DHAKA, March 24, 2015(BSS) - March 25 is observed as "Black Day" since the infamous night 44 years ago.
On the evening of March 25, 1971 the Pakistan army let loose a "reign of terror" across Dhaka killing thousands, as part of their mission of "ethnic cleansing".
"Kill three million of them and they (the Bengalis) will be eating out of our hands," Yahya had told his generals on February 22, 1971. And now was the time to redeem his pledge, which was soon to be one of the largest genocides in the 20th century.
In the morning of March 25, 1971, there was little indication of what was to follow later in the evening, despite the underlying tension among the populace.
But there were tell-tale signs also. Throughout March, 1971 many families had moved out to the villages or other safe places. From March 24 (1971) onwards the "chicken race" of non-Bengalis had started: the bee-line at the airport to catch the flight to Karachi was getting longer by the hour.
Families were huddled at the airport for days, as troops-laden planes from what was then West Pakistan emptied their lethal cargo and flew back. But the number of intended passengers desirous of taking the back flight far outnumbered the planes' capacity. After all, Pakistan's national flag-carrier, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), was the last straw that connected the two parts of Pakistan.
The morning newspapers of the day said that 150 people were killed in various parts of the country by the Pakistani armed forces. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman immediately condemned the incidents and termed the tripartite dialogues as "decoys" for the killing of Bengalis. Bangabandhu also condemned attempts to divide the country along ethnic lines: pitting Mohajirs and Bengalis.
He also called for a general strike throughout Bangladesh on March 27, 1971 as a mark of protest against heavy firing upon the civilian population in Saidpur, Rangpur and Joydevpur.
He also ordered resumption of international trade of jute and establishment of telecommunication links through Manila and London.
In another statement Bangabandhu said "The only way out is to accept Awami League's demands".
Meanwhile, the staff at the Hotel Inter-Continental, Dhaka, ceremoniously hoisted a regular sized 'Joy Bangla flag' replacing the smaller one at the main mast. The new flag measuring 100 x 60 inches was unfurled in the presence of a large number of people including foreign journalists.
Rumors flew of an imminent military action against the Awami League, indeed against the entire nation.
On the same day, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, told a press conference in by then highly fortified Hotel Inter-Continental, Dhaka. The quantum of autonomy sought by the Awami League was something which could be termed as "more than autonomy". It was bordering on sovereignty.
President General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan and his generals secretly fled Dhaka before 6 in the evening, while the tanks rolled out soon after at 8 o'clock in the evening and three battalions took up positions in the city.
Around 11 at night, the army pounced on the sleeping citizens of Dhaka to execute the infamous "Operation Searchlight". The goal was to "crush" Bengali resistance that consisted of disarming or killing of Bengali personnel in the Pakistan army, para-military East Pakistan Rifles (EPR), police, students and intelligentsia.
Ultimately all able-bodied Bengali males were to be picked up and gunned down, systematically. As the clock struck midnight, the entire city of Dhaka was up in flames. The first areas to be attacked was Dhaka University, which had been a hot bed of nationalist politics, the EPR headquarters at Peelkhana which had revolted en masse and Rajarbagh Police Lines, where the policemen, almost all Bengalis, had also joined the revolt.
By mid-night large parts of Dhaka was up in flames as the Pakistan army torched the slums and markets in various parts of Dhaka. Particularly hard hit was the slums that had grown up on both sides of the old railway line, which was now abandoned and Naya Bazar, the wholesale market for paper.
Naya Bazar was mainly targeted to clear the attack on the nearby Shankhari Patti, a Hindu ghetto.
Killer squads backed by the Pakistan army roamed the streets of Dhaka, killing some 7,000 people in a single night. It was only the beginning. Within a week, half the population of Dhaka had fled, and at least 30,000 people had been killed. Chittagong, too, had lost half of its population.
Thus began the worst genocide of history. A genocide that many would like to forget and many would like the new generation not to hear of. But in the end the body count showed that at least three million unarmed Bengalis were killed in the almost nine months that followed.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested by the Pakistani army soon after the clock struck mid-night but before that he had sent out a telegram through the EPR telecom system proclaiming Bangladesh's independence.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto watched from the window of his suite at the Inter-Continental, Dhaka and saw the offices of the pro-Awami League English daily "The People" burn to ashes, across the road.
