1971 War Picture Surrounding Victory
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
In the month of October and November' 1971, the freedom fighters launched massive attack on Pak army which led to the final victory of our nine months' liberation war. On 23 October, 1971 the freedom fighters attacked a Razakar camp in Asashuni area of the then Khulna district, killing 64 razakars and seriously injuring 40 others. At this time they also seized 5 rifles.
On the same day, they launched a surprise attack on the invading forces at Patkelghata in present Sathkhira district and killed 15 Khansena. They also launched separate attacks on Khan's troops in the Shyamnagar and Batshala areas of Sathkhira, killing 11 Pakistani soldiers. It was learnt from the Dhaka-Comilla-Chittagong battlefield that on 26 October 1971, the Mukti Bahini destroyed a Pakistani truck with the help of a mine at Chagalnaiya. In that attack, seven regular soldiers and five irregular soldiers of the Pak army were killed. The Pakistani troops retreated as they lost their way due to the heavy attack of the freedom fighters. According to the news, the activities of the freedom fighters continued in the area for several days. It was learnt from the Mymensingh-Sylhet battlefield that in the last week of October, the guerrillas of the Mukti Bahini launched a series of attacks on Nokla, Nalitabari, Purbadhalaya and Durgapur police stations in Mymensingh district, killing ten irregular soldiers and recovering a number of weapons. On 29 October, a group of freedom fighters made a surprise attack on a group of Pak patrols near Thakurkonar and were able to kill two regular and four irregular enemy soldiers. On that day, the freedom fighters were able to blow up the railway line between Jamalpur and Bahadurghat. They forced the two Razakars, who were on guard at the time, to surrender alive. On 26 October, the freedom fighters attacked the enemy base at Dhalai Tea Garden. In the long hours of battle, 21 enemy soldiers including a captain were killed and many irregular soldiers were also killed. In this battle three of our heroic warriors were martyred while fighting. It was learnt from the Rangpur-Dinajpur-Rajshahi battlefield that on 26 October the freedom fighters launched a surprise attack on a mixed patrol of Pakistani troops in the Jagatpur area. Nine enemy soldiers were killed and four others were wounded. Earlier, on 24th October, five irregular enemy forces were killed by the freedom fighters in the same area.
On 5 November, a strong squad of the Mukti Bahini clashed with the invading forces at Asim Pura house of Fulbaria police station and a fierce clash lasted for 6 hours. The invaders suffered heavy casualties and were forced to retreat. On 11 November, the Mukti Bahini killed three Razakars, including three Punjabi invaders, in a battle at Battala in Muktagachha and arrested seven Razakars. On 13 November, fierce battles were fought between the freedom fighters and the Khan army in the villages of Islampur, Bagdanga, Sundarpur, Chhota Kolkata, Ilsamari, Devnagar, etc. on the outskirts of Nawabganj. The villagers actively helped the freedom fighters. The freedom fighters succeeded here. On 15 November, the guerrillas of the Mukti Bahini launched a surprise attack on the Pak army at Chagalnaiya in Noakhali district, killing five Pak soldiers. A curfew was imposed in Dhaka city from 5 am.
On November 18, and every house is searched. The brave freedom fighters put up all the resistance against the Pak army in different places of Dhaka. It was learned from the Rangpur-Dinajpur-Rajshahi battlefield that on 16 November the guerrilla fighters of the Mukti Bahini besieged the Pak army base in Godagari area of Rajshahi district and launched a fierce attack. Six Pak soldiers were killed and four wounded. At this time a large area in the south-west of Rajshahi district was liberated. The freedom fighters completely removed the Pakistani troops from the border posts located in the area Faridpur, Alagli, Hakimpur, Radhakantpur, Pirojpur, Puliadanga, Chilmari, Sahebnagar. On 16 November the freedom fighters shot down a Pakistani fighter jet near Cox's Bazar. The details of the incident revealed that the brave freedom fighters of Bangladesh tried to capture the city but were prevented from doing so. As a result, a fierce battle started face to face. On 21 November, a fierce battle took place between the Liberation Army and the Pak army at the Chittagong and Sylhet battlefields. In Jessore, the Pak army used tanks. But in the face of the vehement attack of the freedom fighters, they could not stand and were forced to retreat. As a result of this catastrophe of the Pak armor, the flame of the lamp of hope for the last victory in the mind of the Pak military junta seems to be slowly fading away.
On 24 November, 70 percent of Jessore Khulna Kushtia Faridpur area came under the control of Mukti Bahini. On 25 November, the Mukti Bahini chased away the Pakistani troops from Jhikargachha and captured them. At that time the flag of Bangladesh was flying everywhere in Jhikargachha. And at this time the freedom fighters were advancing at a relentless pace with the determination to liberate 10 inner districts i.e. Rangpur, Dinajpur, Bogra, Rajshahi, Pabna, Kushtia, Jessore etc. for seven days. Just as the Pak army was defeated by the freedom fighters on the battlefields of Khulna, Kushtia, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Comilla, etc. on 26th November, they were also in disarray on the outskirts of Jessore. After four days of fierce fighting, the freedom fighters captured Chaugachha. The relentless movement of the Mukti Bahini towards Jessore Cantonment is gradually moving towards success. On 28 November, the Indian Border Forces repulsed the Pakistani artillery from Healy in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, after a fierce battle, the freedom fighters liberated the city of Joypurhat within 10 miles of Hilli. On 30th November, the Mukti Fauj's operation at Nageshwari in Kurigram was a great success. The brave soldiers of our Mukti Bahini surrounded the enemy forces in Nageshwari from three sides and cut off all their communication for about 10 days. In this operation the enemy troops were dispersed and they left their uniforms and fled towards Kurigram in white costumes.
Thus, the last moment of independence is approaching. Eventually, the Pak army surrendered to the leadership of the joint forces of the Mukti Bahini and gained a red flag in Bangladesh. During this time they were able to stop the enemy forces from all sides. The freedom fighters have made remarkable progress. The invaders were upset by the river, and the ports of Mongla and Chittagong were almost useless. Meanwhile, wide areas of Bangladesh have become free from enemies. The Pakistani aggressors have lost their military equipment and finally surrendered to joint forces of Bangladesh and India amidst of joy and celebration.
(Dr. Forqan is former Deputy Director General, Bangladesh Ansar & VDP)