Siraj Sikder Works: Report of the historic 16 June Hartal (General Strike) (September 1974) [Published in Sphulinga (Spark) Issue No 1]

Siraj Sikder Works

Report of the historic 16 June Hartal (General Strike)

(September 1974)


[Published in Sphulinga (Spark) Issue No 1]


The decision of observing Half Day Hartal on 16 June made huge enthusiasm among the cadres and sympathizers.

Cadres of every region took steps like wall writing, postering, pamphleting, armed and unarmed procession centered on Hartal.

Assistant minister Manju’s vehicle had stopped in face of such a procession in Barisal.

Government used Police to pull out poster and wiping off wall writing. In some places, the Awami goons did that.

For Hartal, armed activities were carried and steps were taken to dismantle transport and road communication.

In most of the districts including Dhaka, guerrillas heroically threw bombs and Molotov cocktails on various offices of Awami League, its collaborator organizations and the pro Moscows.

Titas gas station was blown in Mirpur in Dhaka and Railway station was attacked. Bomb was thrown on the offices of Srimati and other pornographic journals and reactionary newspapers.

Indian air office was damaged by bomb throwing.

The activities went on in almost all the districts of East Bengal including Dhaka-Narayanganj.

At the night of 15 June, Barisal-Jhalokathi road was cut and Telephone line was wiped out.

There was exchange of fire with the Army when cutting road in a place in Faridpur. The army fled (Bangladesh Army — Sarbaharapath) after almost two and half hour indiscriminate firing.

At the same night, huge bombs were thrown in Khulna-Jessor. In Jessor-Khulna, sincere revolutionaries affiliated to Huq-Toha and others, helped us in different ways.

That day, a Railway Station was damaged in Mymensingh.

Rail line was made damaged in Jaydevpur resulting rail communication stopped for long time.

Several Tahsil (Tax Collection Office — Sarbaharapath) were destroyed that day.

Several hundred Rickshaw pullers were confined in Thana at night to break the 16 June Hartal. The next day they were sent with their Rickshaw to the city. But they went home with Rickshaw or sat on the road by emptying tire.

On 16 June in Barisal, hundred and thousand people came out to the street to express joy with the sound of bomb of the activities of guerrillas against Raxi (Raxi was a genocidal counterrevolutionary paramilitary force created by the then Awami regime to confront Maoist People’s War –Sarbaharapth).

The Raxi tried to open shops and markets but those were kept closed by the shopkeepers.

The activities of the guerrillas at last frightened and forced the Raxi to take shelter inside the camp and that day they did not come out anymore.

Hartal was fully observed in Barisal.

Because of the carried Hartal propaganda in Chittagong Hill Tract, VV Giri’s Chandroghona Paper mill visit was canceled. He had to go to Kaptai via Helicopter other than by road.

Hartal was fully observed in Faridpur, Rajshahi, Jhalokathi, Khulna, Jessor and Sunamganj while it was partially observed in many districts of East Bengal.

Many Hat Bazar (Hat is weekly rural market while Bazar is daily market — Sarbaharapath) remained closed in vast rural areas.

The successful implementation of 16 June Hartal worked as a big propaganda for the Proletarian Party of East Bengal.

Various Newspapers of ‘Bangladesh’ and foreign media were compelled to publish about our activities.

The 16 June Hartal acted as a strong protest against the presence of VV Giri at Dhaka. This is why the Hartal took special significance.

The 16 June Hartal will work as big assistant for carrying the Rainy Seasonal Strategic Offense.

The failure of Vasani NAP-led Six Party Unity Front called 30 June program and 5 July Hartal made stand the Proletarian Party of East Bengal as the single opposition force.

Thus, the Proletarian Party of East Bengal filled the vacuum that has existed in political arena of East Bengal.

Many cadres affiliated to Huq-Toha-Motin helped us spontaneously.

They termed 16 June Hartal as big advancement.

Various democratic minded opposition forces also recognize 16 June as our big advancement.