Timeline of the Bangladesh Liberation War

Last updated

The Bangladesh Liberation War started on 26 March 1971 and ended on 16 December 1971. Some of the major events of the war are listed in the timeline below.



Interactive Timeline of the Bangladesh Liberation War

Before the war

Events during the War


  • 25 March to 26 March: Pakistan Army starts crackdown in the form of Operation Searchlight in Dhaka and the rest of the country, attacking general civilians, political activists, students, and Bengali members of armed forces and police. [5]
  • 26 March: At 1.15 am, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is arrested by the Pakistani 3 commando unit. [6] [7] [8] [9] The Independence of Bangladesh is declared by Sheikh Mujibiur Rahman a few minutes before he was arrested by the Pakistani army. At 2.30 pm The Independence of Bangladesh was declared by Awami league leader of Chittagong M. A. Hannan on behalf of Bangobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from Kalurghat. This is Bangladesh's official Independence Day.
  • 27 March: Independence of Bangladesh is again declared by Maj. Ziaur Rahman on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. [9] [10] Santahar massacre committed by the Mukhti Bahini
  • 31 March: Kushtia resistance begins.




  • 11–17 July: Sector Commanders Conference in 1971.




  • 13 October: Dhaka guerrillas kill Abdul Monem Khan, governor of East Pakistan.
  • 28 October to 3 November: Battle of Dhalai in which 3 companies (215 soldiers) of the Jat Regiment (2 JAT) of Indian Army defeated a battalion (800 soldiers) of 30th Frontier Force Rifles (30 FFR) of Pakistan Army. [14] [15] [16] Hamidur Rahman of Mukti Bahini was posthumously awarded the Bir Sreshtho, the highest recognition of bravery in Bangladesh. [17]
  • 31 October to 3 November: Battle of Dhalai: Allied attack from Tripura into East Pakistan to stop Pakistani cross-border shelling.



See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bangladesh Armed Forces</span> Combined military forces of Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Armed Forces are the combined military forces of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. It consists of the three uniformed military services: the Bangladesh Army, the Bangladesh Navy and the Bangladesh Air Force. The Armed Forces are under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Defence of the Government of Bangladesh, and is directly administered by the Armed Forces Division of the Prime Minister's Office. The President of Bangladesh serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. It has the third-largest defence budget in South Asia and according to the Global Firepower index it is the third most powerful military force in South Asia. Border Guard Bangladesh and Bangladesh Coast Guard are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs during peacetime, but during wartime they fall under the command of Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Navy respectively.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bangladesh Liberation War</span> 1971 Bangladesh–Pakistan armed conflict

The Bangladesh Liberation War was a revolution and armed conflict sparked by the rise of the Bengali nationalist and self-determination movement in East Pakistan, which resulted in the independence of Bangladesh. The war began when the Pakistani military junta based in West Pakistan—under the orders of Yahya Khan—launched Operation Searchlight against the people of East Pakistan on the night of 25 March 1971, initiating the Bangladesh genocide.

Independence of Bangladesh was declared on 26 March 1971, celebrated as Independence Day, from Pakistan. The Independence Day of Bangladesh is celebrated on 26 March when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Liberation War started on 26 March and lasted till 16 December 1971 which is celebrated as Victory Day in Bangladesh. There is a dispute along partisan line on who declared the Independence of Bangladesh. The Awami League claim Sheikh Mujibur Rahman while the Bangladesh Nationalist Party claim it was Ziaur Rahman.

Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani, was a Bengali military leader. Osmani's career spanned five decades, beginning with service in the British Indian Army in 1939. He fought in the Burma Campaign during World War II. After the partition of India in 1947, he joined the Pakistan Army and served in the East Bengal Regiment, retiring as a colonel in 1967. Osmani joined the Provisional Government of Bangladesh in 1971 as the commander-in-chief of the nascent Bangladesh Forces. Regarded as the founder of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, Osmani retired as a four-star general from the Bangladesh Army in 1972.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abdul Kader Siddique</span> Bangladeshi politician and former freedom fighter

Abdul Kader Siddique is a Bangladeshi politician. He served as a Mukti Bahini member and organizer of the Bangladesh Liberation War. He fought with an estimated 17,000-strong guerrilla force in the Tangail region against the Pakistan Army. The army was called Kaderia Bahini. At the end of the war in 1971, Siddique's forces entered Dhaka along with the Indian forces, signaling the end of the war. He was awarded Bir Uttom by the Government of Bangladesh. Since 1999, he has been serving as the leader of his newly formed party, the Krishak Sramik Janata League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liberation War Museum</span> Museum in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Liberation War Museum is a museum at Agargaon in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, which commemorates the Bangladesh Liberation War that led to the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Suhrawardy Udyan</span> National memorial in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Suhrawardy Udyan formerly known as Ramna Race Course ground is a national memorial located in Shahbagh, Dhaka. It is named after Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. Originally it served as the military club of the British soldiers stationed in Dhaka. It was then called the Ramna Race Course and later Ramna Gymkhana. After the end of colonial rule, the place – sometimes referred to as Dhaka Race Course – was used for legal horse racing on Sundays.

The Battle of Boyra was a ground and aerial battle that was fought on 22 November 1971 between the India and Pakistan.

The Battle of Dhalai was fought between India and Pakistan before the formal start 1971 India-Pakistan War for the liberation of Bangladesh. The battle started after an attack by Indian army on Pakistani border outpost (BOP) in East Pakistan on 28 October and lasted until 3 November 1971. Three infantry battalions belonging to 61 Mountain Brigade, one battalion belonging to East Bengal Regiment and 7 Rajputana Rifles supported by an artillery-sized brigade of Indian army fought against a battalion-sized 12 Frontier Force of Pakistan army.

The Swadhin Bangla Biplobi Parishad was an armed underground student political group secretly organized in 1961 by Serajul Alam Khan, a key founder of Bangladesh, that worked to wage an armed secessionist struggle against Pakistani rule and achieve the independence of East Pakistan as "Bangladesh".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Operation Jackpot</span> Battle of the Bangladesh Liberation War

Operation Jackpot was a codename for three operations undertaken by Bengali Mukti Bahini in former East Pakistan against the Federation of Pakistan at the climax of the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra was the radio broadcasting centre of Bengali nationalist forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. This station played an important role in the liberation struggle, broadcasting the Declaration of Independence and increasing the morale of Bangladeshis during the genocide. In 1971, radio was the only media reaching the far ends of Bangladesh. The station ran a liberation campaign throughout the liberation war.

1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1971st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 971st year of the 2nd millennium, the 71st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1970s decade.

On 25 March 1971, the Pakistani military, supported by paramilitary units, launched the military operation to pacify the insurgent-held areas of East Pakistan, which led to a prolonged conflict with the Bengali Mukti Bahini. Although conventional in nature during March–May 1971, it soon turned into a guerrilla insurgency from June of that year. Indian Army had not directly supported the Bengali resistance but had launched Operation Jackpot to support the insurgency from May 1971.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Provisional Government of Bangladesh</span> Government-in-exile of Bangladesh (1971–1972)

The Provisional Government of Bangladesh, popularly known as the Mujibnagar Government; also known as the Bangladeshi government-in-exile, was a provisional government that was established following the declaration of independence of East Pakistan as Bangladesh on 10 April 1971. Headed by prime minister Tajuddin Ahmad, it was the supreme leadership of the Bangladeshi liberation movement, comprising a cabinet, a diplomatic corps, an assembly, an armed force, and a radio service. It operated as a government-in-exile from Kolkata.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Military plans of the Bangladesh Liberation War</span> Military plans of the Bangladesh Liberation War

Prior to Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, India had no plans for large scale military action in East Pakistan. Since the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the primary objective of the Indian Army Eastern Command was the defence of the Indian northern and eastern borders, defending the "Shiliguri Corridor", and on combating insurgencies raging in Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and the Naxalites in West Bengal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mukti Bahini</span> Bengali guerrilla resistance movement in former East Pakistan

The Mukti Bahini, also known as the Bangladesh Forces, was the guerrilla resistance movement consisting of the Bangladeshi military, paramilitary and civilians during the Bangladesh Liberation War that transformed East Pakistan into Bangladesh in 1971. They were initially called the Mukti Fauj.

