Press report on March 20, 1971


DACCA, March 19 : Curfew was imposed this evening in Joydevpur town, about 22 miles from here following exchange of fire between the local people and the Army personnel resulting in casualties to both sides, it was officially stated here tonight.

The trouble started when the armed crowd put up barricades to block the way of the Commander who was returning to Dacca this afternoon after a routine visit to his troops in Joydevpur.


As he was coming back, his way obstructed by placing a train on the level crossing in Joydevpur Bazar. The crowd was persuaded to clear the obstruction but they refused to comply. The Army troops tried to push the train aside to make their way but they were fired upon by the crowd. Three soldiers were seriously wounded. The troops returned the fire, killing two persons and injuring another five.

At the Joydevpur roundabout the troops were again fired upon by a violent crowd.

The tyres of Army vehicle were deflated and glasses smashed. The crowd rushed to snatch away weapons from the soldiers who fired in self-defence killing one person.

The Commander and the troops reached Dacca in the evening after clearing about half a dozen barricades on the Dacca-Mymensingh highway.




Meanwhile, it was officially stated here that Army personnel did not injure any labourer or truck driver near Dacca Airport or Mahakhali Railway Crossing on Thursday, as alleged in a section of the Press.


The authorities, denying the allegation, said that the Army is not manning any check post on the Dacca-Mymensingh highway. Therefore there can be no question of either stopping any vehicle or forcing any body to remove the black flag.


The authorities also denied the reports of " harassment " and " torture " by the Army personnel in Jessore-Khulna sector, as alleged in a section of the Press.


The authorities added that with large-scale collection of arms by anti-social elements from arms shops, rifle clubs and private, individuals, etc., the incidence of violence and lawlessness has generally increased. These incidents, they added were being maliciously attributed to the Army which is already back in the barracks.


(THE DAWN, Karachi-March 20, 1971)



Source: Bangladesh Documents, vol I, p. 251-252