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1968

January: The Agartala Conspiracy Case filed and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman arrested:

It involves litigations against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and thirty-five other Bengalis who allegedly wanted to separate East Pakistan and establish an independent Bengal, with Indian assistance.

The Agartala Conspiracy Case consolidates the East Pakistani sentiments against discrimination in all fronts, including positions in the Government and the Armed Forces especially coveted by the middle class.

“…it evoked a totally unexpected Bengali reaction. While the prosecution wanted to dub Mujib a traitor, Bengalees made a hero out of him. The trial conferred such [a] popularity on Mujib that would otherwise have taken him a lifetime to acquire.” — Siddiq Salik, in his book A Witness to Surrender.

Ayub suffers serious heart attack, but the news was suppressed. Commander-in-Chief General Yahya Khan unofficially takes charge during his recovery period.

March: US Department of State concludes there existed no assassination plot against President Ayub during his December visit to East Pakistan

June: Arrest of three prominent Bengali CSP officers on suspicion of involvement in East Pakistan separatist conspiracy.

July: American consulate’s views on Shiekh Mujibur Rahman’s role in the Agartala Conspiracy:

“If found guilty and sentenced to a long prison term. Sheikh Mujib will become another martyr in the cause of Bengali autonomy and in East Pakistan’s ‘war with the Rawalpindi Establishment.’ If he were involved as deeply as the government brief alleges, a silent cheer is probably raised by the Bengali.”

August: Trial of Alleged Conspirators in East Pakistan Tarnishing Government Image

“The most damaging aspect so far for the Government of the trial of Rahman and some 35 others accused of plotting to establish a separatist regime in East Pakistan has been the testimony of a prosecution witness who broke down in court and asserted that he had been tortured and threatened with death by military officials who wished him to testify falsely against the alleged conspirators”

September: Hearing for the Agartala Conspiracy Case begins

November: Disturbances in West Pakistan, Bhutto arrested:

“On 10 November President Ayub, addressing a large public meeting in Peshawar, was reportedly fired at by a student. On 13 November Mr. Z.A. Bhutto, Mr. Wali Khan and certain other opposition politicians were arrested.”

Reactions to Bhutto’s arrest:

The rumor was that it was a ’staged event’ to fulfill regime’s desire to elicit sympathy for Ayub Khan.

Protests against Bhuttos arrest spread across Pakistan

November: Report on economy -The disparity widens:

East Pakistan suffers from a number of fundamental deficiencies, The diet of the people is far from satisfactory.

December: Hearing of Mr. Williams’ writ petition challenging the validity of the Agartala conspiracy Trial

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