Volume 6 | Issue 24| December 15, 2012|


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Liberating Habiganj

Habiganj, the north-eastern part of Bangladesh was liberated on the 6th of December, 1971. The brave warriors of Mukti Bahini fought a valiant fight against the invading Pakistani Army. The battle won in Habiganj led to the freedom other adjacent towns. Monuments were erected on the location of the battle to commemorate martyrs.

Iqbal Siddiquee

The Habiganj district town (the then subdivision) was freed on the 6th of December, after the eventful months of the liberation war. Birthplace of the assistant chief of the Mukti Bahini (liberation war forces), Lt. Colonel Abdur Rab (later Major General), Habiganj has a special attachment to the liberation war. On April 4th, Commander in Chief, General Osmani and the other war leaders held an important meeting at the Teliapara Dak bunglow of Teliapara Tea garden in which Bangladesh was divided in 11 sectors for launching the war.

Besides, Major CR Dutta (later Major General), who was on leave in Habiganj that time, also joined the liberation war. He served as a sector commander.

After the events of conventional and guerrilla attacks and counter attacks between the Mukti Bahini and the Pakistan Army throughout the 9 months, a platoon led by their commander Abdus Shahid took position at Bahubal on December 3rd. Along with some other groups, they attacked the Pakistani invading forces at Habiganj who were in panic getting bad news from places.

After severe casualties in the 3 days of battle, the Pakistan army sensed losing the battle, and the troops retreated towards Sylhet in the early morning of 6th December when the freedom fighters easily entered into the Habiganj town that day. Same day Nabiganj, Lakhai, Chunarughat thanas of Habiganj were also freed.

A large number of innocent common people, including women and children laid their lives down at a number of places like Makalkandi of Baniachang, Krishnapur of Lakhai, Lalchand Tea garden and Nalua Tea garden of Chunarughat and Rashidpur of Bahubal thana of the district.

A number of valiant freedom fighters embraced martyrdom and many others were injured during the long 9 months of war. Memorials were built at Teliapara, Faizabad, Krishnapur, Nolua tea garden, Bodolpur and at Makalkandi in the memory of the martyrs.

Habiganj Sadar upazila commander of the Muktijoddha Sangsad Abdus Shahid said that a major operation was there on the Kalenga Forest in which 112 Pakistani troops were killed. It was done at the guidance of the sector commander Major Shafiullah (later Major General and army chief), Captain Azizur Rahman (later Major General) and Captain Ejaj (later Major General).

The freedom fighters took position at village Poil of Habiganj Sadar on 5 December night and they entered into the town next morning. The group, at about 10 Am on 6 December caught hold of 70 members of Rajakars and Al-Badr men, who were immediately handed over to the Habiganj sadar police station, said Abdus Shahid.

Habiganj district commander of Muktijoddha Sangsad Mohammad Ali Pathan said the government took up a project for preserving the mass graves and for building some memorials at places in the district. But those are yet to be implemented as yet, he added.

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