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What role did India play in Bangladesh's Liberation War?

India played a significant role in Bangladesh's Liberation War as a military ally and provided extensive support to the Bangladeshi freedom fighters.

In 1971, Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan, was embroiled in a struggle for independence from West Pakistan. India, sharing a long border and cultural ties with East Pakistan, was closely involved in this conflict. The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was sympathetic to the cause of the Bengali people and was critical of the Pakistani government's oppressive policies.

India's involvement in the Bangladesh Liberation War was multifaceted. Firstly, India provided refuge to millions of Bengali refugees who fled the violence in East Pakistan. This influx of refugees put a significant strain on India's resources, but it also galvanised international attention and sympathy for the Bengali cause.

Secondly, India provided extensive support to the Mukti Bahini, the Bangladeshi freedom fighters. This support included training, arms and logistical assistance. Indian intelligence agencies played a crucial role in coordinating the activities of the Mukti Bahini. The Indian government also used diplomatic channels to garner international support for the Bangladeshi cause.

Finally, in December 1971, India officially entered the war following a pre-emptive strike by Pakistan. The Indian Armed Forces launched a coordinated land, air and sea assault, which was instrumental in the swift victory of the Bangladeshi forces. The war ended with the surrender of the Pakistani forces on 16 December 1971, leading to the creation of the independent nation of Bangladesh.

In conclusion, India's role in the Bangladesh Liberation War was significant and multifaceted. It ranged from providing refuge to Bengali refugees, supporting the Mukti Bahini, to directly engaging in military action. India's involvement was instrumental in the successful outcome of the war and the creation of Bangladesh as an independent nation.

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