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Abdus Salam

(★ – 1945) – (West Bengal)

Abdus Salam (Aged 18) resident of Kolkata, Bengal, India. He was a member of the Cox’s Bazar party. On the conclusion of a meeting in Wellington Square (now Subodh Mullick Square), a large crowd of about 3,000 people marched towards Dalhousie Square via Darmadolla Street and Esplanade. However, armed police stopped their march near New Cinema in the Esplanade area. Despite the police intervention, the protesters refused to disperse and sat on the street. The protesters sang Jana Kana Mana (now the national anthem) and the INA parade song, and their numbers continued to increase.

The incident sparked a lightning strike by tram workers, bus workers, and rickshaw pullers. Students stayed overnight at the site of the clash. The next day, 22 November 1945, a full-scale transport strike occurred, and the strike called by the student unions resulted in the closure of all schools and colleges.

The jute mill and other workers’ unions, as well as railway porters, joined the strike in response to the police firing on the students’ march. An estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people marched in Wellington Square carrying flags of various political parties, including the Congress, the Muslim League, the Communist Party, the Hindu Mahasabha, and the Kaksar parties. Spontaneously formed processions also marched in different parts of the city, carrying flags of various political parties.

Several incidents, such as police lathi charges and indiscriminate firing, occurred in various parts of the city. The shootings angered the crowd, who began attacking police and military vehicles and setting fire to many of them. This led to several more shootings. Processions and demonstrations by school and college students, mill workers, railway coolies, and every section of the community continued until the end of November 23 at the request of political leaders.

At least 37 people were killed, and more than 200 were injured in several shootings. Abdus Salam participated in the tumultuous protest on November 22, 1945, and was shot by the police. He sustained injuries in the shooting and was admitted to the Medical College Hospital but died without treatment. His funeral took place on 24 November 1945, and he was buried in Maniktala Cemetery, Baghmari, in a large procession from Muhammad Ali Park.