Mukti Bahini (Liberation Army Of Bangladesh) is an armed force organized in the liberation war of Bangladesh. In the beginning, it was called Muktifauj. From the beginning of March 1971, the workers of the Sangram Parishad formed on the initiative of students and youth leaders in the urban and rural areas of the country later organized and formed the Muktifauj and Mukti Bahini. However, clear documentary information about when and how its organizational structure was formed and how it was named Mukti Bahini is not yet available. The members of the Mukti Bahini can be basically divided into two classes: the first-class members were members of the Nationalist Army of East Pakistan, the second class came from the members of the various branches of the Sangram Parishad already organized in towns and villages and their followers.
On 12 April 1971, Colonel (later General) MAG Osmani took command of the Bangladesh Armed Forces at Teliapara. On 17 April he was officially declared the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Liberation Army. Important initiatives were taken to organize the Bangladesh Armed Forces between 11 and 16 July. At a meeting of sector commanders held in Calcutta, four important decisions were taken considering different aspects of the war, existing problems, and future strategies. These decisions were:
- The formation of combatant teams and war strategy will be as follows: (a) Guerrilla teams consisting of 5 to 10 trained members will be sent to different designated areas of Bangladesh with specific tasks assigned to them; (B) The warriors will conduct frontal attacks against the enemy and will carry 50 percent and more of their weapons. Volunteer detectives will be recruited to gather information about the enemy and 30 percent of them will be armed.
- Regular troops will be organized in different battalions and sectors.
- The following strategies will be applied when conducting military operations against the enemy: (a) a large number of guerrilla fighters will be deployed inside Bangladesh to conduct surprise or surprise attacks and attacks on the enemy from hiding; (b) industries will be shut down and power supply will be cut off; (c) Pakistanis will be barred from exporting manufactured goods or raw materials; (d) the communication system will be destroyed to obstruct the movement of the enemy; (e) to scatter the enemy forces to gain strategic advantage and (f) to conduct attacks on the isolated enemy forces to eliminate them.
- The entire region of Bangladesh will be divided into 11 sectors.
Regular and Irregular Forces:
Three forces are formed with regular members of the Defense Forces: Z Force under Major Ziaur Rahman, K Force under Khaled Mosharraf, and S Force under KM Shafiullah. Most of the soldiers came from the East Pakistan Rifles and the East Bengal Regiment. Members of the East Pakistan Rifles, police, and army who could not be included in these forces were divided into several units and sub-units to take part in the war in different sectors. Most of those who were trained to participate in guerrilla warfare were members of the irregular forces. Besides, some independent forces also took part in the war in different parts of Bangladesh and liberated many areas. Among them were Mujib Bahini, Kaderia Bahini, Afsar Battalion, and Hemayet Bahini.
Bangladesh Navy was formed in August 1971. Initially, the force had two ships and 45 sailors. The two ships conducted several successful attacks on the Pakistani navy. But both ships were accidentally attacked and destroyed by Indian fighter jets on 10 December 1971. At this time the two ships were going to conduct a major attack on the Mongla seaport.
Bangladesh Air Force:
It started its operations in Dimapur, Nagaland, India on 26 September under the command of Air Commodore AK Khandaker. Initially, it consisted of 18 officers, 50 crew members, and two aircraft, and one helicopter. The air force carried out more than a dozen surprise attacks on Pakistani targets and was quite successful in the early stages of the Indian offensive in early December.
Mukti Bahini (Liberation Army Of Bangladesh) in its final stage:
From October 1971, the Mukti Bahini (Liberation Army Of Bangladesh) launched a massive offensive against the enemy. After the signing of the Indo-Soviet pact in August 1971, India began to show more interest in the Bangladesh war. Finally, on 3 December 1971, India went directly to war. In fact, Indian troops have been directly involved in the war since November. At this time the freedom fighters conducted the Balunia operation.
Due to the geographical features of Bangladesh, it was not easy to win the war very quickly. Nevertheless, it was possible to liberate Dhaka in just two weeks. The success of the freedom fighters in the previous few months was one of the contributing factors.
On 16 December 1971, Major General Jamshed, Commander of the 14th Division of the Pakistan Army, surrendered to Indian General Nagra near the Mirpur Bridge. At 10.40 am that day, an army of the Mukti Bahini led by the Indian Allied Forces and Quader Siddiqui entered the city of Dhaka. This was the signal of the end of the nine-month-long war of independence of Bangladesh. War was still raging in different parts of the country.
Lt. Commander of the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army. General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Forces and the Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command Lt. General Jagjit Singh surrendered to Aurora. Group Captain AK Khandaker represented the Bangladesh Army at the surrender ceremony.