The great Chandhat battle of freedom loving people of Faridpur

The great Chandhat battle of freedom loving people of Faridpur

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The battle of Chandhat in the War of Liberation in 1971 in Nagarkanda thana of the district between the Mukti Bahini and the Pakistani occupation army is a glorious event in the annals of our great liberation history.This historic battle which took place on May 29 in 1971 in the remote village of Nagarkanda thana raised the morale of the freedom freedom-loving people of the district at the very outset of the liberation war when the freedom fighters were yet to be organized to face a very powerful enemy.At that stage the freedom fighters popularly called Mukti Bahini were neither organized nor had sufficient training, or equipped with sophisticated weapons to fight the well-trained and heavily armed marauding Pakistani forces.“But our high morale and directives declared by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his historic March 7 speech ‘Face the enemy with whatever you have’ gave us the necessary strength,” said Altaf Hossain Khan now 63, then a Lance Nayek of Pakistan army on leave and a proud freedom fighter who actively took part in Chandhat battle.Valiant Freedom Fighter Altaf Hossain said recently that as soon as Pakistan army cracked down on freedom loving Bangalees on the night of March 25 he along with some other army, police and EPR men who either defected or were on leave, organized themselves under the command of retired army Havilder Abdul Aziz Molla.After acquiring some arms of police mainly 303 rifles with ammunitions from Bhanga and Nagarkanda thana people of Chandhat and its surrounding villages bordering Muksudpur thana of the then Gopalganj subdivision started training to resist Pakistan army. This formation of Mukti Bahini had created alarm among some lackeys of Pakistan army who sent the news to Pakistan army camp at the Faridpur district headquarter.On May 29 at 10 A. M. the Mukti Bahini under the command of Aziz Molla got the information that a platoon of Pakistan army were proceeding towards Chandhat on foot because there was no motorable road to reach the inaccessible area full of marshy land. Getting the news the Mukti BahiniI men with 13 old-fashioned 303 rifles and one Chinese sten gun got ready to face the Pakistan army equipped with sophisticated automatic weapons. But meanwhile hundreds of villagers with indigenous weapons like Sharki, Ballam and Dhal joined the Freedom Fighters (FFs) to face the heinous enemy. Thus the battle of Chandhat turned into a peoples’ war. During the battle the villagers also supplied dry food mainly Chira, Muri, Gur to the
Mukti Bahini men.  An experienced war strategist Commander Aziz Molla decided to attack the enemy from three sides and accordingly when the enemy forces reached within rifle range, they opened fire on them, Altaf said.He said we took positions in bunkers on high land whereas the enemy forces were on sloping field giving some natural advantage to the Freedom Fighters. For positional advantage the bullets from the enemy guns were flying away over our heads but we hit our targets perfectly, Altaf Hossain Khan said.A beaming Altaf said that within 15 to 20 minutes a number of Pakistani army was killed by our bullets.  However, the battle continued for about five hours leaving 28 Pakistani soldiers killed including a captain and two lieutenants.On the other hand, brave Abu Bakar Sardar of village Nagardia Nuru Mia of village Ishwardi and more importantly one Monowara Begum embraced martyrdom in the battle. Monowara received bullet injuries while helping the Mukti Bahini with logistic. Monowara later succumbed to her injuries.Beside, Commander Aziz Molla, other notable Freedom Fighters were Rashid Fakir, Barek Havilder (later killed in another encounter with Pakistan army) Mofazzel Hossain Khasru, Israil, Isahaque, Delwar Hossain, Awal, Solaiman Molla and myself, Altaf said. He said we captured three medium machine guns, four Chinese rifles and huge quantity of ammunition.Next day a Pakistan army being reinforced with a large number of troops again reached Chandhat to retaliate. But for strategic reason Aziz Molla and his men retreated to other place instead of directly fight them.The invading army killed many innocent people of surrounding areas, burnt
down villages and recovered the bodies of their colleagues killed on May 29 battle. But they could recover only 18 bodies dumped in marshy field by the villagers.This historic victory of the freedom-loving people who took up arms to fight an unequal war to break off the shackles of the oppressive rule of the Pakistanis had created an important impact among the Freedom Fighters of this district at the very initial stage when the trained FFs were yet to reach from across the border. Beside the Chandhat victory Commander Aziz Molla, a great maneuver of war of art, led many successful operations in 1971.  Unfortunately the vrave3 man was killed by dacoits in 1978.When asked weather any victory commemorative plaque or any other structure has been built to remind the people of the great battle, Altaf Hossain answered in the negative. Observers feel that a victory monument or a commemorative structure should be built at the great battle site so that members of our next generation can know about what happened here in 1971. -BSS, Faridpur

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