standing behind me. He asked me, “Where do you want to go?”. Then I said, I want to go to Bangladesh. He then asked me, “you are from Bangladesh?” I said, yes. I told him that the Khans had killed my husband and my baby. I don’t mind if they’d killed me. Then the old man said, “No my child, you will not die, you will not die, come with me.” Then he gave us some stale rice and said, eat it, I am Khan’s agent. I didn’t eat the rice but my daughter did. I was sick. I couldn’t walk. By the time we reached near our village it was about 9 o’clock in the morning. When I looked back the old man had disappeared.

 

 

Q.     Do you know the old man?

 

A.  No, I don’t. He disappeared. When I looked back I saw two cars coming our way. I took my daughter and hurriedly hid ourselves behind a tree. The cars came near us and stopped and then they discussed something and left without firing at us or doing anything to us.

 

 

Q.     So you returned home?

 

A.     Yes, we returned home. Our house was looted. Nothing was left. How could we stay there? We had no way we could manage. A young son of my brother-in-law was a street-side trader of little articles. It was difficult for him to look after his own family, not to talk about us. So we left and took refuge in my sister’s home.

 

 

Q.     And then what happened?

 

A.  The country became independent. My sister got me married to a freedom fighter. At first I didn’t agree. I said, if I got married what would happen to my daughter? My husband insisted and said, he would take care of my daughter. When she grew up my husband got her married. She is now living with her in-laws.

 

Interviewer:  Bhabendranath Barman

Date of Interview: November 23, 1996

Translator: Dr. Faruq Aziz Khan

 

 

Source: History from Below, Centre for Research on Liberation War of Bangladesh, p.147