On February 21, 1952, a number of students died in Dhaka when police fired into the crowd gathered before the university, which today houses Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
It was an entire Bangalee nation that was left in a state of shock by the action of the government. Nothing of a violent nature had been resorted to by the students. There was absolutely no indication that the peaceful protest would lead to chaos. The attack on the students, therefore, was entirely unprovoked.
The next day, February 22, a total strike was observed in Dhaka to protest the killings. The strike even affected Narayanganj, where railway workers went on a work stoppage at the news of the killings. The vice chancellor of Dhaka University made it clear that there had been no provocation that could have justified the police action of the previous day.
On the same day, a meeting of the Dhaka High Court Bar Association, presided over by Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq, censured the police over their harsh action. At mosques throughout the province, prayers were offered for the dead. Doctors and staff at the medical college severely condemned the police action. Sher-e-Bangla and Abul Hashim were among the thousands of people who attended the janaza of the martyred young men in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, outraged by the false and motivated reporting of the language movement by the pro-establishment newspaper Morning News, people attacked and set the offices of the newspaper on fire. Morning News had been spreading the canard of India and the communists being behind the language movement. It even reported that a large number of dhotis, the dress worn by Hindus, had been recovered in the city. The insinuation was obvious.
When the legislative assembly met in session on the day, Moulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish and Khairat Hossain moved an adjournment on the incidents of February 21.
Khairat Hossain and Ali Ahmed Khan asked that condolences be adopted by the assembly, a suggestion opposed by Chief Minister Nurul Amin.
The motions, when placed in the House, were defeated as the numbers necessary for a discussion on them could not be garnered.