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December 13, 1971

Dhaka surrounded by Allied Force

  • Rajib Kanti Roy
  • 13 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Dhaka surrounded by Allied Force

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Indian troops joined the Muktibahini (freedom fighters) in different war zones. They fought together against the Pakistan occupation forces, defeated them and then advanced towards Dhaka.

On December 13 in 1971, several advanced groups of freedom fighters were sent to different places leading to Dhaka to assess the resistance capability of Pak army and their collaborators (Razakars) in a bid to remove all obstacles.

Therefore, the Allied Force hardly faced any tough challenge. They cordoned off Dhaka from all sides, which suggested imminent defeat of the Pak occupation forces in the war. On this day, Pakistan troops made a strong defence line on the eastern bank of the Balu River before the arrival of the joint forces. Khilgaon and Basabo were the strong defence areas for the Pak occupiers.

The Allied Force changed their war tactics in order to ensure quick fall of Dhaka and this strategic move, they believed, would lead to the formal defeat of Pakistani troops in the war.

An advanced group of Bangladesh army, as the first unit of the regular forces of Bangladesh, reached Narayanganj’s Murapara on the east bank of Shitalakhya. Crossing the Balu and Shitalakkhya rivers, they took position only 5-6 miles away from Dhaka.

On this day, the joint forces reached the outskirts of Dhaka via Joydebpur, Tongi and Savar. Lt. Colonel KM Shafiullah’s ‘S’ force reached Demra in Dhaka.

Another group of troops from the Allied Force reached within 15 miles of Dhaka from the eastern and northern sides.

Major General Gandharv Sing Nagra reached Tangail at 9:00pm to share the war plan with Brigadier Kler and Brigadier Sing who were waiting for him there since evening on the day.

They sat together at Wapda rest house to discuss next course of action.

Major General Nagra appreciated the courage and intelligence of the Muktibahini and said, “If they did not help us coming all the way till here without facing any battles, we would be tired on the road due to the fighting and skirmishes.”

Later, two advanced brigades of division number 57 reached near Dhaka from the east side while another brigade led by Major General Nagra carried out attack from the north side. Division number 4 also reached the bank of the Padma River on the day.

Hundreds of Pakistani troops surrendered in different parts of Bangladesh on this day. Some 107 Pakistani troops, including the commander of the 48th Punjab Regiment, surrendered at Syedpur.

The Allied Force in the northern region started advancing towards Bogura from Gaibandha’s Gobindaganj. A Pakistan regiment equipped with artillery and tanks waiting in Bogura built heavy defensive resistance.

In the night, the Allied Force cordoned off Bogura town. Three battalions launched attacks from northern, southern and north-eastern part of the town on this day.

In Khulna and Chattogram, the freedom fighters and local people fought incessantly with the invaders while excitement gripped the leaders of the Mujibnagar government.

Acting President of Bangladesh Syed Nazrul Islam and Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmad in a statement said, “The Government of Bangladesh will provide all possible facilities for the UN staffs, diplomats, envoys and foreign nationals who want to leave Bangladesh safely.”

Sitting in the studio of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, news head Kamal Lohani, news presenter Ali Jaker and chief of English section Alamgir Kabir frequently had to change headlines while serving news bulletins.

News was coming every moment and they came to know that most of the districts of Bangladesh except Dhaka were freed on the day.