Bangladesh comprises the eastern territories of the partitioned province of Bengal and the former Assam district of Sylhet, with the exception of certain thanas of the Karimganj sub-division. The state was formerly the Eastern Province of Pakistan. In Nov. 1970 the southern Ganges delta was devastated by a cyclonic tidal wave. The number of dead was estimated as at least 220,000 and the number of dwellings destroyed and damaged as 350,000. Crops and stock were also destroyed. In Dec. 1970 Shaikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League Party gained 167 seats out of 300 at the Pakistan general election and immediately made known their wish for greater independence for the then Eastern Province. Martial law was imposed following disturbances in Dacca, and civil war developed in March 1971. The war ended in Dec. 1971 and Bangladesh was proclaimed an independent state.
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