Military & Aerospace

Liberation of Bangladesh: War in Northern Sector - II
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On the night of 4/5 December, Sant Singh infiltrated 6 Bihar near Dalu, and having overcome a defended locality at Charbangli, some 3,000 yards southeast of Haluaghat, was leaning on the Haluaghat defended locality by the last light of 5 December. At night, when 6 Bihar was closing with its defences, the other two Bihari companies were sent to tackle the Sarchapur defences by outflanking the Haluaghat locality. The fire fight between the Biharis and the Pakistani defenders at Haluaghat continued on 6 December. Two air strikes, including napalm bombing, were employed to soften the locality. The Pakistanis vacated Haluaghat the next day without interference from Mukti Bahini stops established in the rear. They left behind large quantities of ammunition and rations. On 7 December, the advance was resumed along the axis and Sarchapur defences were contacted by the same evening.

The withdrawing Pakistani troops had demolished three big bridges between Sarchapur and Phulpur, and it took some 36 hours to restore the broken communications with local help.

While these defences were tackled, two companies were sent to capture Phulpur in depth. After extensive reconnaissance during the day, and leaving a minimum force to contain the axis along the road, Sant Singh crossed the Bughat river east of Sarchapur unopposed and contacted the defences from the flank. Menawhile, the other two companies posed a potent threat to the Phulpur defences. This unnerved the Sarchapur garrison, which vacated its positions on the night of 8/9 December. Once again, the withdrawing Pakistanis got away intact. Sarchapur was occupied the next day and the advance resumed.

The withdrawing Pakistani troops had demolished three big bridges between Sarchapur and Phulpur, and it took some 36 hours to restore the broken communications with local help. The bridge at Phulpur over the Kharia river, with a 100-foot span over water eight feet deep, proved beyond repair, but the enthusiastic inhabitants of the neighbouring villages voluntarily built a causeway with stones and bricks in about 20 hours. The advance south Phulpur could only be resumed on 10 December. The Pakistani layback position was contacted at Paschim Taldigha. It was held by about a company or so. The position was vacated by the defenders after sunset.

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