The following illustrates the sacrifices of these highlighted
women whose struggle of recognition and financial freedom
continues to date.
Manik Kandi, Thana- Muksedpur, District- Gopalganj
Identity- Birangona and freedom-fighter
used to be known as Kanon Banik. With the help of local
razakaars, the Pakistani soldiers forcibly took her
at the beginning of the Liberation war. She remained
at the camp for almost two months after which the freedom-fighters
got hold of the camp and released all the girls who
were kept there. Kanon’s parents meanwhile left
as refugees for India. She remained with the freedom-fighters.
Her responsibilities included cooking for the camp,
guarding the arms and ammunitions, etc. She also received
arms training and participated in some of the operations.
Bangladesh became an independent nation-state she returned
home. However, her parents refused to take her back.
Musharrof Sheikh, a freedom-fighter from the camp where
she served married her .
and Musharrof now live in a slum adjacent to Mirpur
zoo. He is a local salesman and she works in a garment
factory for an income of thirty taka daily. They have
three sons and one daughter.
Indra, Thana- Baghar Para, District- Jessore
Participation in the war: as a combatant
fighter Halima’s household was attacked by the
Razakaars during April 1971. Considering the fact that
neither her house nor the village was safe for her anymore
to live in she left along with two of her female friends
(pls. see below) to join the freedom-fighters. She received
combat training and fought in the war. She was captured
while in the front line around June and spent six months
in various camps.
was first kept at a Razakaars camp where she was subjected
to torture and abuse. After that she was taken to Jessore
Cantoment camp where Halima had to undergo various kinds
of torture including sexual slavery. She was nearly
starved as the women in the camp were allowed food in
every alternate day. Halima was also forced to dig the
graves and bury the women who died in the camp because
of the severity of torture.
was rescued on 6 December 1971 and returned home. However,
in a short while the Razakaars and collaborators of
the Pakistani army were reinstated into powerful positions
in her community. Halima’s parents sent her off
to her uncle’s house in Jessore. She was unable
to stay there for a longer period though and had to
earn her living by doing certain menial tasks. She got
a job as an ayah in the local hospital under the freedom-fighter
quota in 1983 and got married to her cousin in 1984.
has two children. Her youngest son has a medical condition
and is slowly going blind. She is unable to afford his
Indra, Thana-Baghar Para, District- Jessore
Age in 1971: 18 years
in the war: as a combatant.
was encouraged to fight in the front-line by Halima
Parveen. While at battle she was captured by the enemy
along with two other women combatants.
in the camp (location not stated) a Razakaar assaulted
her. She was taken to the Jessore Cantonment afterwards
and remained in this camp for six months.
was detained in a tiny cell and was tortured day and
night. She was scalded with cigarettes if she protested.
There were times when as many as 7/8 soldiers raped
her, while she was tied up. She became pregnant as a
result of the rapes and gave birth to a still-born baby
in the camp. She was deprived of food and was not allowed
to bath while in captivity. She was nearly dead by the
time she was rescued by the freedom-fighters on 6 December
the aftermath of the war, Fatema was tormented by the
local people and her family was ostracized by the community.
Eventually, her mother sent her off to the city where
she got married. Her husband divorced her after hearing
gossips about her ordeal during the war. She was married
off again and the second husband also left her.
has children from her marriages and struggles to meet
mere necessities. She wants to educate her two sons
who are still quite young.
Malonchi, Thana: Baghar Para, District: Jessore
Participation in the war: as a combatant.
while in combat along with Halima and Fatima. She was
imprisoned in the camp for six months as well.
after apprehension, she was tortured with bayonet. In
a severe injured condition she was brought to the Jessore
Cantonment camp and kept in a dark cell. During this
time she was subjected to interrogation and torture
including sexual abuse. She was rescued on 6 December
1971 by the freedom-fighters.
she returned to her parents they wanted to marry her
off. The shame and stigma attached with rape made the
situation very difficult for her. Afterwards, she was
married off to a middle-aged man who was the father
of four children.
now works as a maid in other peoples’ households.
She has two daughters. Her contribution to the war has
not been recognized in the last 32 years and she did
not receive any sort of compensation from the government.
Kamalnogor, District- Shatkhira
Identity: War widow
and her husband Abdul Kader lived in a small hut in
Kamalnogor with their nine children. Abdul Kader assisted
the freedom-fighters during the war. His responsibilities
included notifying the guerrilla fighters about the
movement of the army and delivering arms and ammunition
in various locations.
or eight truckload of soldiers barricaded their house
on Baishakh 7. They ransacked the whole house and eventually
confiscated Abdul Kader’s walkie-talkie. The soldiers
forced him out of the house and shot him. Jolekha fled
with her nine children. However, fearing for their own
safety her neighbors refused to offer her shelter. Meanwhile,
she lost sight of her youngest daughter and was unable
to track her down.
Jolekha leaves in a slum and lives on charity received
from her local community.
for Jolekha in Bangla
Kalakuma, Thana- Nalitabari, District- Sherpur
Identity- War widow
husband Abbas Ali Sarkar, son Idris Ali and two daughters
Feroza Khatin and Rasheda Khatun had been killed during
1971. The army and the Biharis captured the family while
they were on the road to reach the Dalu refugee shelter
in India. She survived as a refugee in India for a while
and came back after the country was liberated.
sold off her husband’s share of the land to support
the family including her three remaining sons and one
daughter. She applied for compensation to Muktyjodhya
Kollyan Trust respectively in 1972, 1984 and 1995. However,
no support was given other than two calves donated by
for AmeerJan in Bangla
Kalakuma, Thana- Nalitabari, District- Sherpur
Identity- War widow
is Ameerjaan’s sister-in-law. Her husband Kalimuddin
was killed by the Biharis during the war while attending
a funeral in the neighboring village. She left along
with her children for Trishal in Mymensingh to search
for work. She worked as a maid and raised her children.
has three sons and two daughters. Shohorbanu returned
to her village and is living under dire condition.
for Shohorbanu in Bangla