Invincible Tentulia became centre of Liberation War strategies

RANGPUR, March 28, 2017 (BSS) - Leaders of provisional government of Bangladesh in exile frequently visited Tentulia that remained free from Pakistani occupation to adopt field level strategies for the War of Liberation in 1971.

Sector Commander MK Bashar, Sub-sector Commander Squadron Leader Sadruddin, Captain Nazrul and Captain Shahriar were stationed at Tentulia Sub-sector headquarters of Sector No-6 to conduct the War of Liberation.

"Tentulia turned into a spirited centre for conducting major attacks by freedom fighters since March in 1971 stimulating the War of Liberation in the northern region," said Member of the Parliament (Panchagrh-1) Nazmul Hoque Prodhan.

Prime minister of the government in exile Tajuddin Ahmed, Finance Minister Captain Mansur Ali, Home Minister AHM Kamruzzaman, Acting President Syed Nazrul Islam and Colonel MAG Osmani frequently visited Tentulia in 1971.

"The recruitment of freedom fighters in 1971 with their training, supply of arms and ammunitions and planning of fierce attacks against Pakistani army were being conducted from Tentulia," Prodhan added. Talking to BSS, former chairman of Bhajanpur Union Parishad Emdadul Haque said, "The Tentulia people are still proud of resisting Pakistani army from entering Tentulia (now Tentulia upazila) in Panchagarh during the nine-month war period."

"Following frequent attacks from the freedom fighters since March in 1971, the Pakistani army could never touch sovereignty of Tentulia, surrounded by Indian territories from three directions," Haque, also an eyewitness, added.

Local eyewitnesses Nazim Uddin, 70, of village Dorgasingh and Shamsuddin Ahmed, 66, of village Khoykhatpara said the whole area remained independent part of struggling Bangladesh in 1971.

Eyewitness and former chairman of Tentulia Union Parishad Abul Kalam Azad, 67, said hats, bazaars and shops functioned as usual in Tentulia keeping public life normal and freedom fighters were going to India and coming back freely to liberate the country through the area.

Principal of Bhajanpur Degree College Shafikul Islam said hundreds of brave Bengalis frequently participated in pro-liberation processions in Tentulia chanting slogans 'Joy Bangla'--- 'Joy Bangabandhu'---'Tomar Aamr Thikana Padma-Meghna-Jamuna'.

"One day, Tajuddin Ahmed with other leaders in exile came to Tentulia and addressed a public rally participated by thousands of Bengalis, freedom fighters, political leaders, students, farmers and foreign journalists," he said.

Tajuddin in the rally highly appreciated bravery of Tentulia people and called for holding courage until ultimate victory was achieved as frequent fierce attacks of freedom fighters already destroyed moral courage of enemies.

Former headmaster of Tentulia Pilot High School Jahirul Haque, also an eyewitness, said Tentulia factually turned into an internationally important place to reflect the hopes and aspirations of the independence-seeker Bengalis in 1971.

"Many foreign journalists like Mark Tully and William Crowley, visited Tentulia, photographed the war in nearby Bhajanpur fronts and interviewed freedom fighters, common people and refugees for global media coverage," Jahirul added.

Tentulia Upazila Deputy Muktijoddha Commander Aiyub Ali said the Pakistani army started retreating from Panchagarh as their defeat became quite evident since November following intensified attacks of the freedom fighters and allied force.

"After organising fierce attacks from Tentulia since November 20 in 1971, the freedom fighters and allied force defeated the occupation forces in the battles one after another and liberated Panchagarh town on November 29," Ali said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)