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Deposition of Jyotirmoee Das, Wife of Ramnath Das — A Female eyewitness of Noakhali Hindu Genocide 1946

(Collected From Saurendra Kumar Basu)

On the day of Laxmipuja, Friday at about 10 a.m. many people came armed with Teta, spear, two guns. Then we all women got on the roof. Then the rogues set fire all around.

Manindrababu, Kanu Roy (son of Pyari Roy)
went forward to seek forgiveness. Hardly had he sought forgiveness but at once cut Manu into two and pierced the spear on the breast of Kanu. Then went on uninterrupted shower of brickbats and a brick struck on the eye of describer. Then both men and women prayed for forgiveness from roof top. When the ruffians began to hurl weapons, all lay down on the roof. All of them were injured more or less and getting up prayed for life; agreed to give whatever they wanted. At this the crowd said, “At first you come down.” Then womenfolk said, “How can we come down, when fire is burning all around. Then coming up with the help of a trunk of a coconut tree cuting down they presented themselves before us and said, “Will you be converted to Muslim or not?” We agreed at once provided no oppression was meted out on us. Then they assured us to come down without fear; even they helped us to come down extending their hands and snatched away all the ornaments from our body at the time of coming down.

Symbolic image.

Before that they began to beat the male members and search for Rajenbabu. Rajen Babu was hidden under the cover of banana leaves. Rajenbabu’s wife said, they would not be able to kill Rajenbabu before killing her. A few of them caught hold of her and Rajen Babu was brought down binding his hands. As soon as he was brought down, a teta was thrown at him and it struck on the hip of Rajenbabu. Then he said, “My head is reeling, I can not stand”. Then Rajenbabu was taken under the mango tree and made to stand 20 yards away from Golam Sarwar who shot him on the breast for which he succumed. Taking him at a little distance his head was cut off. Then Golam Sarwar blew the whistle and all stopped.

When such heinous work was going on, all other male members were being murdered one by one bringing them from the roof. Nagen Roy’s eight year old son was thrown into fire from roof-top but he did not die by sheer chance. When Golam Sarwar left the place, all womenfolk were taken with him. When I was going, a turning on both sides I found Nagen Roy’s chopped body had been kept in the rice bowl and half of the body of Satishbabu was kept in the container for pulses. It was night when we reached Gholam Sarwar’s house. On seeing he asked the escort why we had been brought there and ordered to repatriate to our house. But our house was burning. Then we were kept in different Hindu and Muslim houses. In the morning we were returned back and took shelter in a small room.

At 8 in the morning a few persons brought big cane baskets and daggers and filled the baskets with cut-off heads. Only Kanubabu being seriously injured was thrown into a bush; they could not see him. Hearing his groaning cry at night, the members of Majumdar family rescued him. On next monday all the dead bodies were removed; Kanubabu died on that very day and the murderers buried him. Thereafter, one day Mr Gofran came and accompanied with him Rajenbabu’s wife and daughters but he refused to take others with him. After seven days the police appeared for the first time. In this massacre three died due to wall collapse and the rest died of injury with weapons. [Among them was Kalachand Roy’s wife Namita (Khuku), who was snatched away.]

Refugees from East Bengal.

List of the dead :
(1) Kalikumar Roy, two others died of house collapse, (4) Rajendrababu, (5) Chintaharan Babu, (6) Satish Babu, (7) Manindrababu, (8) Gopal, (9) Nagendrababu, (10) Joychandra, (11) Manmohan, (12) Harendra Roy, (13) Brojanath Das, (14) Jasoda Dhupi, (15) Two boys of Baruipara, (16) Prasanna Roy, (17) Kalu Roy, (18) Akshay Roy, (19) Surya Roy, (20) Mona, (21) Khoka, (22) Nepu, son of Surjya Roy, (23) Majumdar, (24) Kalipada Roy.

(Translated from Bengali)
Source : Satchallisher Diary of Prof. Nirmal Kumar Basu

Book: 1946 : THE GREAT CALCUTTA KILLINGS AND NOAKHALI GENOCIDE by DINESH CHANDRA SINHA : ASHOK DASGUPTA

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