Liberation War Chittagong Port | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 23, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 23, 2010

Liberation War
Chittagong Port


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The operation of August 16 in 1971 by the naval commandos in Chittagong port against the Pakistani occupation forces exposed to the world that a guerilla warfare is going on in the then East Pakistan for the liberation of Bangladesh.
Sector Commander Major Rafique directed the first naval commando operation called 'Operation Jackpot' on the ships anchored in Chittagong port on that day.
W Chowdhury, Dr Shah Alam and Majharulla of three groups of 60 naval commandos led the operation,” the operation Sub-Commander Faruk-E-Azam Bir Pratik (BP) told The Daily Star.
Naval Commando was organised as a separate fighting force during the War of Liberation although the Indian forces were generally in command.
Sector commanders were in charge during the operations. Sector Commander Major Rafique conducted the naval commando operations in Chittagong.
Local youths organised the local people for liberation war and formed the naval commandos. Nearly 550 naval commandos, majority of them from Chittagong, were active at different parts in Chittagong.
The youths eager to fight for liberation joined the naval fighters unit. Many of them received training from the freedom fighters (FF). Good swimming skill was a strict precondition to qualify for the naval fighting force.
Their training took place at camps known as Commando Camp at Ambagan in Palashi, India set up on May 26 in 1971. It was known among the commandos as the C-2 P.
The main task of the Naval Commando was to destroy ships, barges and other vessels of the occupational forces in the Bay of Bengal and the river Karnaphuli.
At the end of the operation the naval commander went back to their main outpost.
The trainers at the training camp was Captain Chumunat (Samont) and Lt Col Martis. There were only eight Bangalee trainers in the camp who fled from a submarine Mangno in France.
The commandos, with the help of locals of Port area, launched an attack on the enemy. To set Limpet mines that were brought from India, on the targeted ships was a difficult and lengthy process.
The freedom fighters (FF) began their rehearsal of war and parade in the port area on March 1. Samsuddin, a local leader of then East Bengal Chhatra Union, conducted the rehearsal.
The then Bengal Liberation Front (BLF) Operation Commander, Raisul Huq Bahar said the Pakistani officers and staffs controlled all important sectors of the Chittagong Port. Pakistani occupational army and their collaborators harassed the Bangalee employees and staffs.
“The Pakistani occupation army and Biharis killed over 100 officers and staffs during the war period,” Bahar said.
The commander who grew up in the port area recalling his memory said “With the help of Al Badrs and Razakars, the Pakistani forces killed the men like Chief Engineer Shamsuzzaman, Additional Engineer Nur Hossain, Deputy Conservator of the port Golam Ansari Kazi and Genitor Abdul Aziz Khan.”
It was difficult to enter the port residential area for the freedom fighters as the non-Bengalees kept control of the area at that time.
The locals of port area and adjoining Halishahar and Patenga helped spontaneously the naval command and freedom fighters after formation of naval commando.
The naval commandos took shelter at Kakali, residence of Enayet Maola and many other spots such as Shabuj Bagh, Jalal Commissioner's house at Agrabad, controlled by Moulovi Sayed.

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