Jan 17, 1972: Gono Bahini asked to submit weapons

Udisa Islam
Published : 23:13, Jan 17, 2020 | Updated : 23:14, Jan 17, 2020

On Jan 17, 1972, Prime Minister Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ordered the members of the people’s militia to submit their weapons. BSS reported that the prime minister said that the brave freedom fighters will be included in the police and the national militia.
On this day, Bangabandhu met former education minister of India and the Soviet consul general.
From daily Observer and Dainik Bangla copies of the time it’s found that Bangabandhu assured employment and skills training for those who took up arms during the war.
“We must develop a new society and engage in defending freedom of the country.”
He said: “The valiant soldiers of the liberation war will lead the new defence forces of the country and we have also taken up the task to develop a police force where members of the Gono bahini will feature in officer and general posts.”
Bangabandhu called on his party members to assist the civilian administration to secure law and order in all districts.
He also called on party workers to help in securing law and order and gather information about those who lost their lives and property during the war.
A demand was raised to punish Yahya for the death of 30 lakh people. Terming the Pakistanis worse than animals, Bangabandhu said that they should be tried in an international court similar to the one faced by Fascist leaders in Nuremberg after WW2.
After looking at a picture of the killing of intellectuals, Bangabandhu broke into tears, saying: “I believe in forgiveness but such barbarism cannot be pardoned.”
Talking to a British journalist, he said: “During arrest, I was manhandled by the Pakistan army; they surrounded by house and strafed it with machine gun fire. When I came outside, an officer asked the soldiers not to kill me but I was roughed up. While leaving, I told my wife, if I die it will not be a shameful end but if I capitulate then we will never be able to raise our heads high in front of the world.”
On this day, he also expressed concern saying that many institutes are not using Bangla.
A statement issued on this day read: through the usage of Bangla, education has to be made neutral, socialist and equal for all. The statement was signed among others by by Dr Enamul Huq, Dr. Mozaffar Ahmed Chowdhury, Kabir Chowdhury, Sufia Kamal, Zainul Abedin, Nilima Ibrahim, Ahmed Sharif, Sirajul Islam Chowdhury and Dr Anisuzzamnd.
At the national mourning day on Jan 15, ASM Abdur Rab said: “We should all look after the families of the martyred.”
Student leader Nure Alam Siddiqui, added: “Bangladesh can only be free when her ideals are implemented.”
A decision was taken to present designs for the reconstruction of the Shaheed Minar on Feb 21.