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Exclusive: New footage of atrocities against Gaibandha Santals

  • Published at 03:00 pm December 23rd, 2016
  • Last updated at 03:50 pm December 23rd, 2016

Although news broke of three Santal men dying in the recent Gaibandha attack on November 6, a new video reveals the attackers carrying two seemingly lifeless bodies. From the beginning, the locals from the community have been reiterating that many men have gone missing since the attack. However, they could not confirm how many of the missing people are dead or alive, as many Santal men are in hiding in fear of being tried. A few of them suspect that one of the bodies from the video could be Mangal Mardi – who was confirmed dead by the police. However, the question of the identity of the two men and where they were taken still remain unresolved. Police previously confirmed three Santal men died in the Gaibandha attack. They were: Shyamol Hembrom, Ramesh Tudu and Mangal Mardi. They claim Ramesh died of natural causes and Shyamol died in the hospital. The new video, which is one minute and 18 seconds long, was released by a source on Wednesday, whom the Dhaka Tribune will not identify due to security reasons. [caption id="attachment_41646" align="aligncenter" width="800"]A Ministry of Industry truck distributing weapons to local Bangalis A Ministry of Industry truck distributing weapons to local Bangalis[/caption] The video is from the first day of Gaibandha attacks when hundreds of makeshift Santal houses were set ablaze, ransacked and looted. It shows the attackers – mill workers and Bangalis who are followers of the local lawmaker Principal Abul Kalam Azad – hurling stones. Meanwhile, armed police can be seen descending from a truck. Forty-three-seconds along the video, attackers are seen with weapons descending from a truck that bears the name of the Ministry of Industry on its body. Locals have claimed these attackers came from a different area. While talking to the Bangla Tribune, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua said: “If those involved in the attack, looting, arson and murder are not brought to justice, the criminals will be encouraged by the impunity. This will impede justice.” He added: "The victims should be quickly rehabilitated and their land must be returned to them. Whatever happened in Gabindaganj, happened out in the open.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of the state to right the wrong.” The Dhaka Tribune had previously received another video that shows policemen lighting the Santal houses on fire. However, the police have denied any such involvement.
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