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Bangladesh@50: A timeline of the 1971 Liberation War, as it unfolded

A day-to-day account, from December 3-16, of the 1971 India-Pakistan war. East Pakistan seceded from then Pakistan dominion and was declared the People's Republic of Bangladesh, with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as its first prime minister

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina |
Updated: January 4, 2022 12:56:24 pm
Bangladesh liberation war1971 Bangladesh Liberation War (Express Archive)

December 3: Pakistan Air Force launches air strikes against Indian airfields in the Western Sector, including Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Avantipura, Ambala, Sirsa, Halwara, Agra

December 3 to 6: Indian Air Force retaliates by attacking Pakistan air bases in Western and Eastern sectors. Pakistan attacks Indian ground positions in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir

December 4: Battle of Longewala takes place in Rajasthan where Pakistani advance towards Jaisalmer is thwarted

December 5: Battle of Ghazipur in East Pakistan. Battle of Basantar in Western sector in Pakistan’s Punjab in the Shakargarh salient near Sialkot. Battle of Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab

Bangladesh War of Liberation 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War (Express Archive)

December 6: India formally recognises Bangladesh as an independent nation. City of Jessore is liberated

December 7: Battle of Sylhet and Moulovi Bazaar begins in Bangladesh

December 8: Indian Navy launches attack on the Pakistani port city of Karachi

December 9: Indian Army fights Battle of Kushtia in Bangladesh. Chandpur and Daudkandi liberated. A helicopter bridge airlifts Indian troops across Meghna river and makes the fall of Dhaka a matter of time

December 10: Chittagong air base in Bangladesh attacked by Indian Air Force aircraft

December 11: Tangail airdrop of a Parachute Battalion to cut off retreating Pakistani troops in Bangladesh

December 12 to 16: Indian forces push through to Dhaka and enter the city. Pakistan Eastern Command Commander Lt Gen AAK Niazi signs the instrument of surrender and capitulates to Indian Eastern Commander Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora. As many as 93,000 Pakistani troops lay down their arms in Bangladesh

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