Dhaka – Bangladesh is all set to observe the Genocide Day for the first-time Saturday to commemorate the atrocities that the Pakistani forces carried out on the unarmed civilians in the wake of Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.
The government, political parties, cultural organization and other social groups have chalked out elaborate programmes as parliament last month adopted a motion to mark March 25 as Bangladesh’s Genocide Day.
Moves are on to obtain recognition from the international bodies like the United Nations to announce the day as International Genocide Day as Pakistani forces carried out the worst genocide in history in the then East Pakistan on freedom-loving civilians.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in separate message on the occasion of the Genocide Day said Bangladesh will observe the day as a strong protest against Pakistani atrocities.
The President said the “Genocide Day” is not only the recognition of sacrifice of 30 lakh Bangalees in the freedom of struggle of Bangladesh but also a symbol of strong protest against the genocide.
“Genocide on March 25 is a brutal and grievous incident in the history of Bengali nation,” he said.
The President termed the decision of observing March 25 as ‘Genocide Day’ is a milestone in the country’s history.
Hamid said the genocide in 1971 is a black chapter in the history of mankind. “None can forget the horrors of the genocide,” he said.
He called for upholding the demand worldwide through the observance of the day so that such genocide would recur nowhere in the world.
Prime Minister Hasina, in her message, said the Pakistani occupation forces swooped on unarmed Bangalees on March 25 night and they along with their local collaborators including Rajakar, al Badr and al Shams carried out atrocities.
The atrocities that started on the black night on March 25 continued for nine months, she said. She said as many as 3 million people were killed and 200,000 women were raped.
The incidents of killing of a large number of people in the short span of time are rare in the world, the premier said.
She said the decision of observing “Genocide Day” is a manifestation of paying tributes to the 30 lakh martyrs who made supreme sacrifices to liberate the nation.