Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

December 14, 1971

Puppet governor Malik resigned

  • Rajib Kanti Roy
  • 14 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Puppet governor Malik resigned

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The puppet governor of ‘East Pakistan’ Dr AM Malik resigned on December 14 in 1971, sensing inevitable defeat of the Pakistan occupation forces in Bangadesh’s war of independence.

On this day, a large number of Pakistani troops fled the battle fields and surrendered while Al Badr, a group of local collaborators of the occupation forces, captured and killed many Bangalee intellectuals. Sensing crushing defeat in the war, ‘East Pakistan’ governor Dr AM Malik initially sent a wire message to Pakistani president Yahya Khan on the day, asking for permission to surrender.

Later, Malik and Lt General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Commander of Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army, jointly sent another message to the Pakistan president, urging him to accept the ceasefire proposal.

Yahya Khan rejected both the requests, saying that China and the US would definitely intervene in this matter. “Keep fighting,” he said.

However, an Indian MIG‐21 struck Malik’s official residence Government House while the governor was holding a cabinet meeting there.

Soon after the air strike, the frightened governor wrote a resignation letter on behalf of his cabinet to Yahya Khan with a ballpoint pen on a scrap of office paper.

Surrounded by the ministers and officials of his ‘East Pakistan’ administration, Malik showed the letter to UN official John Kelly and Gavin Young of The Observer, a London-based weekly, who were trapped with him in his bunker during the air raid.

Malik, along with his spouse and daughter, sought refuge to the Inter‐Continental Hotel, which was declared a neutral zone by the Red Cross.

On this day, the Allied Force crossed the Madhumati River in Faridpur. To reach Dhaka promptly, two brigades skipped Pakistani forces to avoid skirmishes on the way.

Local Bengalis helped members of the joint force reach Dhaka. Hundreds of boats were arranged for them to cross the river.

A brigade of the Allied Force attacked Pakistan base in Manikganj and freed the district defeating the occupation army. The brigade continued advancing towards Savar.

The Pakistan army made a strong defense line on the bank of the Turag River, the northern entrance point of Dhaka, and confronted the freedom fighters and Indian troops there.

Meanwhile, an Allied Force brigade advanced towards Dhaka from north-western corner via Chandra-Savar-Mirpur.

The Allied Force attacked Pakistani fortifications on the south-eastern part of Dhaka in Demra on the bank of the Shitalakkhya River while another group of the joint forces  crossed the river and freed Rupganj.

The Allied Force troops were airlifted for crossing the Gomti River. They took position near Baidyar Bazar on the day.

In south-east part of the country, Muktibahini destroyed Pakistani base at Kumira in Chattogram and advanced towards the port.

A brigade of Pakistani military was caught red-handed by Muktibahini while fleeing to Burma (Myanmar) via Cox’s Bazar.

Indian Army chief Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s speech addressing Major General Rao Farman Ali was broadcast on radio throughout the day.

He said, “My troops have cordoned off Dhaka city. Dhaka cantonment is within my artillery range. Therefore, surrender! Or else you will be embracing death.” He assured protection for those who will surrender.

On this day, several thousands of Pakistani military men surrendered in different parts of Bangladesh. Some 1,134 Pakistani soldiers surrendered in Mainamati in Cumilla alone.

Bengali intellectuals got victims of Pakistani atrocities from the beginning of the Liberation War.

In mid December, 1971 Pakistani juntas categorically identified the intellectuals of the country and handed over a list of them to Al Badr and Al Shams leaders.

On December 14, the Al-Badr force started killing Bengali intellectuals who were abducted by them for the past few days at Mirpur and Mohammadpur killing ground.

Major General Rao Farman Ali conducted this loathsome decadence from behind the scenes.