Fun & Games

Encirclement of Rangpur Cantonment is example of Bengali valor

RANGPUR, March 27, 2023 (BSS) - The attempt of encircling Rangpur Cantonment

in a bid to capture it at the supreme sacrifice of around 600 heroic

Bangalees on March 28, 1971 remains as a scintillating example of Bengali


A valiant participant in that attempt and Ekushey Padak winner heroic freedom

fighter Majibar Rahman Master said the Bangalees showed the unique heroism

only three days after the Pakistan army's crackdown on innocent Bangalees on

March 25, 1971.

As many as 30,000 Bangalees irrespective of caste, creed and religion as per

the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his

historic March 7 speech attempted to capture the cantonment on that day.

"Supreme sacrifice of hundreds of independence-seeker heroic Bangalees while

surrounding the cantonment that day ignited the sleeping heroism in every

Bangalee to participate in the Great War of Liberation to achieve

independence," Rahman said.

According to the famous book 'Juddhe Juddhe Swadhinota' written by Major

Nasir Uddin, tens of hundreds of Bangalees irrespective of caste, creed and

religion rushed towards Nishbetganj on the Ghagot river bank in Rangpur city

that day.

"The independence-seeker Bangalee Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, Oraon,

Santal and other ethnic communities equipped with indigenous, lethal and

sharp weapons, spears, arrows and bows attempted to capture the cantonment,"

the book wrote.

The independence-seeker Bangalees had been assembling from the south and

southwestern areas from 4 to 5 pm there to capture the cantonment at any


At one stage, Awami League (AL) leader Sheikh Amjad Hossain chaired an

unplanned sudden meeting addressed by its leader Majibar Rahman Master and

CPB leader Comrade Sayer Uddin when thousands assembled at Nishbetganj to

march towards the cantonment.

"The 23rd Brigade Headquarters of the Pakistani Army was then stationed at

Rangpur cantonment and the third Bengal Regiment, 26th Regiment and 23rd

Cavalry Regiment and its associate forces and 29th Tank Bahini were under its

command," the book wrote.

War criminal Brigadier General Abdullah Malik was the then Brigade Commander

and the cantonment was equipped with modern automatic heavy arms, artillery,

tanks and ammunition with huge Pakistani forces and non-Bengali Beharis.

The Pakistani army from 10 military jeeps with machine guns soon started

showering automatic gunfire towards the independence-seeker Bangalees that

continued for about five minutes killing some 600 Bangalees and injuring

hundreds more.

"The vast green grass fields on the Ghagot riverbanks witnessed the flow of

blood of martyred Bangalees," the book wrote.

The terrified massacres were committed by the Pakistani occupation army led

by war criminals Brigadier General Abdullah Malik, Colonel Sagir and other

Pakistani Army Officers and their collaborator non-Bengali Behari soldiers

and officers.

Under the command of Colonel Sagir, most of the bodies were collected and

burnt and many bodies and burnt remains were put into the mass grave at

Nishbetganj Baddhyabhumi in the city.

"The happenings were witnessed by Bangalee Officers Major Nasir Uddin,

Lieutenant Badiuzzaman and Lieutenant Hashem, and at one stage, Colonel Sagir

became very angry on them for their silence after the whole genocide was

completed," the book quoted.

Former Rangpur district unit Commander of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad and

incumbent District Council Chairman heroic freedom fighter Mosaddek Hossain

Bablu said the message of supreme sacrifice of Bangalees reached quickly to

the northern region.

"The political and student leaders instantly began organising the War of

Liberation following the Nishbetganj massacre that ignited a fire in the mind

of every Bangalee across the region," Bablu said.

Captain Nawajesh set up the Headquarters of the EPR Bahini at Kurigram and

started organising resistance against the occupation forces and soon killed

15 Pakistani Army men, including Major Ezaz, at Teesta Bridge frontal battle

in Rangpur.

"The unique heroism and supreme sacrifice of the brave people ignited real

heroism in every Bangalee when they started to join the Mukti Bahini en-masse

in neighbor uring India till achieving the complete Independence on December

16, 1971," he said.

In commemoration of the supreme sacrifice of the heroic Bangalees, Bangladesh

Army has built Nishbetganj Baddhyabhumi Smriti Soudha 'Rakta Gaurab' where

the grateful people pay rich tribute to the martyrs on March 28 every year.

Like in the previous years, the district administration and other

organisations have taken up programmes including placing wreaths at the

Nishbetganj Baddhyabhumi Smriti Soudha 'Rakta Gaurab' tomorrow to pay rich

tribute to the heroic martyrs.

Different organisations will bring out rallies bearing indigenous weapons

used while attacking the cantonment followed by gathering of heroic freedom

fighters, political leaders and common people tomorrow at Nishbetganj in the


Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha