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First victory rally held in Jessore on Dec 11

JESSORE, Dec 10, 2016 (BSS) - December 11, 1971, is a memorable day of our national life as the people of the country gathered the first public victory rally at Town Hall ground in the district.

The people of the district recalled the day with pride for being host of first public meeting in "independent Bangladesh" 46 years ago four days ahead of the final victory of December 16, 1971.

Senior residents and 1971 veterans recalled the jubilance of December 11, 1971 when thousands of dancing people chanting "Joy Bangla" at the top of their voice crowded the Town Hall premises where the Liberation War time government leaders joined the celebrations.

"No more destruction or no more war. This is the time to rebuild the war-ravaged Bangladesh," a 1971 veteran recalled the then prime minister Tajuddin Ahmed as saying.

The records said acting president of the expatriate government Syed Nazrul Islam, the then lawmaker Fanibhushon Majumder, late Rawshan Ali, late Mosharraf Hossain, Tabibur Rahman Sarder, late MR Akhter Mukul and late Zahir Raihan also spoke on the occasion.

In his first such directive in liberated land, Tajuddin Ahmed had directed the then deputy commissioner of Jessore Waliul Islam and officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station to take all steps to maintain law and order and take legal actions against perpetrators of crimes "whoever they maybe".

He said Independent Bangladesh would not allow politics in the name of religions and so "the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League and Nejam-e-Islam are declared illegal".

Peter Gill of Daily Telegraph in London, Sydne S H Sunburg of New York Times and correspondents of Baltimore Sun and Washington Post covered the first ever meeting in liberated Bangladesh.

The Pakistani occupation forces started leaving Jessore from noon of December 7 in 1971 realizing their defeats. Before leaving the country, they carried out their last atrocities killing a huge number of people.

Commander of Sector-8 Major Monjur and Commander of 9th Division of Allied Forces (mitra bahini) Major General Dalabir Singh entered Jessore early morning of December 7 in 1971.

The then chief of general staff of India's eastern command General JRF Jacob in his famous 'Surrender at Dacca' said on December 4 "full-scale hostilities commenced" and the defense of Jessore had by then been strengthened by linking up various marshes in the area and by pulling in troops which had earlier occupied the Chaugachha area and by flying in a battalion from the Rajshahi area."

"Jessore was occupied by the afternoon of 7 December, Niazi's signal intercept organization had picked up transmissions for the move of 50 Para Brigade but were unable to interpret them correctly," he wrote.