A few minutes later, satisfied, Bhutto escorted by Pakistan army personnel, boarded a plane for Karachi, where he proudly proclaimed "Thanks God! Allah has saved Pakistan."
MUJIB REGRETS DELAY IN POLITICAL SOLUTION ATTEMPTS TO DIVIDE BENGALEES AND MOHAJIRS CONDEMNED
Statement to Press on March 25, 1971, at Dacca Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Awami League Chief, today expressed concern over the regrettable delay in resolving the crisis politically" and termed it as "unfortunate".
He said that if a "political solution is desired" by President Yahya Khan and is should "realise that it was for them to take matters immediately, to a conclusion and that to delay this would expose the country and its people to grave hazards.
In a statement to the press here tonight, the Awami League Chief said: "We have done our duty and contributed our utmost efforts towards the attainment of the political solution."
He apprehended that certain elements have been deployed by the anti-people forces to foment tension between locals and non-locals and said: "let those evil forces of destruction know that their conspiracies cannot succeed when 75 million people are united in their determination to make every sacrifice and to resist those who seek to impose upon them by force."
The Awami League Chief said: "The arrival of the President in Dacca and his subsequent talks had led the people to expect that there was a realisation that the grave crisis engulfing the country could only be resolved politically.
It was for this reason that I met the President. The President affirmed that there could only be a political solution of the Upon that promise, certain fundamental principles on which such a solution would be based were accepted by the President.
Subsequently, my colleagues sat with the President's advisers to work out those principles. We have thus done our duty and contributed our utmost efforts towards the attainment of a political solution.
There is no reason or justification for any delay. If a political solution is desired by those concerned they should realise that it is for them to take matters immediately to a conclusion, and that to delay this would expose the country and its people to grave hazards.
It is therefore, unfortunate that there is a regrettable delay in resolving the crisis politically. Indeed the critical situation already pervailing is being aggravated by renewed military activities, the pace of which, according to reports from different parts of Bangla Desh, is being stepped up.
This is all the more regrettable at a time when the President is in Dacca for the declared purpose of resolving the crisis politically. After last week's firing at Joydevpur, reports of atrocities are pouring in from Rangpur, Saidpur, where curfew has been imposed. From Chittagong, there are reports of heavy firing on the civilian population.
Issue of Non-Locals
" What is more reprehensible is that certain elements have been deployed by the anti-people forces to foment tension between locals and ` non-locals '.
I have repeatedly re-affirmed that all those who live in Bangla Desh, regardless of their place of origin or the language they speak, are our people, and they should consider themselves as such and take full part in the struggle for emancipation of Bangla Desh. Their life, property and honour are our sacred trust.
It is, therefore, clear that those who are fomenting tension are doing so far the malicious purpose of sabotaging a political solution and creating a pretext for use of force against unarmed people.
Let the people of the world take notice that while we have been exerting our utmost towards the attainment of a political solution, there are certain evil ` elements still bent upon making a last desperate bid to impose a solution by force.
Let those evil forces of destruction know that their conspiracies cannot succeed, when seventy-five million people are united in their determination to make every sacrifice and to resist those who seek to impose upon them by force.
I condemn the firing that has taken place and the atrocities that have been committed in different parts of Bangla Desh. A general strike shall be observed on the 27th March 1971, throughout Bangla Desh to protest against such firing.
I urge those concerned to desist from creating situation of confrontation between the military and the unarmed civilian population. If they fail to take heed and continue to resort to military confrontation, they will bear full responsibility for aborting a political solution and for all the grave consequences that would follow.
I urge our heroic people to continue with their struggle. Our economy, . however, must function normally and indeed every person must consider it his ! sacred duty to ensure that the economy functions with maximum efficiency. Our workers in the mills and factories bear a heavy responsibility in this matter. They must take all steps to maintain normal conditions in which maximum production can be attained.
Our movement shall go forward. The directives issued on the 14th March 1971, shall continue in force, subject to the clarification issued from time to time."
