Bangladesh on Wednesday observed the Genocide Day recalling the beginning of the genocide that the Pakistan military committed against Bengalis on the night of March 25, 1971 and afterwards during the nine-month Liberation War without any outdoor promgrammes amid coronavirus situation.
As all outdoor programmes were cancelled after COVID-19 positive patients were detected in Bangladesh, many parts of the country went dark for a minute from 9:00pm as a symbolic protest against the genocide and to pay tribute to martyrs of 1971 War for Independence of Bangladesh.
The Pakistan military launched their infamous ‘Operation Searchlight’ on March 25, 1971 killing several thousand freedom-loving Bengalis that night alone.
Three million people in the subsequent nine-month liberation war were savagely and systematically killed with help of local collaborators.
As part of the crackdown, tanks rolled out of Dhaka cantonment and a sleeping city woke up to the rattles of heavy weapon fires as Pakistani troops attacked Dhaka University halls, the then East Pakistan Rifles (now Border Guard Bangladesh) headquarters, Rajarbagh Police Lines and the Old Town of Dhaka killing several thousand unarmed Bengalis.
People tried to resist the occupation army barricading streets felling trees and other things while members of East Pakistan Rifles and police put up a brave fight with outmoded 303 rifles against heavily armed Pakistani troops.
At midnight, the occupation troops raided the residential quarters of Dhaka University teachers and the halls and butchered many teachers and students.
Newspaper offices in Dhaka, notably Dainik Ittefaq, Sangbad and the People, were set ablaze for espousing the cause of the Bengalis.
In simultaneous attacks that night many people were killed and injured in the port city of Chattogram and at places across the country.
The crackdown set off the nine-month Liberation War led by the Mujibnagar government in exile which ended with the emergence of independent Bangladesh on December 16, 1971.
During the war, Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators also violated more than two lakh women and about one crore people were forced to leave the country.
The government on March 21, 2017 declared March 25 as the Genocide Day following a parliamentary resolution adopted on March 11, 2017.
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