Statement on March 19, 1971 at Dacca


Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, President of Awami League, strongly condemned tonight the firing on the unarmed people, at Joydevpur earlier in the day.


Talking to newsmen, he said: " If they think they can suppress people's struggle by bullet and force, they simply live in a fool's paradise ".


He added it was an "uncalled for" action.


The Awami League Chief said he wondered how Army could go to the Joydevpur Bazar when Martial Law authorities had stated that troops had already been withdrawn to the barracks.


Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said the people of Bangla Desh were no doubt in favour of peaceful settlement of the problems but that could not mean that the people "can be frightened by the use of force. No power on earth can suppress the people when they are prepared to shed blood".


In reply to a question, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said he had already sent some of his partymen to the spot and added it could not be ascertained as yet how many persons were killed.


He said curfew had been imposed in the area and as such it was difficult even to pick up the injured persons from there.


Asked if his party leaders, who went in the evening to meet the President's adviser would bring the incident to the notice of the Martial Law authorities, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said: "Is it not natural?"


Later in the evening Sheikh Mujibur Rahman warned that no amount of force could suppress the demands of seven crores of Bengalees. No matter in what manner it was being used against the unarmed Bengalees.


Addressing a gathering of Bishkhubdha Biggan Carmachari Union in front of his house, who had come in a procession, the Sheikh declared that no sacrifice would be considered enough to emancipate the people of "Bangla Desh".


The Sheikh said the roads and lanes of "Bangla Desh" were stained with the blood of martyrs for the cause of the people. Today again, the roads of Joydevpur had been besmeared with the blood of Bengalees, he said.


Sheikh Mujib told the slogan shouting crowd: "We wanted to resolve the problem peacefully but they want to rule us by force, with the help of weapons."


The Awami League leader declared that the people of Bangla Desh could not be suppressed by force. People would realise their rights at any cost, he added.

He assured the people that he would never betray the blood of the martyrs and asked them to repose their confidence in him.


" If necessary we shall give the last drop of our blood to see that our posterity lived happily as a free citizen in a free country ".


Earlier, the processionists paraded the city street chanting slogans in support of Sheikh's non-violent non-co-operation movement for the emancipation of the people of " Bangla Desh ".


(MORNING NEWS, Karachi and Dacca-March 20, 1971)




Source: Bangldesh Documents, vol I, p.252-253