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Case of Monomohini Devi, Noakhali Hindu Genocide 1946

Last night (Thursday the 5th of December) at about 8 p.m. one of my workers returning from Lamchar-Karpara gave me the story of how a woman was taken away from her bed at about 9 p.m. the previous night and left outside a few paces from the house. This is within the Lamchar camp. The woman is a refugee from Darbeshpur, 5 miles distant from Lamchar. I was told that three male persons were in the room and that the woman was not actually raped.

I could not belive the story. The case disturbed me. So I along with the same worker started walking for Lamchar at 6 a.m. and reached before 8 a.m. today (6th). I found Manoranjan Babu (Chaudhuri) there with Messrs N.C.Chatterjee and Debendranath Mukherjee. They could not stay long, so I had to conduct part of the enquiry by myself. Dr. Amiya Chakrovarty was with me. What I got bit by bit. out of the three persons present in the room at the time of occurence and from what I got from the woman and also from the man who discovered her after the occurrence a few paces from her door, I give below in a form.

The name of the woman is Monomohini Devi (35) widow, these 15 or 16 years. Her son’s name is Krishnalal Debnath aged about 18 years. They belonged to Darbeshpur. They had taken shelter in the Lamchar camp a month ago. Her people possess tanks where there are fishes. The Chief of the Lamchar Camp, at the request of Ramani Ranjan Debnath, a relative of Monomohini, arranged for a party of fishermen to go and fish in her tank. The party was escorted by a military man, for it was feared that the tank being in Muslim quarters the fishermen may not be allowed to fish. This was on the 3rd instant. The Muslims of the locality took offence at this fishing with the help of the Military with the guide Ramani.

On the 4th some Muslims came to the vacant house of Jyotsna Ray, now used by refugees, in which Monomohini with her son Krishnalal, the above Ramani and Radha Govinda and a little girl lived in one room. The Muslims came on the pretext of buying supari and went away. At 9 p.m. of the same day, Monomohini was sleeping on the floor of the room with a litle girl and three male, her son Krishnalal, Ramani Ranjan and Radha Govinda were sleeping on Charpoys in the same room. Some miscreants cut open the mat wall of a verandah behind this room and entered the room, threatened the males with death and took the woman away after partly gagging her. All the males kept silent and allowed her to be taken away without resistance.

She was lifted away by 2 persons and some one held her mouth. She was laid on the ground about 20 paces from the room. She was asked to keep quiet and held by the head and was kept gagged by one while another man raped her. She says she can identify the man who raped her and a man with a bald head who held her. Her people gave some names by which the Muslims called each other while going away. The next incident is a shout of Allah-Ho-Akbar by the miscreants. It appears to me that the shout was a cry of victory after having completed the crime and may be as a mark of having arranged the fresh catching incident. People from other houses came out on hearing the shout of Allah-Ho-Akbar. After this shout the men in the room shouted also. Monomohini Devi of Lamchar was first on the scene of occurence. The three men did not stir out of the room even then. Manmohan discovered her half naked and unconscious and in tremor under a mango tree. She was brought inside the room. Dr. Amiya Chakravarty arrived at the place at this time and found her in an unconscious state. She regained consciousness in about a couple of hours.

Dr. Chakravarty found the three males in the corners of the room and they were all dumb with terror and one was found to be almost in hysterics on being questioned by him. After hearing part of the story from the males I took Monomohini to a secluded room in company of Manoranjan Babu and a female member of the Choudhury house. I gave a swab to this lady and instructed her to get the swab pushed in her private part to get a smear herself. We left her and subsequently got the smear of the swab. I do not know if the smear was effectively taken. The swab was sent by me on my return to camp about 2.30 p.m. to Dr. Das Gupta at Madhupur for examination. Dr. Amiya Chakravarty and I returned through Jagatpur and Tamta. We were taken to a Bhowmick house which was wholly burnt during the riot. He told us that a B.Sc. brother of his was murdered and the house looted and burnt and the women of the house were taken away and raped. So ghastly, was the raping that one woman was left dying near the burnt house after about a week. She died there in a few hours. She was put in a grave with the usual Muslim rites by the local Muslims. Other women of the house were returned after 10 days or so. They gave a story of organized relay raping as they were moved from house to house. None of these raped woman, it is said, could leave their beds in a week after return. This fate was meted out to about 40 or more women of Jagatpur. Another man of Tamta who accompanied us from Tamta related how all the five Hindu houses of Tamta were burnt and how the women were raped for a week or more at different places and then left half-dead.
Satish Chandra Dasgupta
6.12.46

I have read this report. I was with Satish Babu the whole of this morning at Lamchar and back through Jagatpur and Tamta to our Kazir Khil camp which we reached after 2 p.m.
Amiya Chakravorty
6.12.46
Book: –
Satchallisher Diary, Prof Nirmal Kumar Basu.

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