PM seeks global recognition of March 25 atrocities as genocide26 March 2023
Staff Reporter :
People from different walks of life, including teachers and students of the Dhaka University (DU), observed a one-minute blackout to mark 'Genocide Day' on Saturday.
Bangladesh observed a 'one-minute blackout' to mark the day in memory of the three million people killed by Pakistani forces during the War of Liberation in 1971.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the international community, including the United Nations (UN), to recognise the 25th March as International Genocide Day.
The 'blackout' was observed for one minute from 10:30pm to 10:31pm across the country. No lighting was allowed at all the government, semi-government, autonomous organisations, and private buildings and installations at the time. As part of the event, various programmes, including commemoration of 25th March genocide, candle lighting, drama staging, human chain and documentary exhibition were held on DU premises.
According to the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, key point installations and essential establishments will remain out of the purview of the programme.
"The Pakistan occupation forces committed killings since this day (March 25, 1971). We want the 25th March to be recognised as the International Genocide Day. So, I urge the world, including the United Nations to take measures," Sheikh Hasina said while delivering her introductory speech at an Awami League Parliamentary Board meeting at her official residence, Ganabhaban on Saturday.
The premier said, that 30 lakh people were killed and three crore people became homeless as their houses were burnt to ashes at that time.
"Of total 7 crore people, 3 crore were homeless and one crore took shelter as refugees in India," she added.
On the night of 25th March in 1971, the Pakistani military junta resorted to mass killings and arson in Dhaka to implement their blueprint to prevent the Awami League from assuming office following its victory in the 1970 election.
The brutality carried out by the Pakistani army on the unarmed Bangalees on the night of 25th March in 1971 under the infamous Operation Searchlight.
Earlier in the day, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are set to issue separate messages highlighting the importance of the day.
Newspapers published special supplements on the Genocide committed by the Pakistani occupation forces on 25th March in 1971.
Our DU Correspondent reports: Teachers, students, different political leaders and cultural organisations of Dhaka University observed the 'Genocide Day' commemorating the brutality carried out by the Pakistani occupation forces on the unarmed Bangalees on the black night of 25th March in 1971.
The DU administration, DU teachers association and other political and cultural organization performed several programme making the day with due dignity on the campus.
The programme included commemoration of 25th March Genocides, candle lighting, drama staging, human chain and documentary exhibition.
Besides, a discussion programme was held at the Memory Eternal chattar of the university chaired by DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman.
On this night in 1971, Pakistani forces carried out a planned military barbaric operation 'Operation Searchlight' in Dhaka city, including DU's Jagannath Hall. Over 200 students, 10 teachers and 12 employees of DU were killed on that night.
Apart from this, Prachyanat, a theatre group, pointed out the black night by staging drama at the Soparjito Swadhinota Chattar of DU.
Later, they carried out a rally wearing black T-shirt and Shari with a long red carpet from TSC area to VC chattar.
Bangladesh Chattra League (BCL) organised a human chain in front of Raju Scripture of the university making the day.
BCL President Saddam Hossain, General Secretary Sheikh Wali Asif Inan, DU unit President Mazharul Kabir Sayan and General Secretary Tanbir Hasan Shaikat delivered speech at the programme.
From the human chain, they demanded constitutional and international recognition of Genocide, introduction of 'Genocide Denial Act' and state apology for Pakistan.
The BCL also demanded legal ban of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Chattra Shibir saying it's an anti-independence-war criminal and fundamentalist organisation.