On 3rd March 1971 a countrywide hartal (strike) was observed following the call of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the undisputed leader of the then East Pakistan.
People spontaneously brought out rallies and procession chanting slogan for freedom of Bangladesh across the country. Pakistan military ruler imposed curfew in Dhaka and in other cities including Rangpur and Sylhet. Defying curfew, people staged demonstration and brought out processions in those cities. Military opened fire on the processions and many people died.
From the President Place in Rawalpindi dictator Yahya Khan made an announcement that a meeting would be arranged with the country’s political leaders on 10th March. He further said that within two weeks after the meeting with the political leaders, the national Parliamentary assembly will be held. Bangabandhu instantly rejected the announcement of Yahya Khan.
According to the website of the Liberation War Museum, Bangabandhu said, “If you do not want a democratically elected government, then you can form your own government. We will form the government of Bangladesh.”