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Students declare independence in presence of Bangabandhu

DHAKA, Mar 02, 2015 (BSS) -The half-day hartal called by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on behalf of the Awami League Parliamentary Party (ALPP) was observed throughout the country peacefully on March 3, 1971.

This day which was to be the first day of the National Assembly session, consequently it was observed as a "day of national mourning."

In a statement Bangabandhu demanded "withdrawal of forces and transfer of power to the elected representatives of the people."

In the afternoon the Swadhin Bangla Chattra Sangram Parishad organized a huge political rally at the Paltan Maidan.

In an unscheduled appearance Bangabandhu attended the meeting and called upon the people to observe the political programmes peacefully and wait for his meeting on March 7, 1971 when he would make some important announcements.

The student read out a "manifesto of independent Bangladesh" and raised the Bangladesh flag in Bangabandhu's presence.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's president, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan, called Bangabandhu over telephone and invited him for all-party talks in Islamabad on March 10. Bangabandhu declined.

In the evening curfew was once again imposed from 8 in the evening to 6 in the morning. Once again, protesters challenged the curfew. This time there were no firings on the demonstrators in Dhaka.

But the situation was different in other parts of the country. In Sylhet, Rangpur, Chittagong and Khulna demonstrators took to the streets and burned the Pakistan national flag and other symbols of Pakistan's sovereignty.

The administration responded by imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, which once again was defied by the angry demonstrators. But the Pakistan army opened fire in the district towns and killed many and injured more.

Policemen, mostly comprising Bengalis, shouted "Joy Bangla" at the top of their lungs and expressed solidarity with protesters from March 1, 1971.