(THE DAWN, Karachi-March 26. 1971)
MUJIB CALLS FOR STRIKE ON 27TH-PROTEST AGAINST ARMY OPERATIONS Statement on March 25, 1971, at Dacca
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman today gave a call for a general strike throughout " Bangla Desh " on March 27th as a mark of protest against " heavy firing upon the civilian population " in Saidpur, Rangpur and Joydevpur.
In a statement, he declared that such " atrocities and killing of unarmed people could not go unchallenged".
He said, " I am shocked to hear of the military action in Saidpur, Rangpur and Joydevpur. There are reports of heavy firing upon the civilian population and of atrocities being committed on them. The police are being totally by-passed while a reign of terror is being unleashed. From Chittagong, reports are pouring in of heavy firing".
He said all this had happened while the President is at Dacca for the declared purpose of resolving politically the grave crisis facing the country. " I urge him to order immediate cessation of such military operations," he said.
It should be known that such atrocities and killing of unarmed people shall not go unchallenged. I am confident that the brave sons of " Bangla Desh " are ready to face all eventualities in order to attain their goal, that is, the emancipation of the people of the "Bangla Desh", he added.
The following exemptions shall be allowed during the strike: Hospitals, ambulances, doctors' cars, medicine shops, press and press cars, water, gas and electric supply.
According to another message, Sheikh Mujib today called upon the people to remain prepared for supreme sacrifices " to realise your rights ".
Addressing a huge procession from Rayerbazaar area, the Sheikh said: " If some of us have to die again for our rights, this will be the last time".
He said there must not be any relaxation in the movement in which the people of East Pakistan had demonstrated their unity.
The Sheikh said that the Bengalees were dying every year in floods and cyclones. " It seems they are born to die in these calamities ", he added.
(THE PAKISTAN TIMES, Lahore-March 26, 1971)
MUJIB ORDERS RESUMPTION OF JUTE TRADE TELECOM LINKS TO FUNCTION VIA MANILA
Report of the directives released to the Press on March 25, 1971
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Awami League Chief, directed tonight that export of jute and jute goods from Bangla Desh should be resumed forthwith.
In a fresh list of directives released to the Press tonight, the Sheikh asked the shipping companies not to refuse cargo from Bangla Desh. He also assured foreign shipping companies that they will be allowed to remit their freight charges in foreign exchange according to normal procedures.
He also announced telecommunication links with foreign countries will function via Manila and London.
The following new directives and clarifications were issued by him:
Directive No. 36 (Exports): Export of jute and jute goods should be resumed forthwith and export documents should be negotiated through the Eastern Banking Corporation and Eastern Mercantile Bank Ltd., according to the procedure already laid down for pending export bills in directive No. 25 (n). Relevant sections of the Jute Board, the State Bank and Customs shall operate to approve and register export forms and to process shipping documents. Overseas mail and cable services shall be available for export and banking transactions. Shipping companies should not refuse to accept cargo. Foreign shipping companies are assured that they will be allowed to remit their freight in foreign exchange according to the normal procedure. Directive No. 5 (Imports): (a) No amendment to letters of credit shall be permissible with regard to the destination of the cargo imported under such letter of credit. (b) The necessary sections of PIA mad function for delivery of the parcels and documents Ding with them sib 1st March 19-1.
Directive No. 9 (Post and Telegraphs): All telecommunication to foreign countries shall function via Manila and London.. A:1 production units such as Telephone Industries Corporation. Cabs. Industries Corporation and the Telegraph Workshop shall function normally with immediate effect. (THE DAWN, Karachi-March 26, 1971)
P.P.P.-A.L. DIRECT TALKS VITAL
Mr. Z. A. Bhutto's Press conference in Dacca on March 25, 1971
Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, accompanied by Mr. J. A. Rahim and Mr. Mustafa Khar, met President A. M. Yahya Khan at the President's House here this morning.
Lt.-Gen. S.G.M. Peerzada, Principal Staff Officer to the President, was also present at the meeting which continued for about 45 minutes.
