DHAKA, March 23, 2015 (BSS) - Advisors of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and President Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan met, once again, on March 24, 1971, for what was to be one "last shot" at peace. But chances were slim, as neither side trusted in the other.
During the talks, and through the press, Bangabandhu made it clear that he and the people of Bangladesh would not accept any "imposed solution."
He said "The conspiracy you indulge in will not succeed in suppressing the demands of the people. We will not bow our heads to any force. We will free the people of Bangla Desh".
Tajuddin Ahmed, general secretary of East Pakistan Awami League, in another statement urged the people to remain vigilant and to be ready to make any sacrifice to defeat the conspiracies of anti-people forces.
Rumors were generated by the Pakistani administration, abounded in Dhaka to mislead the people that Yahya Khan would hand over power to Bangabandhu on March 25, 1971. Bhutto remained ensconced in his heavily guarded sanctuary at the Hotel Inter-Continental, Dhaka.
Meanwhile in Chittagong, Major Ziaur Rahman and his colleagues asked Major Rafiq of the East Pakistan Rifles (EPR), now Bangladesh Border Guards (BGB), to abandon his (Rafiq's) plans of a pre-emptive attack on the Pakistanis. Zia said that the Pakistanis would not do anything wrong and Rafiq's ill-conceived plans would result in the deaths of many including them.
MUJIB WARNS AGAINST BID TO IMPOSE DECISION
Report of public address on March 24, 1971 at Dacca
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Chief of the Awami League, today warned against any attempt to impose a decision on the people of "Bangla Desh" and said that "we would not tolerate it".
"Our demands are just and clear and they have to be accepted", he said.
Addressing a huge gathering which assembled in front of his house, Sheikh Mujib declared that the people were awake and were united like one man.
No power on earth could suppress their demands, he said. If anyone showed his "red eyes" to suppress the people's rights we would not tolerate them, he said.
Sheikh Mujib said: "We want a peaceful settlement but if anyone did not want it (peaceful settlement) you would not be able to suppress us. I hope nobody will try that," he added.
Sheikh Mujib said the movement would continue till the goal was achieved. Until the people of "Bangla Desh" are emancipated and their rights achieved the struggle would continue, he said.
Communal Riot Warning
He, however, urged the people to maintain discipline in their struggle. He warned that a section of people were trying to sabotage the movement by starting communal riots. They have many things. They want to start violence on the hope of sabotaging the movement to get a share of the cake as divided by the monkeys, he said. He regretted to say that such an attempt was made at Saidpur.
He warned these people that such efforts would fail because the people of "Bangla Desh" were united today. "Whatever conspiracy you indulge in you will not succeed in suppressing the demands of the people," he said.
Sheikh Mujib said: "We would not bow our heads to any force. We will free the people of Bangla Desh". He declared that nobody could "purchase my head". "Others might betray the blood of the martyrs but I cannot," he said and added that the people would not allow the blood of martyrs to go waste.
He, therefore, urged the people to keep up the movement while they remain prepared for any eventuality. "I do not know whether I shall live to give the order for the intensified struggle. You must continue your struggle to realise your rights," he said.
He told the people not to tolerate the force and oppression and urged them to resist them. No less than two scores of procession of men, women and children converged at the house of Sheikh Mujib to express their solidarity in the people's movement and confidence in the leadership of the Sheikh.
Amidst thunderous applause he declared that he was ever ready to Jace bullets but he would never allow the 75 million Bengalees to remain slaves.
Numerous souls were lost in cyclones, tidal bores and other natural calamities. We want to put to an end these senseless deaths of the Bengalees, he added.
Sheikh Sahib recounted the exploitation of East Pakistan by the vested interests and asserted that "Bengalees were no more ready to tolerate any injustice." "Either we shall live like men or we shall go out of existence fighting for our cause," he emphasised.
He made an impassionate appeal to the people to remain prepared for the eventual struggle and said, "In case I cannot give you orders, carry on the struggle with greater determination to gave the 7 million Bengalees from being slaves."
(THE DAWN, Karachi--March 25, 1971)
TAJUDDIN'S CALL FOR VIGILANCE
Press statement on March 24, 1971 at Dacca
Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed, General Secretary of East Pakistan Awami League, urged the people to be vigilant and to be ready to make any sacrifice to defeat the conspiracies of anti-people forces.
In a Press statement here tonight, he said, "I view with grave concern the report which we are receiving from Saidpur, Chittagong and other places of military action. In Rangpur, there is a report of numerous casualties of curfew being imposed. In Mirpur also tension is being fomented. All these actions are creating an abnormal and tense situation.
"It is unfortunate that while the Awami League was being pursued in talks with President Yahya, the atmosphere is being vitiated by these untoward incidents.
"We would like to emphasise once again that any attempt to frustrate the efforts of arriving at a political solution would he reckless. The awakened people of Bangla Desh would not allow this to be done.
"We would urge those concerned to desist from such actions as would vitiate the atmosphere for a political solution.
"I urge the people to be vigilant and to be ready to make any sacrifice to defeat the conspiracies of anti-people forces."
(THE DAWN, Karachi-March 25, 1971)