Officers and employees of Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, D.C., their family members and members of the Bangladesh community observed the “Genocide Day” Monday evening remembering the horrendous episode of human massacre in Bangladesh by the Pakistan army on March 25, 1971.
They joined a candle light vigil and paraded through the embassy compound under the leadership of Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin, renewing the demand that the United Nations recognize the 25th March as the Genocide Day.
Observing the Day, a documentary on the genocide in Bangladesh in 1971 was screened. The messages of Hon’ble President and Hon’ble Prime Minister were read out. Minister (Press) Shamim Ahmad and Minister (Consular) ShamsulAlam Chowdhury read out the messages respectively.
In his remarks, Ambassador Ziauddin said the systematic genocide of the people of Bangladesh by the then Pakistani regime left over three million people dead; a quarter of a million women and young girls dishonored and around 10 million people as refugees in India.
He said the Pakistan army began the “Operation Searchlight” on the night of March 25 when people were deep in sleep. “The military tanks and armored vehicles crammed with battle ready soldiers rolled out of the Dhaka cantonment, and suddenly the quiet night was shattered by the rattle of gunfire. The bullets mowed down ruthlessly the people on sight. Throughout the night, the killing machines were on a murderous rampage in Dhaka.”
The Ambassador said at the time of the crackdown, the Pakistani military cordoned the residence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the great leader of Bengali nationalism. Before the Pak army could enter his home, the great leader sent a written message to the people declaring the Independence of Bangladesh.
Describing the March 25 massacre as the worst holocaust in human history, the Ambassador urged the UN and the international community to recognize the March 25 massacre as the “Genocide Day.”