War of Liberation ‘71: Gaibandha celebrates freedom anniversary | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 08, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 08, 2019

War of Liberation ‘71: Gaibandha celebrates freedom anniversary

Patuakhali residents observe theirs today

A colourful procession was brought out yesterday in Gaibandha town on the occasion of freeing the town from the occupation of Pakistan forces on the day in 1971.

Former company commander of freedom fighters Mahbub Elahi Ranju (Bir Protik) led the procession that paraded through main streets of the town, reports our correspondent in Gaibandha. 

Commemorating the day as well as the supreme sacrifices made by countless freedom fighters, a discussion was also organised in the town’s Swadhinata Prangan area. The programme was presided over by Mahbub Elahi Ranju (Bir Protik), while Gaibandha Deputy Commissioner (DC) Abdul Matin was the chief guest.

Speakers said the Pakistani occupiers turned the town, then headquarters of Gaibandha sub-division, into a killing ground. 

Prior to December 6 afternoon, when the allied forces including the freedom fighters marched towards the town from Bangladesh’s western border with India accompanied by heavy artillery gunfire, roads and bridges around the area were destroyed by freedom fighters.

Then the Indian Air Force in a barrage of air assaults sunk almost all vessels of the enemy docked around Teestamukh jetty on the Jamuna river, forcing the occupiers to abandon their positions and retreat towards the capital.

Finally, on the morning of December 7, when the freedom fighters led by commander Mahbub (Bir Protik), followed by the allied forces, entered the besieged town, thousands of locals rejoiced and welcomed them, the speakers said, adding that a huge public reception was later organised at the then the sub-divisional office ground, now renamed as Swadhinata Prangan.

Among others, Syed Shamsul Alam Hiru, president of Awami League’s Gaibandha district unit; Abu Bakkar Siddique, general secretary of the same unit of AL; Shah Masud Jahangir Kabir Milon, Gaibandha municipality mayor; Wasiker Md Iqbal Maju, former deputy commander of the freedom fighters; Shah Shariful Islam Bablu, president of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal’s Gaibandha district unit; Farhad Abdullah Harun, vice president of the district unit of AL; and Mozammel Huq Mandol, joint general secretary of the same unit; attended the discussion.  


Valiant freedom fighters freed Patuakhali from Pakistani occupation forces on this day in 1971. 

Various organisations chalked out daylong programmes to observe the day, our correspondent in Patuakhali reports.

On April 26, a month after the independence of the country was declared, the Pakistan forces with the help of ‘peace committee’ members killed scores of people, tortured women and looted several hundred houses in the district headquarters.

Setting up a camp at Patuakhali Women’s College, freedom fighters under the leadership of Nurul Huda, commander of the freedom fighter’s Patuakhali sub-sector, put up resistance against the occupiers. They engaged in a number of battles with the enemy across the district.

Abdul Awal, the then DC of Patuakhali, was killed by the occupation forces for distributing firearms from district police lines to freedom fighters. 

On November 18, the occupation forces retreated after a daylong fierce battle with freedom fighters at Panpotti village.

Later, in the last week of the month, when the liberation forces entered Patuakhali town, the Pakistani forces withdrew from Patuakhali and fled to Dhaka on a ship. Finally, the freedom fighters declared Patuakhali district liberated on December 8.  

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