159Published on December 15, 2021
The indomitable courage of our Bengalis and the blood of the freedom fighters wrote the history of the War of Independence of Bangladesh. Under the indomitable leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the heroic Bengali, with their long aspirations for freedom, finally achieved the great victory on December 16, 1971. As soon as Bangabandhu formally declared independence on March 26 amid the exploitation and oppression of the Pakistanis for two decades, countrywide resistance against the Pakistani junta started in every region. The freedom fighters continued the guerrilla war against the sophisticated weapons of the junta. But at one stage, the neighbouring Indian army launched a direct frontline war against the Pakistanis in support of the freedom fighters that led to the defeat of the Pakistani junta and our much-awaited victory.
The Pakistan army started mass killings and raping the Bengalis on the night of March 25, 1971. Approximately one crore Bengalis took refugees to neighbouring India to flee the genocide. The generous Indian people stood beside the helpless Bengalis from the humanitarian ground. It was the Indian government that provided food and shelter to these one crore refugees. At the same time, the Bengali leaders got the opportunity to get enrolled in training for the freedom fighters at Theater Road in Kolkata.
The Bengali commanders continued to conduct the Liberation War under the direction of the expatriate government from Indian soil. Initially, the freedom fighters started entering the country and conducting operations against the Pakistani occupying forces in the guerilla-style. Later, they set up camps in parts of Bangladesh bordering India. Getting trained from India, new freedom fighters also started joining these camps. Then they spread out to different parts of the country and took part in the war under the sector commanders.
The Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, made arrangements to let the world know the facts of the humanitarian catastrophe by the Pakistanis. So, Pakistan became enraged with India. On December 3, they carried out bomb attacks on Indian soil. Then, the Indian forces entered Bangladesh to directly cooperate with the freedom fighters. This joint force of the freedom fighters and the Indian army was named the Allied Forces.
A total of 1421 Indian officers were killed on the soil of Bengal in the last two weeks of the frontline battle against the Pakistani junta. Also, 4,058 trained soldiers were wounded. Twenty-four Indian tanks were destroyed and 13 more were damaged while 14 planes were also crashed. The Indian engineers built around 10,000 ft. bridge on different rivers and dilapidated roads to reach Indian troops to Dhaka from the border. The engineers played a crucial in the war too.
The high-ranked Indian generals highly praised the freedom fighters in the context of victory in the war. According to their autobiographies, the guerrilla operations of the Mukti Bahini had alienated the Pakistanis. The indomitable courage of the freedom fighters made the Pakistanis confidence-less and shook their foundations. So, when the Indian troops joined with the freedom fighters at the end of the war, the Pakistanis became panicked, and it accelerated the victory of Bangladesh.