Tentulia remained unconquerable during War of Liberation

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RANGPUR, Dec 09, 2019 (BSS) -Following stiff resistances created by freedom fighters, the northernmost Tentulia Thana area remained as unconquerable stronghold and training centre of freedom fighters in 1971.

The Pakistani occupation army could not even touch sovereignty of the entire 74 square-kilometre Tentulia Thana during the whole nine-month period of the War of Liberation.

Talking to BSS, freedom fighters, elderly citizens and eyewitnesses said, the occupation-free Tentulia remained as a spirited centre strengthening moral courage and conviction of the Bangalees for independence.

Local eyewitness and retired school teacher Akbar Ali, 85, said Tentulia was then known as the ‘Muktanchol’ (free from invasion) across the globe.

Recruitment of freedom fighters, their training, supply of arms and ammunition and planning of attacks were being conducted freely by organisers of the War of Liberation and freedom fighters at Tentulia that remained as a stern threat to the Pakistani army.

“Tentulia, surrounded by Indian territories from three directions, soon became well-known as top organisers of the War of Liberation and political leaders frequently visited the area where freedom fighters mobilised them for national independence,” Ali said.

Former Headmaster of Tentulia Pilot High School Jahirul Haque said Tentulia became an important place in 1971 to reflect the aspirations of the independence-seeker Bangalees.

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 in 1971.

Sector Commander M K Bashar, Sub-sector Commander Squadron leader Sadruddin, Captain Nazrul Haque, Captain Shahriar, Lieutenants Masud and Matin were stationed at Tentulia Sub-sector of Sector No-6 to organise and conduct the War of Liberation.

“Cabinet Secretary to the government in exile HT Imam during his visit to occupation-free Tentulia became overwhelmed and confidently told Circle Officer of Tentulia Matiur Rahman that Bangladesh shall achieve independence,” Haque added.

Former Principal of Bhajanpur Degree College Shafikul Islam, 63, in Tentulia upazila said he attended a huge rally of Tajuddin Ahmed at Tentulia during the War of Liberation.

“I listened to the speech of Tajuddin Ahmed in the human-sea like public rally with participation of thousands of independence-seeker Bangalees, freedom fighters, political leaders, activists and foreign journalists,” Islam said recalling his sweet memory.

Tajuddin Ahmed highly appreciated bravery of the Tentulia people and called upon the Bangalees not to lose courage for continuing the war until the ultimate victory was achieved.

“While commenting on the radio speech delivered then by Pakistani junta Yahiya Khan, Tajuddin in the rally said that Yahiya’s speech reflects that moral courage of Pakistani army has been destroyed and our victory is evident,” Islam mentioned.

Former Tentulia upazila unit Commander of BMS Kazi Mahbubur Rahman said all hats and bazaars functioned well in Tentulia Thana keeping civic life normal and freedom fighters were going to India and coming back freely to liberate the country.

Famous journalists like Mark Tully and William Crowley, visited Tentulia, photographed the War of Liberation in Bhajanpur fronts and interviewed heroic freedom fighters, common people and refugees for global media coverage.

“The achievement of ultimate victory on December 16 in 1971 in the War of Liberation began with defeating the Pakistani army by freedom fighters on November 29 in Panchagarh, Thakurgaon on December 3 and so on across the country,” Rahman added.