Later, Mr. Bhutto told the newsmen that the constitutional experts of his party would meet the President's advisers this afternoon. The PPP advisers were to meet the President's advisers this morning, but the meeting was postponed following the " new development " that took place after yesterday's meeting between the advisers of the President and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He said, the new development which had been communicated to him necessitated his meeting with the President and Lt.-Gen. Peerzada.
When asked whether the negotiations had bogged down, Mr. Bhutto said that they had not bogged down. " We are not creating any difficulty ", he added.
The PPP Chairman told a correspondent that his Party wanted transfer of power both at the Centre and the provinces simultaneously.
On the question of autonomy, Mr. Bhutto said that the quantum of autonomy sought by the Awami League was some thing which could be termed as "more than autonomy ". It was bordering on sovereignty, he added.
All the four provinces in West Pakistan also wanted autonomy and they must enjoy genuine autonomy. He said that autonomy sought by East Pakistan was not genuine autonomy by definition of autonomy.
Mr. Bhutto said that they were prepared to come as close to six points as possible except foreign aid and foreign trade. " We wanted full discussions on how these could be handled in an undeveloped country divided by over one thousand miles within the framework of one Pakistan. I would like Awami League to explain, but we were denied explanation. We have an open mind,"
Mr. Bhutto made it clear that under no circumstance his Party was for restoration of One Unit, in one form or the other in West Pakistan.
The PPP chief said that if some agreement was reached it should be taken to the National Assembly which could pass a resolution giving the agreement a stamp of constitutional legality. The National Assembly, he said, could improve upon the agreement.
Mr. Bhutto referred to the meetings of advisers of President Yahya Khan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman yesterday and said that some " developments ", had taken place which necessitated his meeting with the President and Lt.-Gen. S.G.M. Peerzada today.
He said he had sent some of his party members to Karachi as no direct talks were taking place.
He recalled his meeting with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said that it was fruitful.
When asked why the talks were being "dragged on," the Chairman of the People's Party said that they had only one meeting with the President's advisers. " It was not a simple matter. We want to end the crisis."
Mr. Bhutto told a correspondent that the future Constitution of the country must be based on federal structure in which all provinces must have rightful share of autonomy.
He said that one of the 11 demands of students was for a zonal federation for West Pakistan. The Awami League never officially revised it.
To another question the Chairman of the People's Party said that if settlement was reached within a day or two he would stay on in Dacca. Otherwise he said he would like to return to West Pakistan because his presence there was required.
Mr. Bhutto referred to the postponement of the National Assembly session earlier and said the Awami League had sought postponement this time " and we did not object to it ".
He also told a questioner that he had fewer meetings with the President as against the series of meeting Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had with him.
Mr. Bhutto said reciprocity from both sides must take place. Negotiations, he said, had become more complicated because these were not taking place and unfortunately the position looked uncertain.
Awami League Formula The Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party said that he did not have any objection to the formula of broad based understanding that the Awami League chief, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, had presented to the President for the transfer of power to the representatives of the people.
The PPP chief, who was talking to newsmen on his return from the President's House after his fourth round of talks with the Head of the State, said that direct negotiations between the Awami League and the Pakistan People's Party were essential for breaking the present stalemate. It was for this reason that he had sent a telegram to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The request was not heeded to and the Awami League had contented itself with an indirect dialogue through the office of the President. He, however, reiterated that he would be more than willing to meet Sheikh Mujibur Rahman even at this stage to work out a formula and to narrow down the differences.
On a question from a correspondent, the PPP chief said that while he supported in principle the four-point pre-conditions of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his Party was trying to " come close to the six points ". His Party was indeed keen to reach a settlement but " reciprocity on both sides must take place".
He believed that since the Awami League had concluded its discussions with the President and his advisers, the PPP must continue their bit now. Therefore, it was not necessary that these discussions should be held at Dacca.
The PPP chief maintained that things could have been expedited to a great extent. About some points that remained to be discussed between the two parties, the PPP Chairman said that the Awami League had suggested to the President for the transfer of power to the provinces and not at the Central level for the interim period of constitution-making. The PPP would like the powers transferred at both the levels, he maintained. Nor would he like to dismiss it as a purely interim arrangement as " interim arrangements become permanent sometimes ".
