Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bangladesh, Liberation War (contd-6)

The 1970 Bhola Cyclone made landfall on the East Pakistan coastline doring the evening of 12 Nov. 1970, around the same time as a local high tide. Killing an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people. THough the exact death toll was not known, it was considered the deadliest tropical cyclone on record. A week after the landfall, President Khan conceded that his Govt. made slips and mistakes in its handlin of the relief efforts for a lack of understanding of the of the magnitude of the disaster.
A statement released by eleven political leaders in East Pakistan ten days after the cyclone hit charged the Govt. with gross neglect, callous indifference and utter indifference. On 19 Nov, students held a march in Dhaka protesting the slowness of the Govt response. Maulana Abul Hamid Khan Bhashani addressed a rally of 50,000 people on 24 Nov where he accused the president of inefficiency and demanded his resignation.
As the conflict between east and west Pakistan developed in Marvh, 1971, the Dhaka offices of the two Govt organisations directly involved in relief work, were closed for at least two weeks. This is one of the first time that a natural event helped to trigger a civil war.
According to Asian Times ;
"At a meeting of the military top brass, Yahya khan Declared : "Kill 3 million of them and the rest will eat out of our hands ." Accordingly, on the night of 25 march, the Pakistan Army launched operation Searchlight to crush Bengali Resistance in which Bengali members of militaryservices were disarmed and killed, the students and the intelligensia symmetrically liquadated and able-bodied Bengali males just picked up and gunned down.