Spike in guerilla attacks | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 11, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:03 AM, June 11, 2021

Road to Freedom: This Day in Bangladesh Liberation War History

Spike in guerilla attacks

June 11, 1971

GUERILLA ATTACKS CONTINUE

Mukti Fouj guerillas made a series of attacks on Pakistani positions in Cumilla sector in the last few days, killing at least 28 Pakistani soldiers, according to Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. Twenty soldiers were killed when guerillas ambushed a Pakistani army column near Fakirhat on June 10, 1971.

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Eight more were killed and two jeeps captured in the Miabazar area. The freedom fighters also threw grenades at the branch offices of Pakistan National Bank, Muslim Commerical Bank, Habib Bank, Town Hall and the Judge Court in Cumilla town.

Road communications in Kasba area of the same sector were disrupted and the power station of Brahmanbaria was damaged in a grenade attack.

Guerillas also launched fresh offensive in Sylhet sector where there were battles at Teliapara and Mirzapur. Recent reports from Dhaka also confirmed that guerillas were active in the East Pakistan capital.

Country-made grenades were thrown at several important buildings in Dhaka. Martial Law authorities in East Pakistan had threated "exemplary punishment" to those who threw the grenades. The authorities also said persons providing useful information about the activities of miscreants would be duly rewarded. 

CONVERSATION BETWEEN JHA AND KISSINGER

In a lunch conversation with Indian Ambassador Jha, Henry Kissinger, the US President's assistant for national security affairs, said if India took unilateral military action, it would have to mean the end of any assistance on the US's part. It would turn the issue into an international problem involving China, the Soviet Union and other great powers, in which the Bengal problem would soon be submerged, he added.

The Indian ambassador made a very eloquent defence of the Indian position. He said six million refugees had already entered India. They were in the most heavily populated states, in the states with extreme radical elements. They could shift the voting balance in Bengal, for example, entirely in the direction of the Communists. It was a matter in India of its internal stability -- there was nothing that the government wanted to do less than to go to war, but something had to be done, he added.

When Kissinger asked Jha for a solution he replied that it wasn't enough to offer the refugees to come back while new refugees were being created all the time. What was needed was a political conversation and a political solution, which he personally believed were unlikely except on the basis of independence for East Pakistan. He thought the US could stop economic aid to Pakistan or suspend it as an interim measure.

Kissinger asked for four or five months to work on the matters. He told the Indian representative that to show goodwill the US government would immediately review the aid request to see whether they could substantially increase the refugee aid.

AID TO BE DISTRIBUTED

An official of the United Nations who just returned from Pakistan said today that Yahya Khan's government would distribute United Nations relief supplies in East Pakistan. Ismat Kittani, an assistant secretary general, said he did not yet know how assurances could be obtained that the aid would actually reach the East Pakistanis but indicated that he was counting for verification on foreign officials and on the United Nations staff workers who are returning to jobs here.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that 3 million extra doses of cholera vaccine would be flown into India to protect the Indian population as refugees were moved further inside the country to new camps.

Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at sajen1986@gmail.com

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