Barisal, Ramgarh freed today
On this day in 1971, Barisal and Ramgarh Upazila of Khagrachhari District were freed from the clutches of Pakistani occupation forces.
BARISAL: The day would be observed here with a demand to preserve the liberation war memorials.
On this day in 1971, freedom fighters took control of Barisal town, the-then district headquarters and the second largest river port of the country, defeating Pakistani occupation army in several remarkable encounters.
In memory of the liberation war and the war martyrs, a memorial adjacent to Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Complex was built in 2004, a memorial plaque of martyrs near deputy commissioner's office was built in 2006, and the 'Bijoy Bihango' (the bird of victory) at Amtala crossing of the city was built in 2009.
However, the mass killing ground at Barisal cantonment near the Kirtankhola River, one of the major spots where a huge number of freedom fighters were detained, tortured and killed and later their bodies were dumped in the river by Pakistani occupation army, has not only remained in a bad shape but is on the verge of total destruction, said a valiant freedom fighter Enayet Hossain Chowdhury.
The Pakistani occupation forces, after an air raid on April 17, 1971, occupied the-then Barisal town on April 25, 1971, said some eyewitnesses of the day.
The occupation army opened its regional headquarters and cantonment at the WAPDA Complex on the bank of the Kirtankhola River.
At the ending part of the liberation war, the Pakistan-controlled local administration had announced an indefinite curfew on the night of December 7.
After about nine-month long occupation, the Pakistani forces, numbering around 400 and some of their collaborators, left Barisal on December 8 morning through waterway as the freedom fighters had surrounded the town and disrupted road communications.
Four fighter planes of the Indian Air Force destroyed all water transports killing most of the Pakistan army personnel and their collaborators on the day.
At about 10:30am on December 8, 1971, a group of freedom fighters, led by Base Commander Sultan Master, entered from southern and western parts and captured Barisal Kotwali Police Station.
As Base Commanders Nizamuddin and Mazid Khan and Sub-Sector Commander Shahjahan Omar entered the town, Barisal came under the control of the freedom fighters by the afternoon on December 8.
The collaborators, who took shelter inside WAPDA complex, surrendered to former District Awami League Secretary and Organiser of liberation movement in Barisal Nurul Islam Manjur and Sub-Sector Commander Mahfuz Alam Beg on December 8.
To mark the day, Barisal District Command of Muktijoddha Sangsad will organise a rally from Barisal Government Girls' School, the first secretariat of liberation war in southern region declared on March 26, 1971.
KHAGRACHHARI: People of Ramgarh Upazila of the district demanded to set up memorial plaque aiming to preserve the contribution of freedom fighters during the liberation war.
District Unit Muktijoddha Commander Mohammad Rois Uddin said the freedom fighters under no. 1 sector and people of Ramgarh have great contribution to the liberation war.
Many people went to Tripura State of India crossing the Feni River where they took training and after coming back, started fighting against Pakistani military.
The joint forces including the Indian Army ensued air attack on Pakistani military on December 6, 1971. After this, the occupation forces fled towards Chittagong.
The freedom fighters entered Ramgarh on December 8 and hoisted the national flag of independent Bangladesh in front of Ramgarh post office.
"There is a graveyard of freedom fighter Captain Aftabul Qader who sacrificed his life on April 17, 1971. But there is no memorial to recall the memory of the great liberation war," said Nizam Uddin Lablu, a local journalist.
A local youth Kawsar Habib Shubon urged the concerned department to build a liberation war memorial in Ramgarh.
Deputy Commissioner of Khagrachhari Md Rashedul Islam assured that he would write to the concerned ministry to set up a memorial in Ramgarh.