Blood and tears by Qutubuddin Aziz

By Qutubuddin Aziz

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A graduate of the Dacca University, he lived in the Nawabpur locality and was repatriated to Karachi in February 1974. He said: 30 "On March 23, a huge mob of Awami League militants, many •with blazing guns, went on die rampage in the Nawabpur locality. They looted the houses of non-Bengalis, machine gunned the inmates and burnt many houses. They looted every shop owned by a non-Bengali. Some of my relatives perished in the carnage in our locality. My escape was nothing short of a miracle................

They forced the Serang (captain) to anchor the steamer on a deserted bank of the river. The killer gang lined up die- non-Bengali passengers on die bank of the river and gunned them to death. They pilfered every article of value from the bodies of the slain men, women and children and threw the dead into the river. After the federal troops routed the rebels, I tried to locarc the dead bodies of my murdered relatives and visited the scene of the slaughter but diere was no trace of diem although there were bloodstains at many places along the bank..............

The lawlessness and terror which the Awami League had unleashed in Dacca compelled the provincial administration to summon the help of the Army units garrisoned in die Dacca cantonment, The Awami League's militants incited the Bengali populace to defy the dusk-to-dawn curfew. Six persons were killed when a riotous mob attacked an army unit in the Sadarghat locality of Dacca. A posse of troops saved the Dacca television station from being wrecked by a violent mob. On March 3, the general strike ordered by the Awami League all over die province, paralysed life in Dacca.

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