Agartala, March 25 (IANS) A candle light march and a seminar marked “Genocide Day”, in Tripura on Saturday commemorating the atrocities committed by the Pakistani Army on this day in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, 46 years ago.
The programmes were organised by the Bangladesh Assistant High Commission here as part of the observance of the Day for the first time in the 46 year history of post-independence Bangladesh.
Following a recent decision taken by the Bangladesh cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country is observing March 25 as “Genocide Day” all across the world, Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh Assistant High Commission in Agartala Mohammad Shakhawat Hossain told IANS.
In Agartala, a seminar was held highlighting the importance of the day. Hossain and noted Bangladesh theatre and film director Nasiruddin Yousuff were among the participants.
Bangladesh Assistant High Commission officials, other staff and their families took part in the candle light march in the city in memory of those who lost their lives, following a brutal crackdown ordered by the then Pakistani military rulers on protesters in Dhaka on March 25, 1971, after refusing to hand over power to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose party Awami League party won the 1970 general election.
The “Genocide Day” was observed a day before the Bangladesh Independence Day and National Day to be celebrated on Sunday.
Hossain said a series of day-long functions have been lined up in Agartala on Sunday on the occasion. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will be among the dignitaries at the programmes.
A few days after the Pakistani forces had unleashed massive attacks across that country, Bangladeshi leaders vowed to win their independence on March 26, 1971, when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive guerilla fight against the then Pakistani rulers.
The Liberation War later turned into a full-scale India-Pakistan War, leading to the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers in Dhaka on December 16, 1971.
India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as sovereign nation.
According to Bangladeshi freedom fighters and experts, Pakistani forces during the nine months of Liberation War (March 26 to December 16, 1971) massacred over three million Bengali-speaking people, including children, and gang-raped over six lakh women.
Over one crore families were uprooted from their ancestral homes and lands during that period.