Bangladesh celebrates 39th Victory Day

A pre-dawn 31-gun salute heralded the Victory Day as President Zillur Rahman offered wreaths at the National Memorial, paying homage to the 1971 martyrs, amid a blanket security cover with police and the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion troops guarding the celebration venues.

In tens and thousands, people came in thereafter to pay tributes to the valiant sons of the soil who laid down their lives to liberate Bangladesh from the Pakistani rule in 1971. On this day in 1971, the Pakistan army surrendered to the India-Bangladesh joint forces in Dhaka, ending the nine-month freedom struggle sparked by Pakistani army crackdown on unarmed Bengalis on March 25 that year, prompting the armed Bengali resistance.

An estimated three million Bengalis died during the Liberation War led by the interim Bangladesh government in exile.

Air force jets staged a spectacular fly past while army, navy and other armed forces including police staged annual Victory Day parade at the National parade Square where President Rahman took the salute while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was among
thousands to witness the function.

The veterans of 1971 Liberation War later attended a function at the Race Course Maidan in central Dhaka where on this day in 1971 Lieutenant General A A K Niazi, the commander of the 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to the allied Bangladeshi and Indian troops chief Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora.

Leading artistes staged a mock drama show relaying the moments of the final surrender. The Bengalees waged an armed struggle after the Pakistani troops launched a notorious crackdown in a military campaign called 'Operation Search Light'.

Despite an overwhelming victory of his Awami League party in the 1970 elections, the then Pakistani regime refused to hand over power to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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