Battle of Kamalpur

The Battle of Kamalpur, launched against the Pakistan Army, is one of the most significant battles fought by Bangladesh Forces in 1971, besides Chilmari Landing, during its war of independence from Pakistan. The Pakistan Army set up a military camp at Kamalpur which was attacked by 1st East Bengal Regiment of Z Force several times. The first attack was made on June 12, 1971, second attack on July 31, 1971. Finally, on December 4, Pakistan Army had to withdraw and fell back to their headquarters at Jamalpur. After an attack by the Bangladesh Forces, Pakistani troops were defeated and Jamalpur became free.[1]

The Camp at Kamalpur

Kamalpur, a border area, was known as the gateway to Dhaka from the northern sector under Sector 11, the central sector and the largest one of Bangladesh Forces.[2] It was situated on the mouth of the old Brahmaputra and on the road link with Mymensingh via Jamalpur.[3] Pakistan Army set up a military camp at Kamalpur. This camp was tactically crucial for the Pakistan Army because its fall can cause the Pakistan Army lose control over the whole Jamalpur-Dhaka region.[4]

The Pakistani troops made concrete bunkers which contained shell proof roofs. To provide communication between bunkers, they dug communication trenches. The camp perimeter included Booby traps and minefields as defense.[1][3]

About two companies of 31 regiment excluding razakars constituted the enemy force.[1][3]

Attacks on Kamalpur Camp

On June 12, 1971, the first attack was launched by Mukti Bahini at Kamalpur Camp. Pakistani troops tried to enter the villages of Sarishabari Upazila of Jamalpur district but failed as the villagers confronted them. Many people in the villages martyred. While retreating, the Pakistan Army set fire in the villages.[1]

Under the command of Commanding Officer Major Moinul Hussain Chowdhury, the second attack was launched on July 31 (at night on August 1), 1971.[3][4] The attack was made with two companies Delta and Bravo from the North – East of the enemy camp. Captain Salahuddin Momtaz commanded Delta on the left and Captain Hafiz commanded Bravo on the right. As the troops were moving towards the enemy post, the enemy artillery started firing heavily. As a result, the progress of the two companies became slow and encountered demise. The troops continued moving forward and entered the outer perimeter of the enemy camp. Though casualties were increasing, the freedom fighters made progress through the minefield. At one stage of the fight, two shells dropped in front of Captain Salahuddin Momtaz and killed him. Fortunately, Captain Hafiz could escape death. In the morning at 7:30, Major Moin, the battalion commander of 1st East Bengal Regiment ordered the battalion to retreat.[3]

Casualties

In the battle on July 31, 1971, 35 freedom fighters were killed.[4] During the battle of Jamalpur, 10 soldiers of one Maratha light infantry and one soldier of 13 Guard regiment of India were killed.

On the other hand, the casualties of the Pakistan army were 235, 23 were injured. In addition, freedom fighters captured 61 of the Pakistani soldiers. The second in command of 51 Baluch Regiment surrendered with 376 soldiers to the freedom fighters.[1]

References

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