Book Excerpt: 'Countless Were killed, Many Raped,' Say Eyewitnesses of Bengal's Marichjhapi Massacre

Blood Island
An Oral History of the Marichjhapi Massacre
Book Excerpt 

Forty years ago, Sukhoranjan Sengupta filed his last dispatch on Marichjhapi. He says he remembers every shriveled body, every pair of hollow eyes he saw that day. It took me some effort to track this septuagenarian in Kolkata and convince him to talk about Marichjhapi. Sengupta has been mentor to some of my seniors and I hide my awe as I
furiously jot down his story.

Sengupta is quite the Bengali bhadralok with his impeccable manners and neat kurta- pajama but, funnily, he reminds me of that infamous American gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson, who spent his life documenting sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in Vegas’ dirty alleys and elsewhere. Thompson brought in an experiential style of journalism where
reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories. 

Sitting in the sparse drawing room of his two-bedroom government apartment as he . . .