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Nov 21 – The battle of Garibpur and the beginning of Bangladesh Liberation War

The day of 21st November holds a special place in the hearts of Indians and Bangladeshis alike who were directly or indirectly affected by the Bangladesh Liberation war. The Battle of Garibpur fought on this very day ensured a strong and perpetual alliance between the two nations. Indian armed forces fought alongside “Mukti Bahini” which was formed by Bangladesh military personnel and specialized in guerrilla warfare.

Mukti Bahini forces of Bangladesh
Mukti Bahini forces of Bangladesh

Source: www.gettyimages.com

The alliance named “Mitro Bahini” took Pakistani forces by surprise by launching an offensive against 107 Infantry Brigade stationed in the then East Pakistan. Undeterred by the fact that the alliance was outnumbered against Pakistani troops, the “14 Punjab Battalion” fought ferociously with support from a squadron of 14 PT-76 tanks. The alliance forces decimated the Pakistani attack by destroying majority of their Tank squadron and causing heavy casualties for the battalion.

Aircrafts of India and Pakistan which were used in Bangladesh Liberation War
The F-86 Sabre (L) aircraft from Pakistan Airforce and GNAT (R) from Indian Airforce

Frustrated by the defeat, Pakistan relied on its Air attack for an edge against the alliance, but hereto the Indian Air Force engaged and neutralized the threat by shooting down 4 F-86 Sabre aircrafts. Two of the pilots were taken as POWs.

indian express coverage of battle of garibpur

 

Defence Minister visiting the No.22 Squadron which knocked down Four Sabres of the PAF 14 Squadron
Defence Minister visiting the No.22 Squadron which knocked down Four Sabres of the PAF 14 Squadron

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