MEHERPUR,Dec 5,2016 (BSS) - The 1971 interim government had declared Mujibnagar of Meherpur as Bangladesh's makeshift capital while freedom fighters freed it on December 6, well ahead of the final victory against the Pakistani troops.
"The entire Meherpur was liberated 10 days ahead of the complete surrender of the Pakistani army," district commander of Freedom Fighters' Command Council Bashir Ahmed told BSS in a reminiscence.
He added the liberation of Meherpur was both strategically and politically important as the country's first capital was situated in an area under Meherpur, which was part of Kushtia district in 1971.
Liberation War records and 1971 veterans statements suggest that Sector 8 commander the then major MA Manzoor led the allied forces to Meherpur on December 5.
The entire region was freed on the next day as the allied forces removed numerous landmines setup by the retreating Pakistani troops, marking the strategic development.
They said the allied force under Manzoor's leadership first maneuvered along the Meherpur borders in November 1971 and carried out a series of guerilla attacks on the occultation troops largely demoralising them in the subsequent weeks.
The records suggest that a fierce fight took place on the Inchakhali-Buripota borders at the end of November, 1971, where the occupation forces suffered a heavy casualty losing more than 50 personnel in the guerilla attack.
"The freedom fighters managed to liberate the entire Meherpur on December 6 and took control of the-then sub-division," Bashir Ahmed said.
As the guerillas, backed by the Indian troops started to advance towards Meherpur on December 5, the occupation forces retreated totally from Meherpur area at midnight on December 6.
But to obstruct the allied force's advances, the Pakistani troops damaged the Amjhupi Bridge on the Kazla River and Dinadatta Bridge on the Chewtia River in the area as they retreated.