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Nishbetganj massacre triggered War of Liberation in Rangpur

RANGPUR, Mar 13 (BSS) - The sparkling heroism and supreme sacrifice of 600 Bangalees at Nishbetganj while gheraoing Rangpur Cantonment on March 28 in 1971 triggered the War of Liberation in Rangpur.

On that Day, thousands of Bangalees irrespective of their
caste, creed and religion equipped with indigenous and lethal
weapons, spears, sharp weapons, arrows, bows, clubs tried to
capture Rangpur cantonment from occupation forces.

Elderly people, Freedom Fighters (FF) and District
Muktijoddha Commander Mosaddek Hossain Bablu said the local
Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Oraon, Santal and ethnic communities
started rushing towards the cantonment.

Awami League (AL) leader Sheikh Amjad Hossain chaired a
meeting that was addressed by CPB leader late Soyer Uddin and AL
leader Majibar Rahman Master when thousands of people assembled
at Nishbetganj before marching towards cantonment.

According to the book 'Juddhe Juddhe Swadhinota' written by
Major Nasir Uddin, it was about 4 to 5 pm when thousands of
Independence-seeker Bangalees had been assembling to capture
Rangpur cantonment at any costs.

The 23rd Brigade Headquarters of Pakistan Army was then
stationed at Rangpur and the Third Bengal, 26th Regiment at
Syedpur, 23rd Cavalry Regiment and its associate forces and 29th
Tank Bahini were under its command.

Pakistani Brigadier General Abdullah Malik was the then
Brigade Commander of 23rd Brigade Headquarters and the Cantonment
was equipped with modern automatic heavy arms, artilleries, tanks
and ammunitions with huge Pakistani forces.

At one stage, some 10 military jeeps with browning
machineguns started showering automatic gunfire towards the
Bangalees that continued for about five minutes killing over 600
Bangalees and injuring hundreds more.

The massacre and genocide were committed by the Pakistani
Army led by war criminals Brigadier General Abdullah Malik,
Colonel Sagir and other Pakistani Army Officers and their
collaborator Behari soldiers and officers.

Under the commands of Colonel Sagir, most of the bodies of
martyred Bangalees were collected and burnt with petrol and many
other bodies and remains of the burnt bodies were put into the
mass grave at Nishbetganj Baddhyabhumi.

All these happenings were witnessed by Bangalee Officers Ma
Nasir Uddin, Lt Bodiuzzaman and Lt Hashem and at one stage
Colonel Sagir became very angry on them for their silence after
the whole genocide was completed, the book wrote.

Later, Colonel Sagir, who always maintained links with the
local Beharis, told his under commands that he had taught proper
lessons to the Bangalees by killing at least 600 as 'they crossed
all limits'.

After the March 28 genocide at Nishbetganj, people of greater
Rangpur, Bangalee Army Officers, members of the then EPR,
students, farmers teachers, youths, lawyers, socio-cultural
activists and everybody of all ages vowed to liberate the nation.

And thus, supreme sacrifice of the Bangalees on March 28 at
Nishbetganj ignited real heroism in sleeping every Bangalee when
they started fighting till achieving the Independence of Rangpur
on December 16.

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