(THE PAKISTAN TIMES, Lahore-March 26, 1971)
The operational plan The planning process
The plan was drawn up in March 1971 by Major General Khadim Hussain Raja, GOC, 14th Division, and Major General Rao Farman Ali, as a follow-up of decisions taken at a meeting of the Pakistan army staff on 22 February. The 16th infantry division from Quetta and the 9th division from Kharian, West Pakistan, were ordered to prepare to move to East Pakistan in mid-February also as a result of that meeting.
Before putting the plan into action, senior Pakistani officers in East Pakistan who were unwilling to support the military attack on civilians, Lt. General Shahabzada Yakub Khan, GOC East Pakistan, and the governor of East Pakistan, Vice Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan, were relieved of their duties. Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan became the Governor and GOC of East Pakistan. On March 17, General Raja was given authority to plan the operation via telephone by General Hamid, COS, Pakistan Army. On the morning of March 18, General Raja and Major General Rao Farman Ali wrote the plan at the GOC's office at Dacca cantonment. The plan was written on a light blue office pad with a lead pencil by General Farman containing 16 paragraphs spread over five pages.
General Farman defined the operational premises and conditions for success, while General Khadim Raja dealt with the distribution of forces and tasks assigned to the individual brigades and other units. It assumed that the Bengali Army and other military units would revolt at the onset of operations and the planners suggested that all Bengali units under arms should be disarmed prior to commencing the operation, and the political leadership arrested during a planned meeting with the President, General Yahya Khan. No operational reserves were earmarked. The handwritten plan was reviewed with General Hamid and Lt. General Tikka Khan on 20 March at the flag staff house. General Hamid objected to the immediate disarming of regular army Bengali units, but approved the disarming of the EPR, armed police and other para-military formations. Yahya Khan refused to sanction the arrest of Awami League leaders during a meeting with him, as the plan had proposed. The amended plan was approved and distributed to various area commanders.
The Operation was to start on the night of March 25, 1971 in Dacca, and other garrisons were to be alerted via phone about their zero hour to start their activities. General Farman Ali commanded the forces in Dhaka, while the rest of the province was commanded by General Khadim. Lt. General Tikka Khan and his staff were present in the 31st field command center, to supervise and support the command staff of the 14th division.
BASIS FOR PLANNING
1. A.L. [Awami League) action and reactions to be treated as rebellion and those who support or defy M.L. [Martial Law] action be dealt with as hostile elements.
2. As A.L. has widespread support even amongst the E.P. [East Pakistani] elements in the Army the operation has to be launched with great cunningness, surprise, deception and speed combined with shock action.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCCESS
3. The operation to be launched all over the Province simultaneously.
4. Maximum number of political and student leaders and extremists amongst teaching staffs, cultural organisations to be arrested. In the initial phase top political leaders and top student leaders must be arrested.
5. Operation must achieve a hundred per cent success in Dacca. For that Dacca University will have to be occupied and searched.
6. Security of cantonments must be ensured. Greater and freer use of fire against those who dare attack the cantonment. 7. All means of internal and international communications to be cut off. Telephone exchanges, Radio, TV, Teleprinter services, transmitters with foreign consulates to be closed down.
8. EP tps [troops] to be neutralized by controlling and guarding kotes and ammunition by WP [West Pakistani] tps. Same for P.A.F. and E.P.R.
SURPRISE AND DECEPTION
9. At higher plane, it is requested that the President may consider the desirability of continuing the dialogue-even of deceiving Mujib that even though Mr. Bhutto may not agree he will make an announcement on 25 March conceding to the demands of A.L. etc. 10. At Tactical Level (a) As secrecy is of paramount importance, preliminary operations given below should be carried out by tps already located in the city: i. Breaking into Mujib's house and arresting all present. The house is well-guarded and well-defended.
ii. Surrounding the important halls of the Universities - lqbal Hall DU [Dacca University], Liaqat Hall Engineering University.
iii. Switching off telephone exchange.
iv. Isolating known houses where weapons etc. have been collected.
(b) No activity by tps in the cantonment area till telephone exchange has been switched off.
