Wed, 07 Jun 2023

Dhaka [Bangladesh], March 26 (ANI): Bangladesh wants March 25 to be recognised as International Genocide Day and thus requests United Nations to take measures, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Saturday, according to Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.

On Saturday, Bangladesh PM presided over Awami League's parliamentary board's meeting at her official Ganabhaban residence and called upon the world community including the UN to recognise March 25 of 1971 as International Genocide Day.

In the meeting, she said, "The Pakistan occupation forces committed killings since this day (March 25, 1971). We want the 25th of March to be recognised as International Genocide Day. So, I urge the world including the United Nations to take measures."Bangladesh PM further stated that the Pakistani occupation forces had resorted to attacks on unarmed Bangalees on the dreadful night of March 25 in 1971 and continued the killings for nine months. at least 30 lakhs people were killed and 3 crore people became homeless as their houses were burnt to ashes at that time.

"Out of the total of 7 crore people, 3 crores were homeless and one crore took shelter as refugees in India," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had started running the state with the devastation and built a war-ravaged country, reported Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha. "The Father of the Nation turned Bangladesh into a developing nation within three years and seven months of his stay in power. But, unfortunately, he (Bangabandhu) was killed inhumanly on August 15 in 1975," she said. Not only the Father of the Nation, but his companions and the four national leaders were also brutally assassinated inside the Dhaka Central Jail on November 3 in 1975, Bangladesh PM said."I want to say that the blood of the martyrs never goes in vain. We have achieved independence and today we have achieved the status of a developing nation," she added.

'Genocide Day' has been observed in Bangladesh since 2017 against the atrocities committed by the Pakistan Army on civilians on the night of March 25, 1971, when it launched 'Operation Searchlight' in Dhaka to crush the Bengali nationalist movement.

On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistani military conducted its so-called Operation Searchlight, aimed at wiping out an entire generation of Bengalis. Intellectuals, activists, artists, journalists, politicians or common people going about their daily lives, nobody was spared by the Pakistan Army.

Such was the degree of impunity with which Operation Searchlight was carried out that an officer participating in the operations infamously boasted, "We can kill anyone for anything. We are responsible to none."The genocide was targeted at civilians in predominantly Hindu neighbourhoods in and around the capital Dhaka and on army barracks who were loyal to Bangabandhu and other Bengali political leaders.

During the nine-month war, three million Bengali civilians were killed, more than 200,000 women were violated, 10 million people took refuge in India and 30-40 million people were internally displaced.

Bangladesh, from time to time, has urged the United Nations to recognise the 1971 Genocide but still, there is no progress. Earlier, in 2019, visiting UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng yesterday assured Bangladesh that the United Nations will raise the 1971 issue of the Pakistani genocide in Bangladesh at the international forum but till now UN has still not recognized it, The Daily Star reported.

He said the issue would be raised even though some countries may oppose it. Adama made the statement when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office, according to The Daily Star. (ANI)

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