The nation is observing the Genocide Day today, commemorating the brutalities and cowardly attacks carried out by the Pakistani occupation forces on the unarmed Bangalees on the black night of March 25, 1971.
This year, the government and political, social and cultural organisations, including the ruling Awami League, have suspended all programmes on the occasion of the Day in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
National dailies have published special supplements and television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
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 1970 elections.
In the attack dubbed “Operation Searchlight”, the Pakistani forces mercilessly killed the Bangalee members of the then East Pakistan Rifles and police, students, teachers and common people.
They killed people indiscriminately, set houses and properties on fire, and looted business establishments, leaving a trail of destruction.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued messages on the eve of the Genocide Day.
In his message, the president said the brutal genocide carried out by the Pakistani occupation forces on March 25 is a barbaric and tragic incident in the history of the Bangalee nation.
He recalled with deep respect the sacrifices of the martyrs of 1971 Liberation War.
The PM in her message said March 25 is the most dreadful day in the life of the Bangalee Nation.
On this day in 1971, one of the most horrific and brutal genocide of the world history took place in Bangladesh, she added.
Hasina paid homage to the greatest Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the four national leaders, martyred freedom fighters and those dishonored women whose supreme sacrifices have given the nation an independent Bangladesh.
She said the observance of March 25 as Genocide Day will be regarded as nation’s memorial of eternal respect and testimony to the martyrs of the Liberation War.