The nation is set to observe Genocide Day today in remembrance of the brutality carried out by Pakistani Army on the unarmed Bengalis on the black night of March 25, 1971.
The House unanimously adopted a resolution to observe March 25 as “Gonohotya Dibosh” (Day of Genocide) on March 11 last year. Subsequently, the cabinet division in a meeting unanimously endorsed the decision on March 20.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of Genocide Day.
In his message, President Hamid said the genocide carried out by Pakistani occupation forces on the night of March 25, 1971 is a brutal and grievous incident in the history of Bengali nation.
“The decision of observing the day as Genocide Day is a milestone in the country’s history,” he said.
He further said they (Pakistani occupation forces) wanted to stop the movement of Bangali police, students and the people in the name of Operation Searchlight.
Hamid urged all, irrespective of caste and creed, to establish a non-communal and democratic country imbued with the spirit of Liberation War.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said the Pakistani occupation forces swooped on unarmed Bangalis on March 25 and they along with their local collaborators including Rajakar, Al Badr and Al Shams carried out atrocities.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, in a separate statement, urged people of all strata, including the leaders and workers of his party, its associate and like-minded bodies across the country, to observe all programs taken for this day in a befitting manner.
Echoing Hasina, also the Awami League president, Quader said the Pakistani occupation forces swooped on unarmed Bangalees on March 25, 1971 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 of March 25 and continued for nine months, he added.
Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said the country observed the March 25 as Genocide Day for the first time in 2017, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Like the last year, Awami league has taken numerous programs to observe the day in a befitting manner.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said three million people were killed and 200,000 women raped during the war.
The incidents of killing of this many people in a short span of time are rare in the world, she added.
Programs taken to mark the day
The government has taken various programs to mark the day with due respect.
The country is set to stage a one-minute blackout today from 9pm to 9:1pm, recalling the horrors of March 25.
Besides, the Liberation War Affairs Ministry will hold a discussion and exhibit photographs on genocide, carried out the Pakistani army, at 10am at Suhrawardy Udyan.
Awami League will hold a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 4pm.
Dhaka University and Dhaka University Teachers Association, too, chalked out elaborate programs to mark the day.
The programs include a photography exhibition near Independence Monument at historic Suhrawardy Udyan, screening of a documentary, and a discussion event.
A special munajat will be offered and a milad mahfil would be held after the Asr prayers for those who embraced martyrdom on this day in 1971.