“People were coming out on the streets, they had ecstasy in their eyes”
Stories of the Liberation war or the moment of victory can't just be summarised in a word or two. The epics of victory weren't written in a single day.
Before the news of final victory came, I had gotten the command of 'Dhaka Uttar Bahini' which was previously led by Commander Rezaul Karim Manik. He was martyred in November. Entire Manikganj, Singair areas were under 'Dhaka Uttar Bahini'. I was responsible for the Dhaka unit of that force.
We had to move from one place to another every day during that time. I went to Gulbagh in Dhaka on the night of 15th December. We could deduce then that the Pakistani Army would surrender and that's why all guerrilla and regular forces of Muktibahini (reedom fighters) around Dhaka were ordered to move towards Dhaka.
On the morning of 16th December, arriving at Malibagh from Gulbagh through the inner roads, I found the streets to be deserted. Standing there I witnessed a few people running away who were wearing torn, messy clothes. They were prisoners during the war and just got released. Their faces were gleaming with the joy of life.
I went to Shantinagar from there. My home was at Old Paltan Line at the time. But I didn't go home. I found that slowly people were coming out on the streets, they had ecstasy in their eyes. Among all these, I got the news of heavy firing at Hotel Intercontinental near Shahbagh and heard that one of my acquaintances got injured. Actually, the Pakistani
Army weren't prepared to give up yet. But by the end of the day they were forced to do so. They surrendered. Hearing the news, people in the streets began to celebrate. And we joined them.