What happened on Monday, October 18, 1971
At around 5.30 pm, in Sector 2, a strong force of the Mukti Bahini, using mortars and RRs (Recoilless Rifle), attacked the Pak army position at Badisa Ghat in Chauddagram. In this battle, lasting for about an hour and a half, 20 Pak soldiers were killed. Along with the attack on Badisa Ghat, the Pak army was also attacked at their position in Rajasa Dighi. The attack killed at least 8 and destroyed several bunkers. Another small guerrilla group planted mines on the road near Abiura. Upon hearing the news of the attack on Badisa and Rajasa Dighi, the Pak army rushed to reinforce their comrades at the two locations, heading out with 4/5 vehicles loaded with troops. A truck and a jeep were destroyed in a landmine explosion on the way. As a result, 18 Pak soldiers were killed and 5 others, including 2 officers, were injured.
In Comilla, a platoon of freedom fighters led by Subedar Abdul Wahab attacked the Pak army at Deusha, west of Mondobhag Bazar. In this battle, 100 soldiers, including a major and a lieutenant of the Pak army, were killed and several others were wounded. The freedom fighters seized 6 MG1A3s, 7 LMGs, 60 G3 rifles, 1 wireless set, 3 mortars and a few transistors from the Pak army.
A group of freedom fighters led by Naik Subedar Ishaq launched a surprise attack on the Razakar camp at Begumganj Shamsunnahar High School in Noakhali, killing several Razakars and recovering 5 rifles.
Meanwhile, when Naik Subedar Waliullah’s guerrillas attacked the Razakar camp at Dalal Bazar in Noakhali, they saw that the Razakars were busy distributing looted clothes among themselves. They were hit hard right in the middle of this and several Razakars were killed or wounded. The remaining Razakars escaped and saved themselves. The looted clothes were later distributed among the members of the Mukti Bahini. 5 rifles were also recovered here.
At Mirganj in Noakhali, 37 Razakars and 27 policemen surrendered to Subedar Waliullah, standing in line with their weapons at their feet and hands raised above their heads, as per previously negotiated conditions.
In Sector 5, two companies of freedom fighters led by Lt. Taheruddin Akhanji left Bholaganj sub-sector for Gaurinagar village in 25 boats. When the freedom fighters came near Gaurinagar, the Pak army fired heavily on the freedom fighters from Gaurinagar. One freedom fighter was martyred and six others were seriously injured in this sudden attack from the Pak army.
A company of the 4th Bengal led by Naik Subedar Sikder Afzal Hossain entered Chapitala and set an ambush behind the Pak army position. At four o’clock in the morning, when two companies of the Pak army were advancing to strengthen their forward outposts, they came into the ambush zone of the freedom fighters at five o’clock in the morning. The battle lasted for about 4 hours. 50 Pak soldiers were killed in the battle. Immediately after the attack, the Pak army launched a fierce attack on the guerrilla position with fighter jets for 9:45 AM. However, the freedom fighters did not suffer much damage from this aerial attack.
At a function in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi refuted Pakistan’s allegations about Indian armed forces attacking the border area of Bangladesh, saying that it was the freedom fighters of the Bangladesh Liberation Army, not the Indian Army, who conflicted with their rival Pakistani army in the border areas. “The Mukti Bahini has 150 thousand freedom fighters and about 50,000 of them are members of the police, BDR and the army. They are all Bengalis and joined the resistance movement after the initial attack by the Pakistani army on the night of March 25. They are fighting for the freedom of their motherland.”
The Holy Family Hospital was handed over to the Red Cross. At the handing over ceremony, Governor Dr. A M Malik called upon the people to come forward to serve Pakistan in the spirit of service.
Pakistan People’s Party leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto announced that his party was ready to negotiate with any other political party to ally.
“Insurgency has never been successful,” East Pakistan Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Prof Shamsul Haque told a meeting of members of the Peace Committee, al-Badr forces and Razakars in Chittagong. “Attracted by the sweet rhetoric of Indian propaganda, the conspirators are going to India and spreading revolt. Even so, the President issued a general amnesty, urging all to return.” He warned the rebels that “By no means can it be allowed that 130 million people in Pakistan suffer because of a small number of insurgents.”
Abul Qashem, the finance minister of East Pakistan, said in a radio address, “I have come forward to fulfill my duty to the nation by joining as a member of the newly formed cabinet at a time when the independence of the country is at stake. We call upon those who have left this country to take refuge in the enemy’s country to return to the Pak (holy) land they have built without fear, and to devote themselves to the task of reconstruction.”
Translated by Mohammad Towhidul Islam
Editorial contribution by Arghya Raihan
Researched, compiled & Edited by Sagar Lohani
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