What happened on Saturday, October 09, 1971
The passing-out ceremony of the first batch of army officers (SS-1) who had completed the 14-week Bangladesh course was held at the Murti camp adjacent to the Bhutan border. Sixty-one young men had received this training and among them, Cadet Officer Sayeed Ahmed received the Sword of Honour. The ceremony was attended by Acting President Syed Nazrul Islam, Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed and Chief of Army Staff General M A G Osmani, among others.
In her inaugural address at the All India Congress Conference in Shimla, India, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared, “The Government of India stands by the just struggle of the people of Bangladesh and will continue to do so in the future. In any case, my government will take the right steps on the Bangladesh issue. India wants to repatriate Bangladeshi refugees.”
On the night of 8 October, i.e. in the early hours of 9 October, guerrillas led by freedom fighter Habibur Rahman Swapan attacked that impregnable fortress of the Pak army, Dhaka Cantonment. From Badda-Gulshan area, 81 mm mortar shelling was carried out targeting Dhaka Cantonment. But unfortunately, the mortars hit just 600 meters away from the target. One shell fell in the middle of a barracks in the cantonment. The guerrillas also fired mortar shells at the Dhaka airport at the same time, but these shells fell into the factory of a tobacco company in Mohakhali. Although the Pak army did not suffer many losses as a result, the attack on the heart of the Pak army’s presence in Bangladesh still dealt a severe blow to the morale of the Pak army and the military rulers.
In Comilla, a group of Pak soldiers attacked a freedom fighter camp at the Jagalpur, in the Burichang area. The freedom fighters put up a fierce resistance for 4 hours. Several Pak soldiers were killed and 5 were captured by the guerrillas, while one of the freedom fighters was martyred, 2 wounded and one was taken prisoner by the Pak army.
The freedom fighters attacked the Bagerhat Pak army base in Khulna district. The attack killed 10 soldiers, including an officer of the Pak army, and seriously injured many others. The freedom fighters seized a large number of arms and ammunition from the Pak army.
In the Banpur sub-sector of Sector 8, a group of freedom fighters ambushed a platoon of Pak soldiers at Kushdanga. 11 Pak soldiers were killed in this ambush. On this side, 1 freedom fighter was injured.
Habibur Rahman Bipul, a Razakar commander in the Halidabari area of the Rangpur district, surrendered to the freedom fighters, along with a great number of weapons.
A large number of Razakars in the Gaibandha region surrendered to the freedom fighters and pledged to take part in the Liberation War.
General Yahya Khan, the Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan, passed a proclamation that lifted Military Rule no. 76 and issued Military Rule no. 94. The order lifted the ban on political activities by instead imposing restrictions on propaganda harmful to ‘Pakistan’s unity and integrity or ideology’.
Shah Azizur Rahman, a member of the Pakistani delegation to the United Nations, said that the number of refugees fleeing to India was a little over 2 million, not 9 million.
At a press conference in Dhaka, Muslim League (Qayyum) chief Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan recommended to the government the dismissal of teachers who did not believe in Pakistan’s ideals, the need for it to be compulsory for youths to join the Razakar forces and the recruitment of specially trained Razakars instead of workers to work at mills and factories.
According to a press note from the Election Commission, the pre-announced by-election nomination papers had to be submitted on October 20 and the rest on November 1.
According to a report in the Hindustan Standard, “The Mukti Bahini continues to attack the Pak army indiscriminately throughout the city of Sylhet. The Mukti Bahini has occupied Habiganj, Sunamganj subdivision and the whole of North Sylhet. In addition, freedom fighters are fighting in Gowainghat, Sari, Salutikar, Kanaighat, Srimangal and Shamsernagar. So far 10,000 guerrillas of the Mukti Bahini are fighting against the Pak army in that area.”
Translated by Mohammad Towhidul Islam
Editorial contribution by Arghya Raihan
Researched, compiled & Edited by Sagar Lohani
Other days of Roaring 1971:
অগ্নিঝরা একাত্তরের দিনগুলো, বাংলায় পড়ুন:
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