On this day in 1971, the freedom fighters along with allied forces bravely liberated Thakurgaon town on December 3, 1971 after liberating Panchagarh town on November 29 from the clutches of the Pakistan occupation forces.
On this day, December 3 in 1971, the liberation forces gained their fullness to launch fierce combined attack on the enemy forces, continued pounding heavily and relentlessly on Pakistani military camps and other occupied places, thus started paralysing the occupation forces defence capability.
On 3 December 1971, the war spread out as Pakistan attacked the western frontier of India from air and land.
Joint force of Bangladesh and India then started operations in the border areas. The Indian army entered Bangladesh from seven points and attacked Pakistan army bases with full strength.
On 3 December 1971, Pakistan Air Force had carried out preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian Air Force stations, setting off hostilities between the two neighbours.
Indian Primer Mister Indira Gandhi cuts short her Kolkata visit and returns to New Delhi.
In a radio speech for the nation, she said that Pakistan operated all-pervading attack on India.
The nation has to deal with it at any cost. She asks Indian citizens to be ready for the ultimate sacrifice.
All flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) between East and West cancelled. The junta imposed curfew and blackout in Dhaka.
US Senator William Saxby told journalists at Rawalpindi that he could not meet the banned Awami League leader Sheikh Mujib after several attempts.
Saran Singh, foreign minister of India, told parliament in New Delhi that India was trying to convince the US and a few other countries for stopping Pakistani oppression in Bangladesh, but without avail.
The arbitrary entrance of Bangladeshi refugees in India and shelling by Pakistani army in the border areas were threatening India’s security.
The rebel 4th and 10th East Bengal Regiments advanced from Feni and reach Rejumia Bridge.
Captain Mahfuz of Sector 1 along with his force joined them.
The joint force started advancing on Chittagong by the Muhuri river and the Feni-Chittagong highway.
BSS adds; the triumphant freedom fighters along with Indian allied forces gallantly liberated Thakurgaon town from the Pakistani occupation forces bringing the taste of ultimate freedom to local people on December 3, 1971.
According to local freedom fighters and elderly citizens of Thakurgaon, the occupation forces failed to enter Thakurgaon town till April 14, 1971, following stiff resistance of freedom fighters.
“The occupation forces entered Thakurgaon with heavy armaments on April 15 when freedom fighters took positions in nearby occupation-free Tentulia frontiers,” said former Thakurgaon District Muktijoddha Commander freedom fighter Md. Badruddoza Badar.
Thakurgaon was under the Sector no-6 during the War of Liberation under command of Sector Commander Squadron Leader M. Khademul Bashar.
“When the ultimate victory started becoming imminent after liberation of Panchagarh on November 29, 1971, the occupation forces began to retreat from northern frontiers and set up their camp at the then Thakurgaon EPR camp,” he said.
While retreating, the occupation forces blew up the ‘Bhulli’ Bridge on November 30 and planted dozens of underground mines at Salandar area near Thakurgaon town to create hindrance to entrance of freedom fighters and Indian allied forces.
“The freedom fighters and allied forces quickly repaired the ‘Bhulli’ Bridge and tried to enter Thakurgaon town. But, they faced severe obstructions due to underground mines placed in the area by the retreating occupation forces,” Badar added.
Former Thakurgaon District Deputy Muktijoddha Commander Abdul Mannan said two tanks of the allied forces were destroyed due to mine blasts at ‘Bhulli’ area and the other mines were soon removed under leadership of Muktijoddha Commander Mahbub Alam.
“Understanding their definite defeat, the Pakistani occupation forces retreated further and set up their base at the 25-Mile point on the Thakurgaon-Dinajpur road on December 2, 1971 after heavy shelling by the allied forces,” Mannan said.
Elderly citizens Advocate Syed Alam of Baliadangi and Mohsin Ali Sarker of Haripur said the triumphant freedom fighters and allied forces coming from Tentulia frontier in Panchagarh entered the soil of liberated Thakurgaon town on December 3.
Eyewitness Abdul Latif of Thakurgaon said thousands of people of Thakurgaon town and surrounding areas welcomed the freedom fighters and allied forces chanting sky-cracking slogan of ‘Joy Bangla’ turning Thakurgaon into a place of jubilation.
“The freedom fighters and allied forces, after defeating the Pakistani army, and crushing their defenses at Panchagarh, Moidandighee, Boda and Bhulli, also entered Thakurgaon town from the northern side,” Latif said.
Former Ranisonkoil Upazila Muktijoddha Commander Sirajul Islam said many other contingents of freedom fighters coming from Atwari, Ruhea, Akhanagar, Baliadangi and Lahirihat also entered Thakurgaon town from the western side on the day.
“Hundreds of freedom fighters along with thousands of common people paraded different roads of Thakurgaon town chanting victorious slogan of ‘Joy Bangla’ and hoisted the victory flag at Chowrasta Mour of the town,” Islam said.
Thakurgaon District Muktijoddha Sangshad with district administration and other organisations will celebrate the Thakurgaon Freedom Day-2020 through limited programmes tomorrow in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.