What happened on Wednesday, March 31, 1971
Hundreds of thousands of refugees crossed the border into India to escape the brutality and torture of the Pakistani aggressors.
Awami League General Secretary Tajuddin Ahmed, accompanied by Barrister Amir-Ul Islam, crossed the Meherpur border and entered India. On the other side of the border, Inspector General of the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) Golak Majumdar welcomed Tajuddin Ahmed and Barrister Amir-ul Islam with the status of representatives of an independent state, with guards of honor.
Curfew in Dhaka was relaxed from morning till evening as before.
The influx of people leaving from the city to the village along the Demra/Kerainiganj route did not stop. The brutal activities of non-Bengalis at Kalyanpur Bridge had not abated for 4 days; people were being brought in from different areas, slaughtered and shot dead, and their bodies were dumped in the canal.
At around 4.30 pm, the EPR, police and the general public from five locations; at the local district school premises, wireless colony and police premises in Kushtia attacked the Delta Company of Pakistani forces. The sea of overflowing crowds carried the battle with continuous gunfire soon broke the resistance of the Delta Company, with the sound of ‘Joy Bangla’ bolstering the combatant’s spirits.
At 7 am, a brigade of Pakistan Army, armed with artillery and tanks, advanced towards Halishahar at the junction of unpaved roads in Halishahar, breaking through the EPR’s resistance. Several EPR members were martyred in the clashes. The Chittagong EPR headquarters at Halishahar came under enemy control at around 2 pm.
After the airstrike, the workers of “Independent Bengal Radio Center” (স্বাধীন বাংলা বেতার কেন্দ্র) picked up the one-kilowatt mobile transmitter from Kalurghat Transmission building and left Kalurghat by truck.
Two more dailies were published on this day. One was Daily Pakistan owned by a government press trust and the other was the privately-owned Daily Purbadesh. Each newspaper published a four-page paper praising the government of Pakistan, President Yahya, Bhutto and the army.
Translated by Masuma Begum
Editorial contribution by Arghya Raihan
Researched, compiled & Edited by Sagar Lohani
Gratitude to Christina Rozario