Ekushey 1971...and Bangabandhu's warning

Ekushey 1971…and Bangabandhu’s warning

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Bangabandhu’s warnings at the Shaheed Minar on the morning of 21 February were based on his belief that a larger conspiracy was underway to prevent the Awami League from taking power in Islamabad. More importantly, it was becoming clear that all efforts by West Pakistan’s vested interests to deprive Bengalis of their right to rule Pakistan were beginning to shape into a growing pattern of conspiracy.

Bangabandhu told the nation that the coming days would be dark, as anti-Bengali conspirators were already at work. He asked the Bengalis to be alert. In the days following Ekushi 1971, as the plot deepened and widened in Rawalpindi, all sections of the Bengali population made their way to the Shaheed Minar to express their determination to uphold the national cause.

Even as the final fruitless talks between the Awami League – West Pakistani establishment had ensured that the machinery of eventual repression would be in place, with a regular influx of troops into Chattogram and Dhaka from cantonments in West Pakistan. and the army (Bhutto’s PPP, arriving in Dhaka on March 21, was nothing more than a spectacle), Bengalis trekking to Shaheed Minar, vowing to free the country from Pakistani colonialism, resolving to see an independent Bangladesh exist took.

The central Shaheed Minar, a symbol of Bengali nationalist expressions, was one of the initial targets of the Pakistani Army on the night of March 25, 1971. Soldiers attacked Dhaka University, killing academics and countless students, and blew up the Shaheed Minar. in the wreckage. The army took particular pleasure in destroying the Shaheed Minar during February and March, actually inaugurated in 1963 by the mother of Shaheed Abul Barkat, as a symbol of Bengali political self-assertion.

Once the Shaheed Minar was destroyed, Pakistani soldiers placed some bricks on the spot where it once stood, marking the spot as the site for a future mosque.

Bangabandhu’s dire warning of impending darkness had come true.

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