(c) Nobody should be allowed to go out of the cantonment after 2200 hrs on the night of operation.
(d) On one excuse or the other tps in the city should be reinforced in the area of the President's House, Governor's House, MNA Hostel, Radio, TV and Telephone exchange premises.
(e) Civilian cars may have to be used for operation against Mujib's house.
SEQUENCE OF ACTIONS
11. (a) H Hr-O100 hrs.
(b) Timings for Move Out i. Commando [one Platoon] -Mujib's house-0100 hrs ii. Telephone exchange switched off-2455 hr's. iii. Tps. earmarked for cordon University--0105 hrs. iv. Tps from the city to Rajarbagh Police HQ and other PS [Police station] nearby--0105 .hrs. v. Following places surrounded-0105 hrs: Mrs. Anwara Begum's House, Rd No. 29 & House No. 148, Rd No. 29. vi. Curfew imposed-0110 hrs by Siren (arrange) by loudspeakers. Duration 30 hrs initially. No passes for the initial phase. Due consideration to be given only to cases of delivery and serious heart attack etc. Evac by Army on request. Also announce that there will be no newspapers brought out till further orders. vii. Tps move out to respective sectors with specific missions-0110 hrs. (For tp alert a drill to be evolved). Halls occupied and searched. viii. Tps move to University area-0500 hrs. ix. Rd blocks and riverine block estb-0200 hrs.
(c) Operations during the Day Time i. House to house search of Dhanmondi suspected houses, also Hindu houses in old city (int to collect data). ii. All printing presses to be closed down. All cyclo styling machines in the University, Colleges (T&T) and Physical Training Institute and Technical Insti tute to be confiscated. iii. Curfew imposed with severity. iv. Other leaders arrested.
12. Allotment of Tps to Tasks Details to be worked out by B[riga]de Com[man]d[er] (see 231-4) but the following must be done:
(a) Kotes of EP units taken over, including Sig[nal]s and other administrative units. Arms to be given only to WP personnel.
Explanation: We did not wish to embarrass the EP tps and did not want them to be used in tasks which may not be pleasant to them.
(b) Police stations to be disarmed.
(c) DG [Director General] EPR [East Pakistan Rifles] to
ensure security of his kotes.
(d) All Ansar Rifles to be got hold of.
13. Info Required
(a) Whereabouts of the following:
ix) Oli Ahad ii) Nazarul Islam
x) Mrs Motia Chaudhry iii) Tajuddin
xi) Barrister Maudud iv) Osmani xii) Faizul Haq v) Sirajul Alam
xiii) Tofail vi) Mannan
xiv) N.A. Siddiqi vii) Ataur Rahman
xv) Rauf viii) Professor Muzaffar xvi) Makhan
and other student leaders.
(b) Location of all police stations and of Rifles.
(c) Location of strong points and arsenal houses in the city.
(d) Location of tr[ainin]g camps and areas etc.
(e) Location of Cultural Centres which are being used for imparting military trg.
(f) Names of ex-service officers who are actively helping in surrectional movement.
14. Comd and Control-Two commands be established: (a) Dacca Area Comd-Major-General Farman Staff -Eastern Comd Staff/or HQ ML Tps - Loc[ated] in Dacca. (b) The Rest of the Province
Comd-Major-General K H Raja Staff -HQ 14 Div Tps -Less those in Dacca.
15. Security of the Cantonment Phase I De-escalate. All arms including PAF deposited.
16. Communication (a) Security. (b) Layout. ALLOTMENT OF TROOPS TO TASKS DACCA Command and Control: Maj.-Gen. Farman with H.Q. M.L.A. Zone B. Troops
H.Q. 57 Brigade with troops in Dacca, i.e. 18 Punjab, 32 Punjab (C.O. to be replaced by [Lt.-Col.] Taj, GSO I(In't)), 22 Baluch, 13 Frontier Force, 31 Field Regt., 13 Light Ack-Ack Regt., company of 3 Commando (from Comilla). Tasks:
1. Neutralise by disarming 2 and 10 East Bengal, H.Q. East Pak istan Rifles (2500), Reserve Police at Rajar Bagh (2000).
2. Exchange and transmitters, Radio, TV, State Bank.
3. Arrest Awami League leaders-detailed lists and addresses.
4. University Halls, Iqbal, Jagan Nath, Liaqat (Engineering University)
5. Seal off town including road, rail and river. Patrol river.
6. Protect factories at Ghazipur and Ammo Depot at Rajendrapur. Remainder: Under Maj.-Gen. K.H. Raja and H.Q. 14 Div. JESSORE
H.Q. 107 Brigade, 25 Baluch, 27 Baluch, Elements of 24 Field Regt., 55 Field Regt.
