What happened on Monday, March 15, 1971
The complete strike in office courts all over Bengal continued. Day-long rallies and processions were held in Dhaka. Black flags flew over public and private buildings and on vehicles.
Chief Martial Law Administrator and President General Abu Mohammad Yahya Khan landed at Dhaka Airport on Monday, March 15, from Karachi under tight security. Military Governor Lt. General Tikka Khan welcomed him at the airport. No journalist or Bengali was allowed to enter the airport at that time. He swiftly went on to the Presidential building.
A procession of the Indepedent Bengal Students Central Action Committee (স্বাধীন বাংলা কেদ্রীয় ছাত্র সংগ্রাম পরিষদ) staged a huge demonstration with various slogans in front of the President’s House after President Yahya Khan took office.
Justice Abu Saeed Chowdhury resigned from the post of Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University after a Dhaka University student was shot dead by police while protesting.
Journalist and writer Abul Kalam Shamsuddin “Sitara-e Khidmat”, Professor Munir Chowdhury “Sitara-e Imtiaz”, Natore National Assembly Member Sheikh Mubarak Hossain “Tamgha-e-Pakistan” and Faridpur Provincial Council Member Sheikh Mosharraf Hossain “Tamgha-e” Qayyum Azam ”announced the renunciation of the titles given to them by the government of Pakistan.
On the same day, doctors formally expressed solidarity with the non-cooperation movement at a meeting of doctors held at the central Shaheed Minar and called on the people to be ready for a long-term struggle for the liberation movement.
At a press conference in Karachi, People’s Party chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto raised new demands, saying a coalition government should be formed between the Awami League and the People’s Party centrally.
In a statement, leaders of West Pakistan’s minority Jamiat e Ulema-e-Pakistan, NAP (Wali), Muslim League (Council), PDP and Jamaat-e-Islami strongly criticized Bhutto’s role, saying he was responsible for the current situation.
NAP leader Wali Khan said that, “Mr Bhutto has said a lot on behalf of West Pakistan. But he forgets that his People’s Party did not get even 38 percent of the vote in the region. The majority party in Pakistan is not two but one and that party is Awami League.”
In a statement issued in Dhaka at night, Tajuddin Ahmed, general secretary of the provincial Awami League, explained the non-cooperation movement announced by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said that the people’s response to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s call was overwhelming.
A huge gathering of artists, writers and journalists was held in Chittagong on this day. Professor Mamtajuddin, Professor Anisuzzaman, Professor Syed Ali Ahsan, journalist Nur Islam and others addressed the gathering under the chairmanship of Professor Abul Fazl.
Translated by Masuma Begum
Editorial contribution by Arghya Raihan
Researched, compiled & Edited by Sagar Lohani
Gratitude to Christina Rozario