Black night of March 25

UN should recognise genocide in Bangladesh in 1971

Published : 24 Mar 2023 08:37 PM

The nation today (Saturday) recalls the horror of the March 25, 1971 black night marking the Genocide Day. Fifty two years back after the midnight of 25th March in 1971, Pakistani military soldiers launched sudden cowardly massive crackdown on the unarmed sleeping people of the then East-Pakistan’s capital Dhaka and other parts of the country.

As part of their blueprint, in the attack called ‘Operation Searchlight’, Pakistani army murdered the Bangali members of the East Pakistan Rifles and police, students, teachers and unarmed common people. The Pakistani military junta unleashed a reign of terror throughout the capital killing  innocent people indiscriminately, burnt down houses, properties and looted shops, business establishments and carried out destruction.

It was the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians in the world’s history. Capital Dhaka’s air and sky had become heavier with the groaning and screams of the people as a festival of mass killing was going on.

The first target of Operation Searchlight was Iqbal Hall, now Sergeant Zohurul Haq Hall as the then Non-cooperation Movement was organised under the banner of ‘Independent Bangladesh Students Movement Council’ from that dormitory. Besides, Jagannath Hall, a non-Muslim dormitory of Dhaka University, and Pilkhana, Rajarbagh Police Lines, and Hindu-dominated areas of Old Dhaka were also the main targets of the operation.

It was the most horrific incidents 

of violence committed against

 unarmed civilians in the world’s history

The history’s heinous, barbaric and coward attack launched on sleeping people left 10,000 civil people including women and children killed on this night. The Operation Searchlight was one of very few military operations after World War-II that ultimately had been planned against civilians, just to kill a large amount of people to scare the survivors. The Awami League government has decided to observe the 25th March as Genocide Day and the Cabinet approved a proposal to observe the March 25 as a Genocide Day.

The proposal was made on March 20, 2017. Earlier, on March 11 of the same year, parliament unanimously passed a proposal to observe the day. The issue of attaining UN recognition was as a priority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since it came up in parliament in March 2017.

Bangladesh condemns genocides committed anywhere, everywhere. We will continue to raise our voice against genocide and demand justice for the victims of genocides. We will also continue working for the recognition of 1971 genocide. We hope there will be no repetition of such heinous and barbaric incident anywhere in this civilised world.