The villages of Rampura and Kukrail 80 miles (130 klms) from the Bangladesh capital of Dacca have recently suffered immense damage.
The villages of Rampura and Kukrail 80 miles (130 klms) from the Bangladesh capital of Dacca have recently suffered immense damage. The villagers have lost much of their grain supply and had their homes and their industries destroyed.
The villagers claim that the perpetrators of this destruction were 150 policemen who entered the village on 29 March, drove off the villagers and then set about destroying everything in sight. The previous week a policeman had been beaten to death in the area. The villagers allege that the policeman had come to carry out a theft, while the police claim he was on the track of some smugglers.
When Visnews cameraman, Atiqual Alam, entered the village on Sunday (7 April), there were widespread scenes of devastation. One woman was wailing hysterically because she feared that she and her children would now starve. Another had burn marks.
The villagers are largely made up of 5,000 handloom weavers who have now had their livelihood taken away.
'Tiger' Kafer Siddiky -- a local hero for his part in the 1971 war against Pakistan -- has taken the side of the villagers.
At the end of March a group of prominent people met in Dacca to offer legal assistance to people held in prison without trial and to protest against some actions of the police and the para-military Rakkhi Bahini in the countryside.