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Still seems like a nightmare: NRB shares his Liberation War memories

April 13, 1971, Parvez Elahi Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi now living in Canada, had his heart broken for life. The scars of that day still keeps him awake at night. He lost his two brothers on this day and just nine days before this tragedy, his father was martyred.

During the war, Parvez was an SSC candidate. His father Abdur Rahman Chowdhury was an officer of Railway Police. They lived in Lalmonirhat due to his job. He is the fifth of four brothers and two sisters.

On the morning of April 13, 1971, Parvez, his elder brother Tofayel, younger brother Tawfiq, his cousin Abul and his mother were at home. Pakistani soldiers and a group of their supporters led by Haider Ali Khan forcibly took away Parvez, Tofayel and Abul Hasnat. They were taken to the police station where they were tortured.

“We were tied together with a few other locals and beaten mercilessly,” said Parvez. “Right before our eyes, some were tortured and suffocated to death by the Pakistan army supporters and their bodies were dumped in an abandoned hole next to the high school,” he said.

“We understood that we too will be tortured and killed in this way. Somehow, we got the rope loose. The rope was untied from our waists,” he said, adding, “We three brothers were keeping an eye on each other.”

“In an instant we ran from the clutches of the collaborators and Pakistani troops. They started running after us,” he said. “We ran in three different directions. I survived and returned to my mother, but my two brothers never returned.”

On April 1, 1971, Parvez’s father Abdur Rahman Chowdhury and many others were injured while trying to resist the Pakistani troops. On that day, 19 Pakistani soldiers were killed in Lalmonirhat. The injured people including Abdur Rahman were undergoing treatment at Lalmonirhat Railway Hospital.

On April 4, the Pakistan army along with their collaborators attacked the hospital. Patients and doctors in the hospital were brutally killed. Their bodies were dumped in an abandoned hole next to the railway station.

Parvez Elahi Chowdhury is now living in Canada with his family. Recently he came to Lalmonirhat to commemorate the horrific memories of 1971. He has written a book called “71-Er Pratidhani” about his memories of the war.

“Whenever I close my eyes, I can see my family members. It still seems like a nightmare to me,” he said.

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