Z Force, also known as Tura Brigade, was the first military brigade of Bangladesh Forces formed during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 under Major Ziaur Rahman along with the consent of the revolutionary government of Bangladesh in exile. The brigade was formed with the 1st, 3rd and 8th Battalion of East Bengal Regiment on 7 July 1971. It is the first ever complete brigade formed during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

Ayesha Bedora Choudhury (1935–1971) was a Bangladeshi doctor who was killed in the Bangladesh Liberation war and is considered a martyr in Bangladesh.

Mohammad Ziauddin, BUT is a retired Bangladeshi military officer, who was the Commanding Officer of the 1st East Bengal Regiment during the Bangladesh Liberation War. He was awarded the Bir Uttom, the country's second highest gallantry award for his outstanding bravery in the Liberation War. His certificate number was 22.


  1. "March 1, 1971". Liberation War Museum. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  2. Ahmed, Helal Uddin (2012). "Seventh March Address". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  3. "March 19, 1971". Liberation War Museum. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  4. "March 24, 1971". Liberation War Museum. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  5. Salik, Siddiq (1978) [First published 1977]. Witness to Surrender. Oxford University Press. p. 90. ISBN   0-19-577257-1.
  6. Brig.Zahir Alam Khan memoir "The Way it Was"
  7. Gupta, Jyoti Sen (1974). History of freedom movement in Bangladesh, 1943–1973. Naya Prokash. p. 278. OCLC   891183528. It was past midnight ... the Pakistani Major looked up at Begum Mujib and said: 'Sorry, we are taking him away'.
  8. Khan, Fazal Muqueem (1973). Pakistan's Crisis in Leadership. National Book Foundation. p. 72. OCLC   976643179. Sheikh Mujib was arrested from his residence in Dhan Mandi at 0130 hours
  9. 1 2 Matinuddin, Kamal (1994). Tragedy of errors: East Pakistan crisis, 1968–1971. Wajidalis. ISBN   978-969-8031-19-0.
  10. Safiullah, K M (1989). Bangladesh at War. Academic Publishers. p. 45. ISBN   9789840801091. OCLC   24300969.
  11. "Locals still have nightmare about supreme sacrifices of Lt. Azim, 200 others". The New Nation. 8 May 2009.
  12. Islam, Rafiqul (1981). A Tale of Millions. Bangladesh Books International. p. 211. OCLC   499426590.
  13. Jahanara Imam, Ekatturer Dinguli
  14. Sinh, Ramdhir (2013). A Talent for War: The Military Biography of Lt Gen Sagat Singh. New Delhi: Vij Books India Private Limited. ISBN   978-9382573739.
  15. "Battle of Dhalai". Defence Journal. December 1998. pp. 30–36. Archived from the original on 7 October 1999.
  16. "Notable battles in the 11 Sectors". Dhaka Tribune. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  17. "War heroes honoured". The Daily Star. UNB. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  18. Singh, Sukhwant (1980). India's Wars Since Independence. Vol. 1. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. p. 190. ISBN   0-7069-1057-5.
  19. Cloughley, Brian (2006) [First published 1999]. A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 179. ISBN   978-0-19-547334-6.
  20. মুক্তিযুদ্ধে বিমান[Airplanes of liberation war]. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 25 December 2009.
  21. "India-Pakistan 1971 war: 13 days that shook the subcontinent". The Indian Express. 2 January 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2022.