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Nation observing ‘Genocide Day’, one-min blackout tonight

The nation is observing the ‘Genocide Day’ today in remembrance of the brutality carried out by Pakistani Army on the unarmed Bangalees on the black night of March 25 in 1971 under the infamous “Operation Searchlight”.

The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs has decided to observe a nationwide one-minute symbolic ‘blackout’ on Friday (March 25) exactly at 9:00 pm marking Genocide Day.

The government has taken elaborate programmes in observance of the day at national level. Different political, social and cultural organizations have also drawn up separate programmes to observe the day with due respect.

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the Genocide Day paying rich tributes to the martyrs of the 1971 genocide.

To mark the day, the country is set to stage a one-minute token blackout from 9pm to 9:01pm on March 25 recalling the horror of the March 25, 1971 black night when the Pakistanis launched genocide on Bangladesh soil, said a press release.

But Key Point Installations (KPI) and other emergency installations will remain out of the purview of blackout programme, said the media release.

A discussion was held on the ‘Gonohotya Dibos’ (Day of Genocide)”at 10:00am at Liberation War Museum marking the day. Cultural programmes, including ‘Geeti Natya’ (musical drama) based on Liberation War will be organized across the country.

Discussions will be arranged at all the educational institutions, including madrasahs, where heroic freedom fighters and noted personalities will recall memories.

Rare photos and documentaries on mass killing will be exhibited on the premises of all the city corporations including Dhaka.

National dailies have published special supplements and television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.

Special munazat will be offered at all the mosques and other religious institutions, seeking eternal peace for martyrs, who were killed on March 25, 1971.

Discussions will also be arranged at district and upazila levels marking the day.

All Bangladesh missions abroad will also observe the day paying rich tributes to the martyrs of March 25, 1971.

On the black night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistani military junta carried out mass killing in Dhaka as part of their blueprint to thwart the Awami League’s assumption of office following the victory in the elections held in 1970.

In the attack dubbed ‘Operation Searchlight’, the Pakistani forces mercilessly killed the Bangalee members of the East Pakistan Rifles and police, students, teachers and common people.

killed people indiscriminately, set houses and properties on fire, and looted business establishments, leaving a trail of destruction, BSS reports.

The Jatiya Sangsad (JS) unanimously adopted a resolution to observe the March 25 as the “Gonohotya Dibos” (Genocide Day) on March 11, 2017.

Subsequently, the cabinet division at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, unanimously endorsed the decision on March 20 in 2017.