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Saturday, October 16, 2021

September 24, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Rahman Killers

Within hours, violence erupted in the capital with a mob protesting against the hangings setting fire to government buses and cars.

By: Editorial |
September 24, 2021 3:25:26 am
This is the front page of The Indian Express on 24 Sep 1981.

Twelve Bangladeshi army officers, including 10 who distinguished themselves in the liberation struggle and had gallantry decorations, were hanged on charges of mutiny and assassination of President Ziaur Rahman. Within hours, violence erupted in the capital with a mob protesting against the hangings setting fire to government buses and cars. Police resorted to lathicharge at least twice and also fired teargas shells to contain the angry crowds. A meeting convened by the freedom fighters’ organisation condemned the execution of the army officers and called upon the people “to resist the designs of anti-freedom forces”.

September Rains

Incessant rains and landslides claimed 17 lives in Bombay. Many others were injured in the deluge. Transport services were disrupted for most of the day. A family of three was wiped out in Bhandup and a woman and her two sons were injured when a huge boulder landed on the chawl. Three others were killed in a mishap in northwest Bombay. Such intense showers at the tail end of the monsoon season took Bombay by surprise. The Santa Cruz observatory recorded 30.6 cm of rain in 24 hours – a new record for September.

Delhi Power Crisis

Delhi citizens were subjected to load-shedding for as long as five hours on September 23. Even essential services like airport, water supply and hospitals were affected. In Connaught Place, shopkeepers keep shutters down fearing pilferage.
Arms Race

Pakistan President General Zia-ul-Haq said his government would simply ignore the protests of India at the acquisition of arms by Pakistan. He said Pakistan had never raised any issue about India’s piling of arms.

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