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Saturday, June 19, 2021

June 1, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Chittagong battle

Reliable reports from across the border said two advance columns had been despatched towards the rebel-held strategically important port town where the Bangladesh president Ziaur Rahman was assassinated on Saturday.

By: Editorial |
June 1, 2021 3:17:39 am
The reports said Manzur had 20,000 men owing allegiance to him, about a third of Bangladesh’s army strength.

Bangladesh troops began moving towards Chittagong on Sunday evening, following the army chief, General H M Ershad’s warning of stern action if the rebel Maj Gen Manzur’s followers failed to respect the ultimatum for surrender set for 6 am on Monday. Reliable reports from across the border said two advance columns had been despatched towards the rebel-held strategically important port town where the Bangladesh president Ziaur Rahman was assassinated on Saturday. The reports said Manzur had 20,000 men owing allegiance to him, about a third of Bangladesh’s army strength. The report said one advance column had left Dhaka for Chittagong. Another was drawn from a unit located somewhere between Comilla and Dhaka. It was not known whether these were armoured units. From all accounts, it appeared that Manzur was depending solely on his followers within Chittagong district.

Smoking violence

Violence and arson marked the procession taken out in Amritsar by people supporting the demand for a ban on the sale and use of tobacco and other intoxicants within the walled city. The police fired half-a-dozen teargas shells to disperse an unruly mob, which set on fire about one dozen shops and attacked a number of people opposed to the “ban tobacco” demand. This was followed by a clash in which stones, soda water bottles and swords were used. The clash took place in the densely populated Katra Baghian, mostly inhabited by the opponents of the demand.

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