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Flashback March 1971

Crack Platoon of FF exchange fire with Pak army in Jinjira

Published : Sunday, 29 March, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 486

The curfew is loosened in Dhaka city from 7:00am in the morning to 4:00pm in the evening on March 28
in 1971.
Later that night help is sought from the people of the world via the
"Shwadhin Bangla Biplobi Betar Kendro" from Chittagong.
Pakistan Navy fired shots in the port city in various areas. And in the port area, the Pakistan Navy disarms the Bangladeshi Navy men and murdered them.
On the other side of Dhaka, in Jinjira, freedom fighters and Pak army exchange gunfire. Almost 3/4th of the country remains in control of the freedom fighters.
The government of Indonesia and Iran expressed support for West Pakistan on March 28 in 1971.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) opened Bangladesh-India border to allow the tortured and panic stricken Bengalis to have safe shelter in India. The governments of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura established refugee camps along the border.
These camps became ready ground for recruitment of the freedom fighters. The students, peasants, workers and political activists joined the Mukti Bahini with high spirit to liberate Bangladesh from the Pakistan army.
Later they were given training on tactics and the use of arms and explosives. On completion of training, they were posted to different sectors to fight the enemy. The headquarters of the Bangladesh Forces was established at 8 Theatre Road in  Calcutta which started functioning from April 12  in 1971. Lt Col MA Rab and Group Captain AK Khandaker were appointed as Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff respectively.
After one of the deadliest nights in the country on March 25, the arrest of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the declaration of independence on March 26, freedom fighters kept fighting against the Pakistan army. In different areas of East Pakistan.  
Besides Mukti Bahini, different guerilla bahinis were organised inside Bangladesh at different places to fight Pakistan army. These Bahinis included Kader Bahini of Tangail, Latif Mirza Bahini of Sirajganj, Akbar Hossain Bahini of Jhinaidah, Hemayet Bahini of Faridpur, Quddus Molla and Gafur Bahini of Barisal, Afsar Bahini of Mymensingh and Aftab Bahini of Mymensingh. A Crack Platoon consisting of daring youths operated most valiantly in Dhaka city as well. These Bahinis were established as a local force based on their own strength taking part in a number of battles with the occupation army. Siraj Sikdar, leader of Sarbahara Party, also organised his force in Barisal. Another Bahini named as Mujib Bahini was organised in India with the active assistance of Maj Gen Oban of the Indian army who was an expert in guerilla warfare. Mujib Bahini was trained at Dehradun. Student League leaders Sheikh Fazlul Haq Mani, Tofael Ahmed, Abdur Razzak and Sirajul Alam Khan were organisers of this Bahini.
Mukti Bahini consisted of the regular and the irregular forces. The regulars were later called 'Niamita Bahini' (regular force) and the irregulars were called 'Gana Bahini' (people's force). The regulars included East Bengal Regiment and EPR troops. The irregular forces, which after initial training joined different sectors, consisted of the students, peasants, workers and political activists.
Meanwhile, American Consul General to Dhaka Archer Blood sent to Washington a telegram on his observations at Dhaka, under the heading "Selective genocide." He reported that they are "mute and horrified by a reign of terror by the Pakistan military" in East Pakistan. Blood pointed towards surfacing evidence suggesting that Awami League supporters and Hindus were being systematically targeted by the martial law administrators. He also reported that Prof Dev, Prof Fazlul Haque, Prof Abedin, along with many DU teachers and MPA's, have been killed.
On the other hand, in the Memorandum for Dr Henry Kissinger, Situation in Pakistan, NSC official Samuel L Hoskinson told that events in East Pakistan had taken a turn for the worse. It also acknowledged both American recognition of the "reign of terror" conducted by West Pakistan and the need to address the new policy issues that have been created as a result of the terror.
American television broadcasting centres CBS and NBC claimed that "East Pakistan Rebellion [has been] crushed."

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