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Candle vigil remembers those killed in Bengali language riots

PUBLISHED: 20:23 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:05 05 October 2010

A THOUSAND people are expected to turn up for a midnight candlelit vigil Friday night to remember those killed in clashes in East Pakistan 57 years ago over using the Bengali language. The vigil with the Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh is in London’s East End at Whitechapel’s Altab Ali Park, in the heart of the expatriate Bangladeshi community

By April Welsh

A THOUSAND people are expected to turn up for a midnight candlelit vigil tomorrow night (Friday) to remember those killed in clashes in East Pakistan 57 years ago over using the Bengali language.

The vigil is being held in East London at Altab Ali Park, in the heart of Whitechapel's expatriate Bangladeshi community, from 11pm Friday until 12.30am Saturday. The Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets are laying wreaths, with visitors laying wreaths afterwards.

They are commemorating the students and activists who clashed with police in Dhaka on February 21, 1952, to protest against making Urdu the national language.

Many were killed in the clashes which are thought to have inspired the independence movement which ultimately led to the separate state of Bangladesh in 1971.

The Whitechapel vigil is one of many planned tomorrow across the world.

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