Mandai massacre

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Mandai massacre
Mandai massacre is located in India
Mandai massacre
Location Mandwi, West Tripura, Tripura, India
Date 8 June 1980 (UTC+5:30)
Target Bengali Hindus
Attack type
Massacre
Weapons Guns, spears, swords, scythes, bows and arrows
Deaths 350-400
Perpetrators Tripuri insurgents

Mandwi massacre refers to the general massacre of the Bengali Hindus of Mandwi village near Agartala in the Indian state of Tripura on 8 June 1980, by tribal insurgents. According to official figures 255 Hindus were massacred in Mandwi, while foreign presses, independent sources and eyewitnesses put the figure anywhere between 350 and 400. Many of the victims had their heads crushed and their limbs severed. The children were spiked through.[1] Pregnant women had their stomach slit open. The Amrita Bazar Patrika described the Mandwi massacre as My Lai massacre put into shade.[2] According to Major R. Rajamani, the commander of the Indian army contingent that arrived on 9 June, the My Lai massacre was not even half as gruesome as in Mandwi.[3]

Background[edit]

Mandwi was an obscure village located about 30 km north east of Agartala. The name of the village was incorrectly spelled as Mandai in the land records. The village was inhabited both by the Tripuri Hindus and the Bengali.

Events[edit]

On the night of 6 June, local TUJS (Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti) and TNV leaders chalked out a blueprint of the massacre of the Bengali Hindus.[4] From the night of 6 June, armed tribal insurgents began cordoning off the Bengali Hindu localities. From the morning of 7 June, news of arson, violence and murder began to spread. The Bengali Hindus who stayed deep in the tribal pockets felt intimidated and started to leave for safety. Thousands of Bengali Hindus took shelter near the National Highway 44. The BDO of Jirania, had opened a relief camp at Khayerpur School and started administering initial relief to the Bengali Hindu refugees. Shankar Narayan, the District Magistrate of West Tripura was intimated by that time and he asked BDO of Jirania to provide the refugees chira and gur.

From the afternoon of 7 June, the situation worsened. In the evening there were reports of large scale arson and looting in Jirania block. At 7:00 p.m. Sharma rushed to the District Magistrate office where he appraised Additional District Magistrate M. L. Dasgupta of the situation, who requisitioned two companies of the army. The army units however were given orders of flag march only. In the meantime Sharma received reports that the situation had turned grave in Champaknagar and the rioters were committing arson on the Bengali Hindu villages in the foothills of Baramura.

On 8 June, at 3:00 a.m., Satyendra Chakraborty, the LAMPS manager of Mandwi and Sachindra Saha, a CPI(M) leader reported at the B.D.O. office that more than 500 Bengali Hindus in Mandwi have been cordoned off and the armed Tripuris are about to kill them. Many Bengali Hindus had taken shelter at the police outpost in Mandwi, which remained unmanned.

At 6:00 a.m., a contingent of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary and a platoon of Tripura Armed Police proceed towards Mandwi from Jirania. On their way they found an entire village on flames in Purba Noabadi. After dousing the flames, they proceeded towards Mandwi. By the time they reached Mandwi all the houses and huts were reduced to ashes, except the LAMPS building. The entire place were full of blood as most of them were hacked to death. At the police outpost two Bengali Hindu women were killed by Jiban Debbarma. After two hours, the injured were sent to GB hospital in a truck.

According to UNI reports, the attackers inserted sharp weapons in the genitalia of the victim women.[5]

Investigation[edit]

On 8 July 1980, the Ministry of Home Affairs set up the Dinesh Singh Committee to investigate into the Mandwi massacre.Not a single arrest has been made till date.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "350 Bengalis Are Massacred in Indian Village". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 16, 1980. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ Ghosh, Kamalini (1984). Tribal Insurrection in Tripura: A Study in Relative Deprivation. Hyderabad: Booklinks. p. 98. 
  3. ^ "Indian tribe massacres 350 'outsiders'". The Miami News. June 16, 1980. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Paul, Manas (2010). The Eyewitness: Tales from Tripura's Ethnic Conflict. Lancer Publishers. pp. 86–94. ISBN 1935501151. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Indian tribesmen reportedly massacre Bengali villagers". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. June 17, 1980. Retrieved August 20, 2012.