A one-minute blackout will be observed in Bangladesh on Thursday night to mark 'Genocide Day', amid fears of a second wave of the Covid pandemic.
On the black night of March 25 in 1971, the Pakistani military junta resorted to mass killings in Dhaka to implement its blueprint to thwart the Awami League's assumption of office following the election mandate of 1970.
In the attack dubbed 'Operation Searchlight', the Pakistani security forces mercilessly killed nearly three million people -- Bangali members of the East Pakistan Rifles and police, students, teachers and common people. The Pakistani forces also set thousands of properties on fire and looted business establishments.
This is the third time that Bangladesh is observing Genocide Day since Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on March 11, 2017.
This year, however, there will be no outdoor programme due to the prevailing Covid situation. Only a one-minute blackout is slated to be observed from 9pm to 9.01pm across the country.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have already issued separate messages on the occasion.
In her message, the Prime Minister said, “On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Day of Genocide, we pledge to uphold the freedom that we have earned in exchange for the three million martyrs and the respect of two hundred thousand tortured mothers and sisters, if necessary, in exchange for our supreme sacrifices.”
“Resisting all immediate conspiracies and be inspired by the spirit of the Great Liberation War, we shall play a concerted role in the realisation of the dream of the Father of the Nation for building a non-communal, hunger-free and prosperous Bangladesh, Insha Allah," she said.
“I wish all-out success to the programmes taken on the occasion of 'Genocide Day'," the PM said.
President Hamid said, “On the eve of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee of Independence, I call upon all, irrespective of party affiliation, to contribute from their respective positions in the implementation of these programmes.”
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“We can pay our eternal respect to every soul who gave his life in 1971 genocide, by turning the country into the ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Bangabandhu,” he said.