The ultimate victory started becoming visible as decisive fights of the freedom fighters and allied forces started defeating and pushing back the occupation forces from Rangpur region since beginning of December, 1971.
The crucial struggles for independence sparked in the region centering Rangpur since beginning of March when common people began showing stiff resistance against the Pakistani junta with the only target of achieving victory.
The Bangalee nation guessed the deep-rooted conspiracy of hatred Pakistani President Yahiya Khan who cancelled on March 1 the scheduled parliament sitting on March 3 and declared curfew on the day.
Rejecting cancellation of the scheduled parliament session vehemently, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called strike on March 2 in Dhaka and March 3 in the country when people of Rangpur started becoming mobilised.
Without making any delay, thousands of people brought out protest processions breaking curfew in Rangpur city on March 3 challenging the Pakistani regime.
The crucial struggles factually began in Rangpur from March 3 when minor boy Sangku Samajhder, 12, embraced martyrdom as non-Bengali Sarforaz Khan opened gunfire on him in the protest procession at 9 am.
Rangpur turned into a volatile city through sacrificing Sangku along with two of its other brave sons on March 3 when the situation went out of control of the Pakistani regime forcing them to declare curfew from March 3 to 5 in the city.
Former District Muktijoddha Commander Mosaddek Hossain said, “Bangabandhu in his historic March 7 speech in 1971 mentioned martyrdoms of the heroic Rangpur sons on March 3.”
As per directions of Bangabandhu in his historic March 7 speech, the people of Rangpur decisively started marching to achieve independence.
On March 17, Convener of Rangpur unit of Chhatra Sangram Parishad Rafikul Islam Golap received the flag of ‘Swadhin Bangla’ and manifesto of independence sent from the central leaders of the organisation at Dhaka.
The struggles for independence soon took irreversible shape with participation of common people when Golap hoisted the flag of ‘Swadhin Bangla’ at residence of the then Deputy Commissioner of Rangpur on March 23. At the same time, Chhatra League leader Elias Ahmed hoisted the flag of ‘Swadhin Bangla’ at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in the city. On March 24, one Sahed Ali, a butcher by profession, suddenly snatched away an LMG from a Pakistani soldier and instantly hit Pakistani Lieutenant Abbas at Nisbetganj area in the city when they were standing there by the side of a jeep.
Critically injured Lieutenant Abbas succumbed in the hospital at that night and it was the first successful assault of the heroic Rangpur people on the occupation forces.
“On March 28, three days after the March 25 crackdowns by Pakistani army on innocent Bangalees, over 30,000 of heroic Rangpur people demonstrated sparkling heroism while attacking Rangpur cantonment with indigenous weapons to capture it,” Bablu said. Around 600 heroic sons belonging to the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Oraon, Santal and other ethnic communities embraced martyrdoms in the bid setting up an unprecedented example of heroism and sacrifice to achieve independence.
Since April in 1971, the Pakistani occupation forces with local collaborators continued unprecedented genocides and atrocities against humanity further uniting the Bangalees when the War of Liberation started getting organised shape in Rangpur region.
The freedom fighters started defeating the occupation forces from the end of November in many battles to become insuperable from the beginning of December when the Indian Mitra Bahini (Allied Forces) joined them making victory quite noticeable.
“The freedom fighters and allied forces liberated Panchagarh on November 29, Thakurgaon on December 3, Chilahati on December 5 and Kurigram on December 6 and so on till ultimate liberation of Rangpur on December 16 in the region,” Bablu added.