The announcement of postponement of the National Assembly session yesterday was followed by a wave of processions, demonstrations and rallies in Dacca city and its suburbs.
Processions and demonstration were also held in Narayanganj against the postponement, according to our Narayanganj correspondent.
Processions raising slogans against the postponement were brought out from different parts of the city. The processionists carrying lathis and iron rods paraded the thoroughfares held demonstration and meeting.
Students of different educational institutions including Dacca University boycotted their classes and brought out processions. The lawyers of the Dacca High Court, employees of diferent commercial firms and establishment and industrial workers also came out on the streets and held demonstrations against the postponement.
The members of the Dacca High Court Bar Association came out in a procession carrying banners and held a protest meeting at Baital Mukarram presided over by Shah Azizur Rahman; the meeting was addressed by Barister Shaukat Ali, Barister Wadood and others.
The test cricket match between the International XI and BCCP XI was suspended amidst wild demonstrations inside and outside the Dacca stadium — the venue of the match.
Shops, business houses and commercial establishments were closed immediately. The employees of these establishments joined the demonstrators on the streets.
A few shops and a local cinema hall were attacked by the demonstrators. But the situation was brought under control by the people themselves.
Small and big groups of demonstrators started converging at Hotel Purbani, where the Awami League Parlimentaty Party in the National Assembly was in session. By 3-30 p.m. when Sheikh Mujib came to the hotel a huge crowd had gathered near the hotel.
A rally held at Paltan Maidan later in the afternoon strongly criticised the postponement of National Assembly session.
The meeting which was addressed by the leaders of East Pakistan Students League, Dacca University Central Students' Union and Jatiya Sramik League expressed its active support and association to the programme of hartals and rally announced by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman immediately after the announcement for postponement.
Among the speakers were Mr. Tofail Ahmed an MNA-elect and a former student leader, Nur-e-Alam Siddiqui and Shahjahan Siraj of the EPSL, Abdur Rab of DUCSU and Abdul Mannan of the Jatiya Sramik League.
The speakers urged the crowd who were armed with lathis, iron rods and to wage an all ut movement.
Hartal Call Backed
Expressing their full support to the hartal call by the Awami League chief Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the speakers urged the students community in particular and the people in general to make strike a success.
As part of today's programme for hartal, the student leaders decided to hold a meeting today at 11 a.m. at the Dacca University Battala.
The meeting will be followed by a procession which will parade the main thoroughfares of the city.
The leaders of Students' League in a joint statement supported the strike call and programme announced by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, president of Awami League.
They also appealed to people to observe hartal today in the city and called a students' rally at the University in the morning. The meeting, they added, would be followed by a protest march.
The student leaders, who issued the joint statement, are: President of Students', League Mr. Nur-e-Alam Siddiqui, Shahjahan Shiraj, General Secretary of Students' League, Mr. A.S.M. Abdur Rab, Vice-presedent of Dacca University Central Students' Union (DUCSU) and Mr. Abdul Quddus Makhan, secretary of DUCSU.
PPI adds : the East Pakistan National Awami Party (Wali) last night gave a call for complete hartal today in the city.
A party announcement said that it would hold a protest meeting at Paltan Maidan this afternoon in observance of the hartal.
Party chief Prof. Muzaffar Ahmed will preside over while other party leaders will address the protest meeting.
Rallies and processions
According to a telegraphic message from Sylhet:
Sylhet Medical College students came out of their classes and held protest meeting yesterday afternoon. Presided over by Motiur Rahman, Mr. Abul Hasan Bulu, Delwar Hussain, Saad Khan and others addressed the meeting. Abul Hassan Bulu, senior member National Students' Federation, central working council, in a statement, has urged all its units throughout the country to observe protest day on Wednesday by observing hartal.
APP adds : a number of processions were brought out yesterday at Khulna to protest against the postponement of the National Assembly session to an indefinite period.
The processionists paraded the city street and assembled at the central Shaheed Minar. Student leaders while addressing the gathering severely criticised the decision and termed it conspiracy against Bangladesh. The processionists took vow to continue relentless struggle against East Pakistan. They also declared complete hartal in Khulna today.
Our Jessore correspondent adds : the postponement of the National Assembly session sparked resentment among the people here. A protest procession was brought out from Eidgah Maidan last evening which was later joined by another procession. The processionists paraded the main streets of the town raising full throated slogans.
Later a public meeting was held at Eidgah Maidan. People were urged to rise on the occasion unitedly for any sacrifices to meet the challenge.
Source: Morning News, 2 March '71