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First armed resistance against Pak forces at Joydevpur on March 19

By Ataur Rahman and Syed Shukur Ali

DHAKA, Mar 18, 2016 (BSS) - Just after 12 days of the historic speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 7, 1971, a group of freedom-loving people launched the first armed resistance on 19 March 1971 against Pakistani occupation forces at Joydebpur.

"Farmers, students as well as common people encouraged by Bangabandhu at Joydebpur now Gazipur launched the first armed resistance on 19 March 1971 against Pakistani occupation forces after the historic speech on March 7," Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque told BSS here today.

He said that a valiant freedom fighter Kazi Azimuddin Ahmad Master fired the first bullet from his private gun against Pakistani occupation troops at Joydebpur level crossing, when many freedom-loving people following Bangabandhu's directives put barricade with trees, bricks and a wagon of a goods carrier train at about noon on the day.

Recalling the armed battle against Pakistani occupation army, the minister said members of the all party action committee and common people of Gazipur put barricade to resist Brigadier General Jahanjeb Abrar Khan, a key personnel of the occupation army.

"I was the convener of 'Sarbodalia Sangram Committee' (All Party Action Committee) at Joydebpur in 1971, also a member of Bangladesh Chhatra League Central Committee and involved in the nucleus of the Independent Bangla in 1971," he said.

Former parliament members late Abdul Hakim Master, late Habibullah and late Ahasnullah Master, Nurul Islam Master Bhawal Rantna, Labour Leader Abdul Mottaleb, Nazrul Islam Khan, Abdus Sattar Miah, Nurul Anowar, Shahidullah Bacchu, Dr Nazim Uddin Ahmed, Abdul Latif Gazi, Abdul Mannan, Sabdar Ali Master, Shahidul Islam Pathan, Huroon-ur-Rashid Bhuiyan, Abul Hossain, Abdur Rahman, Oliullah Pathan, Abdur Rouf Nayan, among others led the first armed resistance at Gazipur and Tongi industrial town, the minister said.

The first armed resistance day at Joydevpur would be observed tomorrow on March 19, as the hotbed of liberation War of 1971 against Pakistani occupation forces. The day would be written in golden letters in the history of our liberation War, he said.

AKM Mozammel said freedom-loving people also chanted slogans at every where "Follow the path of Joydevpur, Liberate Bangladesh." The way the people from all walks of life including students raised barricades to build armed resistance against the occupation forces would be written in golden letters in the history of our Liberation War.

After hearing the news of advancement of Pakistani Brigadier Zahanjep Abrar Khan towards the Second East Bengal regiment based at Joydevpur Rajbari to disarm the Bangalee soldiers, the people of Gazipur began to mobilize the resistance. Obviously, it was done after they got secret information from Bangalee soldiers, stationed at Gazipur, he said.

The minister added that at about 1pm, the Pakistani troops reached Joydevpur Rajbari. The then commanding officer of the Bengal Regiment Lt. Col. Masudul Haq and his second in command Major Shafiullah and Major Mainul Hossain Chowdhury played a vital role in the historic resistance at Gazipur.

He said Gazipur was at last liberated from the hands of the occupation forces after the last battle on December 15, just one day ahead of the victory day. The disastrous defeat of Pakistani forces in the hands of freedom fighters and allied force on December 15 had smoothen the path towards the surrender of the Pakistani forces and expedited the most desired victory of the nation.

On March 19, Shaheed Niamat, Manu Miah, and Hurmat Ali embraced martyrdom when the brute Pakistani troops opened fire on them and many unnamed persons. At that moment the people of Gazipur could realise the brutal and barbaric attitudes of the Pakistani forces before the black night of March 25, 1971.

They were indomitable even after witnessing the mass destruction by the Pakistani army. They snatched away arms and ammunition from the Pakistani forces. They built barricades by felling trees, putting stones and sandbags on the road.

"Not only March 19, students-workers and peoples from all walks of life of Tongi under Gazipur built barricades and created resistance on March 5,6,15,17,18 and 25, 1971 against the Pakistani army. Many people died or received injuries in the resistance," former lawmaker and commander of Muktijodhha Command Council Gazipur District Unit Kazi Mozammel Haque said. He said on March 29, bombs were hurled and firing stared from air at different places of Gazipur and later the area was occupied by the Pakistani force.

Afterwards, the freedom-loving political leaders and activists went to India through different routes to take training for participating in the War of Liberation, Kazi Mozammel added.

After taking training, the freedom fighters launched attacked at different places. By November, the Mukti Bahini intensified their activities in this area.