Timeline of the Bangladesh Liberation War

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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[edit]

  • 1 March: General Yahya Khan calls off the session of National Council to be held on 3 March in a radio address.[1]
  • 7 March: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – leader of Awami League party that had won a landslide victory in Pakistan in the Federal Elections of 1970, but never been granted authority – announces to a jubilant crowd at the Dhaka Race Course ground, "The struggle this time is the struggle for our emancipation! The struggle this time is the struggle for independence!".[2]
  • 9 March: Workers of Chittagong port refuse to unload weapons from the ship 'Swat'.
  • 16 March: Yahya Khan starts negotiation with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • 19 March: Nearly 200 people are injured at Jaydevpur during clashes between protesters and the Pakistan Army.[3]
  • 24 March: The Pakistan Army opens fire on Bengali protesters in Syedpur and Rangpur. About 150 people are killed.[4]

Events during the War[edit]


  • 25 March to 26 March: Pakistan Army starts genocide 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]
  • 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[edit]


  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. ^ a b 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.