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One minute ‘blackout’ on March 25 night

Published : 07 Mar 2023 03:07 AM | Updated : 08 Mar 2023 01:58 PM

The government has decided to observe a one-minute “blackout” on the Night of March 25, marking the Genocide Day for the seventh consecutive years.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal came up with the decision after emerging from a law and order meeting on the occasion of the Genocide Day on March 25, Independence on March 26 at his ministry conference room.

Like previous years, the home minister said, the ‘blackout’ programme will be observed for one minute from 10:30pm to 10:31pm on the night of March 25 across the country to pay homage to those who were killed in the ‘Operation Searchlight’ launched by the then Pakistani occupation forces on that dreadful Night of March 25 in 1971.

He said additional security measures will also be taken on the occasion of the blackout observance as well as the Genocide Day and the Independence Day.

Besides, strict security measures will be taken to ensure security on the occasion of the Independence Day on March 26 at National Martyrs’ Monument, Savar, where the President and the Prime Minister will respectively pay homage, Kamal said.

He said foreign diplomats will also visit to the Monument at Savar, adding, “Security forces have been asked to ensure security so that they can move smoothly.”

“Necessary improvement of the road system along with strengthening intelligence measures were discussed in the meeting,” the minister said.

Replying to a question, he said stern action will be taken against them those who will responsible for spreading rumors on social media, adding, “No specific threat was received centering the Genocide Day and the Independence Day programme.”

Replying to another query, Kamal said whether there was any sabotage in the Rohingya camp fire at Ukhia upazila of Cox's Bazar district. He also said law enforcers were investigating into the fire incident.

“We are looking into whether it is sabotage or conspiracy. Rohingyas cook using cylinders. We have seven fire service units nearby camps. We are investigating how the accident happened,” Kamal added.

He said measures have been taken for those who have become homeless. “We have made a huge arrangement at Bhasanchar and those who will be interested we will take them to there,” he said.

About attack on annual jalsa of the Ahmadiyya community in Panchagarh, the minister said that thousands of Qadiani and Ahmadiyya communities live in Ahmednagar area and they perform a religious ceremony for two days every year. 

He said this year Jamaat-e-Islami activists and BNP leaders jointly barred them against the event. At one stage they (Jamaat-BNP activists) set fire on their houses and the event place. A Qadiani member died, while a Jamaat member was also injured and died during the fight, Kamal said.

The minister said seven cases were filed in these connections of fire and police arrested 81 people in this incident and BNP leader Fazle Rabbi is among them. 

In the preliminary interrogation, BNP leader Fazle Rabbi confessed that he came to stop the event and led behind the scene, he said.

In 2017, the government officially declared March 25 as “Genocide Day”, commemorating “Operation Searchlight” carried out by the Pakistani military junta to stop the independence struggle of the Bangalees.

Officials concerned were present at the meeting.

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