What happened on Thursday, July 22, 1971
Addressing the members of the National and Provincial Councils, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Tajuddin Ahmed said, “The primary goal of the plans undertaken by the Bangladesh government is to save the country. The day is not far when our beloved motherland will be entirely free of her enemies.”
In Sector 7, freedom fighters led by Naib Subedar Mobassarul attacked the Mirganj Razakar camp. In this attack, 5 Razakars were killed and the telecommunications channel between Charghat with Mirganj was cut off.
Freedom fighters led by Matiar Rahman attacked a patrol group of Pak invaders with automatic weapons, near Bashail thana, about 5/6 miles west of Patharghata. 4 Pak soldiers were killed and 1 wounded in this attack. The freedom fighters recovered many weapons and ammunition and returned to their base safely.
A group of 25 freedom fighters went to the house of one Tofailuddin in Goalgaon, Mathbaria, Pirojpur, There, they set up a temporary camp to attack the Pakistani camp 2 km away. When the freedom fighters fell asleep after dinner, a servant of Tofailuddin informed the Pakistani camp about the freedom fighters’ presence there. At around one o’clock in the morning, Tofailuddin’s family and freedom fighters were attacked by Pakistani troops. The unprepared freedom fighters fired back. Freedom fighter Wazed Ali, Tofailuddin, his wife, mother-in-law, two sons and a daughter were killed in the Pakistani firing. Abdur Rahim, Momin and a few other freedom fighters were injured. The freedom fighters were forced to break the back window of the house and flee. Freedom fighter Momin died while undergoing treatment. Freedom fighter Abdur Rahim survived with grenade splinters embedded in his body.
Acting Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Mia Mohammad Tofail told a press conference in Karachi that the government should cancel the seats of Awami League members who took part in the troubles and declare those who earned second place in the elections those seats instead.
In Dhaka, the Pakistani military rulers issued the military order Nos. 157, 158 and 159. The orders empowered the collaborator Razakars to arrest any person.
Manfred Cross, an Australian MP, dismissed Pakistan’s statement that India was deliberately keeping refugees behind and not allowing them to return. “The Indian government is handling the crisis created by Pakistan very efficiently. They are showing incredible restraint. They are providing help and sympathy to the refugees. Honestly, this government is behaving morally and humanely. UNHCR Director Thomas Jameson, the Chief Representative of the UNHCR Office in India, recently visited a refugee camp. In addition, 1,000 foreign observers visited the refugee camps and most of them publicly stated that the refugees were taking refuge in India because of the military operation in Bangladesh and would return if appropriate safety conditions were created. The main problem for East Bengal is that an army coming from far away is brutally oppressing them. If the international community is aware of the need to take steps for the return of refugees to East Bengal, it is possible to restore normalcy inside East Pakistan through a political settlement acceptable to the leaders already elected there.”
Chief of the Pakistan Navy Vice Admiral Muzaffar Hasan told the Navy in Chittagong that steps would be taken to make the navy more effective.
A meeting of anti-independence activists was held at Kalitara Bazar in Noakhali under the chairmanship of District Peace Committee Chairman Advocate Sayedul Haque. Speakers at the meeting expressed their determination to protect the country from freedom fighters and ‘miscreants’.
According to an editorial published in Anandabazar, “The minority Buddhists in various parts of East Bengal, especially in Chittagong, have become homeless like all others due to the brutality of the Pakistani army. It has become impossible to survive in the infernal situation created by the invading forces, who have been burning temples and houses and abusing women in monstrous ways. To save their lives, 20,000 Buddhists have taken refuge in the mountains of Burma’s Arakan region. About 15,000 Buddhists have also come to the Mizo hills of Assam. We have to overlook the religion or ideology of the afflicted and endangered people and treat all with the same liberal humanistic attitude. Once we saw Hitler’s Jews being driven out of Germany in droves and scattered around the world. With indomitable vitality and strong cultural self-confidence, they have survived even the worst of disasters. They managed to stand back up on their own feet. The dictator Hitler left the arena of history in the ashes of defeat. Bengali Buddhists will one day be entitled to victory in this way.”
According to World Press Review On Bangladesh, an English language program aired on Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, “A section of the world is referring to the freedom struggle of the people of Bangladesh as ‘separatism’ or ‘a separatist movement’. Ordinary people do not understand the nuances of the movement in Bangladesh; that this movement is very different. Although there was global sympathy against the genocide initiated by Pakistan, very few newspapers, especially from the United States, highlighted these differences and asserted that Bangladesh’s victory was inevitable. It is time to explain to the world in all possible ways that a separatist movement and the struggle for national independence for which the people of Bangladesh are dying at the hands of a foreign military force…there is a radical difference between the two. The Muslims of divided Bengal did not understand the true nature of the transfer of power in the wake of liberation from two hundred years of harsh colonial rule. The colonial British government left power in the hands of those through whom their interests were protected. This group, led by the military junta, knew that their exploitation could not last forever. With this in mind, they always took care that no more than ten percent of the armed forces were Bengalis. In this way, they thought they had eliminated the possibility of armed rebellion. But history stunned them. This cursed union lasted for 23 years only because of the natural patience of the Bengalis.”
According to Mujibnagar sources, “Freedom fighters of Bangladesh have increased their activities in various battlefields of East Bengal. The freedom fighters have been continuously attacking the Pak army bases in Srihatta, Rajshahi and Kushtia districts. In the last 24 hours, many Pak soldiers have been killed and injured in the attacks by the freedom fighters. Many important bridges and communication systems have been destroyed. In the Shrihat sector, the guerrillas blew up an important bridge in Baralekha. At the same time, 24 Pakistanis, including 6 collaborators, were killed. Last night, the freedom fighters launched a surprise attack on Rajshahi city and captured four Razakars and two collaborators. At night the Pakistani soldiers took refuge in the Rajshahi army camp.” “The Mukti Bahini guerrillas also exchanged heavy fire with the Pak army at Kala Chandpur near Meherpur in Kushtia district last night. Many Pak soldiers were killed in the clash. Kushtia district freedom fighter commandos have advanced to Kumarkhali, Chitra and Alamdanga. On Tuesday, the guerrillas of the Mukti Bahini attacked several Pak army positions in the city of Comilla and the Pak army fled to the Mainamati army camp, five kilometers away, to save their lives. Sources say that the morale of the Pak army has broken down. On the other hand, these guerrilla attacks have given new strength and courage to the people of Bangladesh.” “A group of Pak soldiers was injured in a guerrilla mortar attack in the busy Kandirpar area of Comilla town. The freedom fighters carried out mortar attacks on Rajganj Thana, Circuit House and Comilla Cantonment. The Pak army suffered many casualties in these clashes.” “Last night in Kushtia district, the freedom fighters clashed with the Pak army and exchanged fire. The freedom fighters attacked the Meherpur powerhouse in the Kushtia district last night and destroyed the transformer. The guerrillas attacked the Pak Muslim League office in Kushtia and killed a league leader.”
Translated by Mohammad Towhidul Islam
Editorial contribution by Arghya Raihan
Researched, compiled & Edited by Sagar Lohani
Other days of Roaring 1971: