By Mamun Islam
RANGPUR, March 24, 2015 (BSS) - The struggle for independence quickly sparked in Rangpur since the beginning of March in 1971 when the people from all walks in life here started showing stiff resistance against the Pakistani junta and occupation forces.
The people of Rangpur, like the whole Bangalee nation, easily guessed the deep-rooted conspiracy of hatred Pakistani President Yahiya Khan who cancelled on March 1 the scheduled parliament sitting on March 3 in 1971 and declared curfew on the day.
Instantly rejecting cancellation of the scheduled parliament session, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called strike on March 2 in Dhaka and March 3 in the country when people of Rangpur started mobilising them decisively.
Accordingly, thousands of people brought out protest processions breaking the curfew in Rangpur city in the morning on March 3 when the Bangalee nation was in unprecedented movement against the Pakistani regime.
The ultimate struggles began in Rangpur factually from March 3 in 1971 when minor boy Sangku Samajhder, 12, embraced martyrdom as non-Bengali Behari Sarforaz Khan opened gunfire on him in the procession in Alamnagar area at about 9am.
Besides, the Beharis injured many others and shot college student Abul Kalam Azad to dead at Batar Goli Mour and stabbed government employee Omar Ali in front of General Boot House on the Dewanbari road by noon on the same day in the city.
And thus, Rangpur turned into a volatile city through sacrificing its three brave sons on March 3 when the situation totally went out of control of the Pakistani regime forcing them to declare curfew from March 3 to March 5 here.
District Muktijoddha Commander Mosaddek Hossain said Bangabandhu in his historic speech of Independence on March 7 in 1971 mentioned martyrdoms of heroic Rangpur sons when the people of Rangpur started marching decisively to achieve independence.
On March 17 in 1971, Convener of Rangpur unit of Chhatra Sangram Parishad Rafikul Islam Golap received the flag of Swadhin Bangla and manifesto of independence sent from the central leaders of the organisation at Dhaka.
The struggles for independence soon took irreversible shape with
participation of the common people en-masse when Rafikul Islam Golap hoisted the flag of Swadhin Bangla at the residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Rangpur on March 23.
At the same time, Chhatra League leader Elias Ahmed hoisted the flag of Swadhin Bangla at the Deputy Commissioner's Office as the situation had been going under the control of the independence-seeker Bangalees in the city.
On March 24, one Sahed Ali, a butcher by profession, suddenly snatched away an LMG from Pakistani soldiers and instantly hit Pakistani Lieutenant Abbas at Nisbetganj area in the outskirts of the city when they were standing there by the side of a jeep.
Later, Lieutenant Abbas succumbed in the hospital at 11 pm on the day and it's was the first successful assault of the heroic Bangalees of Rangpur on the Pakistani occupation forces.
On March 28 in 1971, just after three days of crackdown on March 25 by Pakistani army on the innocent Bangalees, thousands of heroic people of Rangpur demonstrated sparkling heroism while attacking Rangpur cantonment to capture it at any cost.
According to elderly people and freedom fighters, 30,000 Bangalee Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Oraon, Santal and other communities equipped with indigenous, sharp and lethal weapons, spears, arrows and bows gathered at Nisbetganj near the cantonment.
Some 10 military jeeps with browning machineguns also took positions and started showering automatic gunfire towards the marching Bangalees killing over 600 Bangalees who set up an unprecedented example of heroism in achieving independence.
And thus, the people of Rangpur started sacrificing lives and fighting decisively since March 3 in 1971 with heroism until achieving the ultimate national independence on December 16 through achieving Victory in the War of Liberation.