RANGPUR, March 11, 2019 (BSS) – From the beginning of volatile March in 1971, country’s northernmost upazila Tentulia turned into a bastion of Swadhin Bangla as the area was free from occupation force during entire war time.
Tentulia, soon became well-known in global arena in 1971 as organisers of the War of Liberation and top political leaders in exile and freedom fighters conducted their activities from there for national independence.
Former headmaster of Tentulia Pilot High School Jahirul Haque, also President of Tentulia unit of All-party Chhatra Sangram Parishad in 1971, said “Tentulia, surrounded by Indian territories, turned into a stronghold of Freedom Fighters which eventually became a center for recruitment of freedom fighters, training, supply of arms-ammunitions and planning.
People of Tentulia still feel proud of the valor of the Freedom Fighters in forging constant resistance at Amarkhana point to prevent the Pakistani Army from crossing the Chawai River in Panchagarh Sadar upazila during the whole nine-month war.
“Amidst fierce attacks and resistances of the Freedom Fighters, the Pakistani army could never touch the sovereignty of Tentulia,” Haque added. Former Tentulia Upazila Muktijoddha Commander Kazi Mahbubur Rahman said,
Tentulia become fort of Freedom Fighters frequently visited by many foreign journalists and freedom-loving Bangalees, he said.
Renowned BBC journalists Sir William Mark Tully and William Crowley of BBC Radio visited Tentulia, photographed the War of Liberation in Bhajanpur fronts and interviewed the valiant Freedom Fighters, people and refugees for global media coverage, he said.
Thousands of brave Bangalees frequently participated in pro-liberation processions and chanted slogans ‘Joy Bangla’ at Tentulia in free atmosphere during the War of Liberation in 1971.
Prime Minister of the Bangladesh 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.
Sector Commander MK Bashar, Sub-sector Commander Squadron leader Sadruddin, Captain Nazrul, Captain Shahriar, Lieutenants Masud and Matin were stationed at Tentulia Sub-sector headquarters of Sector No-6 to conduct the War of Liberation.
“The ‘Weekly Sangrami Bangla’, edited by Emdadul Haque, was published regularly from Tentulia in 1971 inspiring every independence-seeker Bangalee and freedom fighters to strengthen their moral courage,” Rahman added.
Elderly citizen Kazi Habibur Rahman of Kazipara village in Tentulia upazila said the upazila remained a completely independent part of Swadhin Bangla during whole nine month war in 1971.
All hats and bazaars functioned in Tentulia upazila usually in 1971 keeping common life normal and freedom fighters entered to and came back from India freely to organize the War, Kazi said.
Former Principal of Bhajanpur Degree College in Tentulia upazila Shafikul Islam said, one day, Tajuddin Ahmed with other leaders in exile came to Tentulia and addressed a huge public rally in presence of foreign journalists.
In his speech, Tajuddin Ahmed highly appreciated bravery of the people of Tentulia urging them and people not to lose their courage and continue to fight until the ultimate victory was achieved,” Islam said.
Islam thanked the government for constructing monument ‘Swadhinotar Tirthobhumi Tentulia’ and ‘Muktanchol of 1971’ and a gate to keep the legendary role of the people of Tentulia immortal during the War of Liberation.