List of sectors in the Bangladesh Liberation War
During Bangladesh War of Independence the Bangladesh Forces (not to be confused with Mukti Bahini) were divided in the geographical area of Bangladesh into eleven sectors. Each sector had a sector commander who directed the military operation further coordinated through several sub-sectors under sub-sector commanders who fought along with their troops and civilian resistance fighters.
Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference
The history of the Bangladesh liberation war dates back to April 1971 when it began its inception with the title of Bangladesh Forces during the first Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference held in the week of July 11–17, 1971. It was at this conference during which time BD Forces was organized and formed for the independence struggle. It was significant in the light of its official creation and formation as Bangladesh Forces, its command structuring, sector reorganization, reinforcement and appointing war commanders was its principal focus.
This conference was presided over by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Tajuddin Ahmed, and General M.A.G. Osmani, during which General Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani received his promotion from Colonel and was reinstated from retirement to active duty into the Armed Forces of Bangladesh as its senior most official. General M.A.G. Osmani had thereby been appointed Commander in Chief of all Bangladesh Forces and Group Captain Abdul Karim Khandker,psa appointed as Deputy Chief of Command of all Bangladesh Forces . Principal participants of this conference was Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan, Major Ziaur Rahman, Wing Commander M Khademul Bashar, Major M. A. Jalil, Captain Haider, Lt. Col. Abdur Rab.
The Bangladesh Forces was organized for the war in 1971 into three brigades in 11 sectors, with BDF HQ situated at 8 Theatre Road, Calcutta, West Bengal. Bangladesh interim government of July 11, 1971 appointed Col. M A G Osmani as Commander in Chief. Lt.Col Rab was appointed as Chief of Bangladesh Army Staff. In this meeting, Bangladesh was divided into Eleven Sectors under Sector Commanders.
Sector Commanders directed the guerrilla warfare. For better efficiency in military operations each of the sectors were divided into a number of sub-sectors. On November 21, 1971 Bangladesh Forces under Indian Army formed an allied command in which India took surrender of Pakistani forces on December 16, 1971. The table below provides a list of the sectors along with the area under each of them, the names of the sector commanders and the names of sub-sectors.
The 10th Sector was directly placed under Commander in Chief and included the Naval Commandos and C-in-C’s special force.These commandos were later absorbed into the Bangladesh Navy. Sector Commanders directed the guerrilla warfare against West Pakistani forces.
The Bangladesh Forces received assistance from the Indian authorities soon after hostilities started. On November 21, 1971, when the natural climate was more adaptable and by which time all Bangladesh Forces had severely under-cut the strength of the West Pakistani Forces, a demand of the Government of India was conceded to by the Bangladesh Government-in-exile in Calcutta, India, which was handing over the full command and authority of its operations to the Indian armed forces to command the war. The Indian Army entered Bangla Desh through air and land. The Pakistani force already morally broken and militarily devastated by the BD Forces, agreed to a cease fire without defiance in about one and a half weeks, on December 16, 1971. Deputy Chief of Command Group Captain Abdul Karim Khandker,psa has taken part as a representative of Bangladesh Government and freedom Fighter group.
The cease fire was switched to a surrender by the Indian government which the Commanding General of the Pakistan Army Eastern Command signed. Victory was declared by the Indian authorities and all prisoners of war including combat material were taken to India, with the Indian army remaining inside independent Bangladesh another three months until mid-March 1972. Bangladesh Forces were ordered for demobilization on January 29 under the direction of General M.A.G Osmani in final Sector Commanders Conference at the old Police HQ at Mintu Road, Dhaka, effective 14 February 1972.