1. Disarm I East Bengal and Sector H.Q. East Pakistan Rifles and Reserve Police incl. Ansar weapons.
2. Secure Jessore town and arrest Awami League and student leaders.
3. Exchange and telephone communications.
4. Zone of security round cantt., Jessore town and Jessore-Khulna road, airfield.
5. Exchange at Kushtia to be made inoperative. 6. Reinforce
Khulna if required. KHULNA Troops: 22 FF Tasks: 1. Security in town.
2. Exchange and Radio Station.
3. Wing H.Q. East Pakistan Rifles, Reserve Companies and Reserve Police to be disarmed.
4. Arrest Awami League students and communist leaders.
RANGPUR-SAIDPUR Troops: H.Q. 23 Brigade, 29 Cavalry, 26 Frontier Force, 23 Field Regt. Tasks:
l. Security of Rangpur-Saidpur.
2. Disarm 3 East Bengal at Saidpur.
3. If possible disarm Sector H.Q. and Reserve Company at Dinaj
pur or neutralise by dispersal Reserve Company by reinforcing
4. Radio Station and telephone exchange at Rangpur. 5. Awami League and student leaders at Rangpur. 6. Ammo dump at Bogra. RAJSHAHI Troops: 25 Punjab Tasks: 1. Despatch C.O.-Shafqat Baluch.
2. Exchange and Radio Station Rajshahi.
3. Disarm Reserve Police and Sector H.Q. East Pakistan Rifles. 4. Rajshahi University and in particular Medical College. 5. Awami League and student leaders. COMILLA Troops: 53 Field Regiments, 11 Mortar Batteries, Station troops, 3 Commando Batallion (less Company) Tasks: l. Disarm 4 East Bengal, Wing H.Q. East Pakistan Rifles, Reserve District Police.
2. Secure town and arrest Awami League leaders and students. 3. Exchange. SYLHET Troops:
31 Punjab less company Tasks: 1. Radio Station, Exchange. 2. Koeno Bridge over Surma. 3. Airfield 4. Awami League and student leaders. 5. Disarm Section H.Q. East Pakistan Rifles and Reserve Police. Liaise with Sikandar.
CHITTAGONG Troops: 20 Baluch, less advance party; company 31 Punjab present ex Sylhet; lqbal Shafi to lead a mobile column from Comilla by road and reinforce S.T. 0100 hrs (H hrs) on D-Day.
Mobile Column: Brig. lqbal Shafi with Tac H.Q. and Communications; 24 Frontier Force; Troop Heavy Mortars; Field Company Engineers; Company in advance to Feni on evening D-Day. Tasks: 1. Disarm E.B.R.C., 8 East Bengal, Section H.Q. East Pakistan Rifles, Reserve Police.
2. Seize Central Police Armoury (Twenty thousand) 3. Radio Station and Exchange.
4. Liaise with Pakistan Navy (Commodore Mumtaz) 5. Liaise with Shaigri and Janjua (C.O. 8 East Bengal) who have been instructed to take orders from you till arrival Iqbal Shafi. 6. If Shigri and Janjua feel sure about their outfits then do not disarm. In that case merely put in a road block to town from Cantt. by placing a company in defensive position so that later E.B.R.C. and 8 East Bengal are blocked should the} change their loyalties. 7. I am taking Brig. Mozamdar with me. Arrest Chaudhry (C.I.E.B.R.C.) on D-Day night. 8. Arrest of Awami League and student leaders after above accomplished. ("Witness to Surrender" by Siddiq Salik)