Saturday, 25 March, 2023

March 12, 1971

Students marched in military formations

Students from a number of educational institutions marched in military formations on Dhaka University campus giving a clear message that the Bangalees were preparing for the worst and they were ready to wage a war against the West Pakistani oppressors.

Like other days of the month, the number of protesters increased in processions on March 12 in 1971 reflecting unconditional public support in the non-cooperation movement.

The people in Dhaka and other areas of East Pakistan continued hoisting black flags following the instructions of Awami League leaders.

And all government, semi-government and private offices, educational institutions and banks remained closed according to the directions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Some 27 prisoners broke out of jail in Bogura. When police opened fire on them, one prisoner died and 15 got injured.

Former Pakistan Air Force (PAF) chief and Tehreek-e-Istiqlal founder Air Marshal Asgar Khan said at a press briefing in Lahore that a peculiar situation was created in the country where establishments in Lahore did the fault but the price was paid by people in Dhaka.

He said the people in East Pakistan expected to live with equal rights, not as the slaves of West Pakistan. According to him, now the only way to resolve this crisis was to hand over power to elected leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

On March 12, National Committee member Mohammed Zahiruddin gave up the title which was bestowed upon him by the Pakistan Government.

Discontent among the Bangalees kept amplifying in East Pakistan, and tension was growing in West Pakistan.

Many CSP officers and first class EPCS officers expressed their solidarity with the non-cooperation movement.

The employees of government, semi-government offices and autonomous bodies joined the movement while the cinema hall owners of East Pakistan declared that they would keep the cinema halls closed for an indefinite period.

Prominent women, including poet Sufia Kamal, organised resistance groups and announced their unconditional support and loyalty to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the movement.

It was quite clear that the agitated people of East Pakistan were confident to create a new country, while the government was trying to arrange a dialogue between the political forces of East and West Pakistan.

Bangabandhu and his party’s senior leaders met every day and discussed the whole situation and their consequent strategies.

On March 12, Awami League had reviewed the progress of their instruction of forming a sangram committee (action committee) in each union.

For Bangabandhu and Bangalees, there was no reason for political compromise when the priority was the fulfilment of national aspirations.