In news: For the first time ever a 122 member strong contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces(Mukti Bahini) participated at the historic Republic Day celebrations, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
About Mukti Bahini/Bangladesh Forces
- The Mukti Bahini, also known as the Bangladesh Forces, was the guerrilla resistance movement consisting of the Bangladeshi military, paramilitary and civilians during the War of Liberation that transformed East Pakistan into Bangladesh in 1971.
- An earlier name Mukti Fauj was also used
- The Bangladesh Armed Forces were established on 4 April 1971.
- In addition to regular units, such as the East Bengal Regiment and the East Pakistan Rifles, the Mukti Bahini also consisted of the civilian Gono Bahini (People’s Force)
- The most prominent divisions of the Mukti Bahini were the Z Force led by Major Ziaur Rahman, the K Force led by Major Khaled Mosharraf and the S Force led by Major K M Shafiullah.
- Awami League student leaders formed militia units, including the Mujib Bahini, the Kader Bahini and Hemayet Bahini
- The Communist Party of Bangladesh, led by Comrade Moni Singh, and activists from the National Awami Party also operated several guerrilla battalions
- Using guerrilla warfare tactics, the Mukti Bahini secured control over large parts of the Bengali countryside.
- It conducted successful “ambush and sabotage” campaigns, and included the nascent Bangladesh Air Force and the Bangladesh Navy.
- The Mukti Bahini received training and weapons from India, where people in West Bengal shared a common Bengali ethnic and linguistic heritage with East Pakistan.
- During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Mukti Bahini became part of the Bangladesh-India Allied Forces.
- It was instrumental in securing the Surrender of Pakistan and the liberation of Dacca and other cities in December 1971
More about the contingent who participated in the Republic day parade
- Soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, sailors of Bangladesh Navy and air warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force are part of the contingent.
- And they are being led by contingent commander Lt Col Abu Mohammed Shahnoor Shawon and his deputies Lieutenant Farhan Ishraq and Flight Lieutenant Sibat Rahman.
- The majority of the soldiers in this contingent come from the most distinguished units of the Bangladesh Army 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 & 11 East Bengal Regiment and 1, 2 and 3 Field Artillery Regiment.
- These units have the distinct honour of fighting and winning the 1971 Liberation War.
- And, the contingent from Bangladesh carries with them the legacy of legendary Muktijoddhas of Bangladesh, their fore-fathers had fought against mass atrocities by tyrannical forces, and for the liberty of Bangladesh.
- Also, there are members of the Bangladesh Navy and Air force who had played a very critical role in the liberation of Bangladesh.
- Operation Jackpot’ and `Kilo’ flight of the Bangladesh Navy and Air-force respectively was the demonstration of their courage, determination and resolve to fight against oppression.
About 1971 the Bangladesh Liberation War
- The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was the first war between the countries that did not involve fighting over the Kashmir region.
- At this time, the Dominion of Pakistan was divided into West Pakistan and East Pakistan (initially East Bengal). These two regions were separated by the larger nation of India.
- Fought under the leadership of then-prime minister Indira Gandhi and chief of army staff (COAS), General Sam Manekshaw, the war ended in less than two weeks with a decisive victory for India, and resulted in the creation of Bangladesh, which was then known as East Pakistan.