List of sectors and subsectors
|Sectors of Bangladesh Liberation War|
|Sector||Area||Sector Commander||Sub Sectors (Commanders)|
|1||Chittagong District, Chittagong Hill Tracts, and the entire eastern area of the Noakhali District on the banks of the river Muhuri. The headquarters of the sector was at Harina.||• Major Ziaur Rahman (April 10, 1971 – May 15, 1971)
• Captain Rafiqul Islam (June 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|2||Districts of Dhaka, Comilla, and Faridpur, and part of Noakhali District.The headquarters of the sector was at Melaghar||• Major Khaled Mosharraf (April 10, 1971 – September 22, 1971)
• Major ATM Haider (Sector Commander September 22, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|3||Area between Churaman Kathi (near Sreemangal) and Sylhet in the north and Singerbil of Brahmanbaria in the south.||• Major K. M. Shafiullah (April 10, 1971 – July 21, 1971)
• Captain A. N. M. Nuruzzaman (July 23, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|4||Area from Habiganj District on the north to Kanaighat Police Station on the south along the 100 mile long border with India. The headquarters of the sector was initially at Karimganj and later at Masimpur.||• Major Chitta Ranjan Dutta (April 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
• Captain A Rab
|5||Area from Durgapur to Dawki (Tamabil) of Sylhet District and the entire area up to the eastern borders of the district. The headquarters of the sector was at Banshtola.||• Major Mir Shawkat Ali (April 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972)||
|6||Rangpur District and part of Dinajpur District. The headquarters of the sector was at Burimari near Patgram.||• Wing Commander M Khademul Bashar (April 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972)||
|7||Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra and part of Dinajpur District. The headquarters of the sector was at Tarangpur near Kaliaganj.||• Major Nazmul Huq (April 10 – September 27, 1971)
• Major Quazi nooruzzaman (September 30 – February 14, 1972)
• Subedar Major A Rab
|8||In April 1971, the operational area of the sector comprised the districts of Kushtia, Jessore, Khulna, Barisal, Faridpur and Patuakhali. At the end of May the sector was reconstituted and comprised the districts of Kuhstia, Jessore, Khulna, Satkhira and the northern part of Faridpur district. The headquarters of the sector was at Benapole.||• Major Abu Osman Chowdhury (April 10 – July 17, 1971)
• Major Abul Manzoor (August 14, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|9||Barisal, Patuakhali, and parts of the district of Khulna and Faridpur.The headquarters of the sector was at Hasnabad||• Major M. A. Jalil (July 17 – December 24, 1971)
• Major MA Manzur
• Major Joynal Abedin
|10||This sector was constituted with the naval commandos.||• Commander HQ BD Forces (December 3–16, 1971)||None.|
|11||Mymensingh and Tangail along with parts of Rangpur - Gaibandha, Ulipur, Kamalpur and Chilmari. The headquarters of the sector was at Teldhala until October 10, then transferred to Mahendraganj.||• Major Ziaur Rahman (June 26, 1971 – October 10, 1971;
• Major Abu Taher (October 10, 1971 – November 2, 1971(injured from mine blast);
• Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan) (November 2, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
List of Brigade Formations
- Z Force, commanded by Lt. Col. Ziaur Rahman, consisted of 1, 3 and 8 East Bengal Regiment.
- 1st East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Major Ziauddin
- 3rd East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Major Shafaat Jamil
- 8th East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Major Aminul Haque
- 2nd Field Artillery Battery - Officer in Charge - Major Khandakar Abdur Rashid
- K Force, commanded by Lt. Col. Khaled Mosharraf, was created in September with 4, 9 and 10 East Bengal Regiment.
- 4th East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Captain M.A. Gaffar Haldar
- 9th East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Captain Muhammad Ainuddin
- 10th East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Major Abdus Saleq Chowdhury (14 October-23 October) and Captain Zafar Imam (24 October-16 December)
- 1st Field Artillery Battery - Commanding Officer – Captain Abdul Aziz Pasha
- S Force, with Major K.M. Safiullah, was created in October 1971 and consisted of 2 and 11 East Bengal Regiment.
- 2nd East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Major Moinul Hossain Chowdhury
- 11th East Bengal Regiment - Commanding Officer - Major Abu Saleh Mohammad Nasim
- Muhammad Hamidullah Khan. "List of Sectors in Bangladesh War of Independence". Bengalrenaissance.com. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Z Force organogram". Pdfcast.org. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- List of Liberation War Sectors and Sector Commanders of Bangladesh (Gazette Notification No.8/25/D-1/72-1378), Ministry of Defence, Government of Bangladesh, December 15, 1973
- Govt. of Bangladesh, Documents of the War of Independence, Vol 01–16, Ministry of Information
- Ministry of Liberation War Affairs/Pro-1/Uthmab-4-04-1851, Government of Bangladesh, November 27, 2004
- M. Hamidullah Khan, Sector Commander 11, War of Independence - Bangladesh, Ekatture Uttar Ronangaon (1971 Northern Front), - Factual War Accounts (in Bangla), Barnatoru, Dhaka 2008