- Published on Saturday, 31 August 2013 02:52
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President Ayub Khan hatched a nefarious plan of quelling the growing movement for the 6-point programme. In January 1968,
a false case infamously known as the Agartala Conspiracy Case was filed and 35 Bangalee civil and military officers were accused of treason and conspiracy against the state of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was made the principal accused and the case itself was officially styled, “State versus Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Others.” President Ayub formed a special tribunal to try the accused. The case caused a great turbulence in East Pakistan. The student community started a united movement against the Ayub regime. They defied the section 144 imposed by the police, broke the barricades put by the East Pakistan Rifles and came out to the streets in thousands. They chanted the slogans - “We’ll break the locks of the jail and free Sheikh Mujib”, “Your leader, my leader, Sheikh Mujib, Sheikh Mujib’, etc. A mass-upsurge took place; the Pakistani rulers ordered shooting in different places. Law and order situation worsened to such an extent that the rebellious mob took control of all important points in the Dhaka city. During this movement, a lot of people were killed: Asad, a student leader of Dhaka University, Dr. Shamsuzzoha, a teacher of Rajshahi University and Matiur, a school student of Dhaka and Sgt Zahurul Huq, an accused of the Agartala Conspiracy Case were among them. On February 22, Pakistan Government was forced to grant unconditional release to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and withdraw the Agartala Conspiracy Case. Next day, in a large public rally in the then Race Course Maidan of Dhaka, Mujib was was accorded a grand reception and conferred the title ‘Bangabandhu’ (The Friend of Bengal). On March 25, 1969, Ayub Khan was forced to step down from power. The decade of his autocratic rule came to an end.