The historic Six-point Day marking the demand for autonomy for the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, is being observed today across the country in a befitting manner.
On this day in 1966, Awami League under the charismatic leadership of indomitable leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for a day-long hartal throughout East Pakistan pressing the demand for autonomy to end exploitation, deprivation, subjugation and tyranny that let loose by the central government of Pakistan on the people of the province.
At the call of Awami League, the people of the then East Pakistan observed spontaneously a dawn-to-dusk hartal across the province.
The law enforcers including the East Pakistan Rifles opened fire on the demonstrators at various places including Tejgaon Industrial Area, Narayanganj and areas surrounding Jagannath College and other towns and that left at least 10, including labour leader Monu Miah, Shafique and Shamsul Huq killed.
The spilling of blood of so many people intensified the movement further for autonomy. As a sequel to it, came the historic mass upsurge in 1969 for the Bangalees’ great movement demanding provincial autonomy which caused the downfall the reign of Field Marshal Ayub Khan.
Later, in the all Pakistan basis general election in 1970, Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman recorded a landslide victory. But, the Pakistani military dictators refused to hand over power to Awami League.
Ultimately, the demand for autonomy culminated into country’s long and arduous struggle for independence.
Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country in the community of nations fighting successfully a nine-month-old war against the Pakistani occupation forces on December 16 in 1971.
Different socio-political organisations including the ruling Awami League have drawn up elaborate programmes marking the historical day.
In separate messages President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid their tributes.
“Our government is firm to protect people`s democratic rights, being motivated with the spirit of all democratic movement and struggle…,” said the PM.
Awami League has chalked out a day-long programme, including hoisting the national and party flags atop party offices and Bangabandhu Bhaban, and placing wreaths at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman`s portrait at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the capital`s Dhanmondi.