Today is March 25, National Genocide Day, the day of a tainted massacre in the history of human civilization. On this night of 1971, a heavily armed Pakistani army attacked on inoffensive, unarmed and sleeping Bengalis. One of the biggest massacres in the history of the world was conducted in Bangladesh on this day. The massacre of 25th March was not just one night`s assassination; it was primarily a startling massacre of world civilization.
Within a few minutes of the evening of that day, General Yahya Khan left Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). Avoiding the path of the peaceful solution. President Yahya escaped by giving the instructions of the execution of the Bengalis. Within two hours of his departure, heavily armed army personnel loaded in jeeps and trucks spread across the city. Without any provocation, the murderers conduct `Operation Searchlight`. They entered the Dhaka University area and started carrying out the massacre in the university halls including Iqbal Hall (presently Jahurul Haque Hall) and Jagannath Hall. The hyenas didn`t even spare the students of Rokeya Hall. They killed more than three hundred innocent students in just one night. They did not even leave the university teachers either. That night nine university teachers of different departments including Govinda Chandra Dev, Dr Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta, Prof. Santosh Bhattacharyya, Dr Monirujjaman, were brutally murdered. The purpose of their armed expedition was one and that is to destroy Bengalees’ desire for freedom.
Not only in Dhaka University, they continued their killing spree at Rajarbagh Police line, Peelkhana EPR headquarters, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Nilkhet, and at various places. Although Bengali police members resisted against the menacing attack of Pakistani army at Rajarbagh police headquarters. But all the barricades were destroyed in the face of continuous shootings of enemy tanks and heavy machine guns. The media on behalf of Bangladesh`s independence could not be exempted from their carnage. The Pak army destroys the Daily Ittefaq, Dainik Sambad and National Press Club by setting the fire and continuous shelling. Several people of the media had to give lives to this attack.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was detained from his residence at Dhanmondi 32. However, before the arrest, at the first hour of 26th March, Bangabandhu declared the independence and declared Liberation War through a wireless message. The wireless message reached Chittagong EPR headquarters and a foreign ship anchored on the coast of Chittagong also received the message. At that time, Awami League`s then labor affairs Secretary Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury took the initiative to distribute the message of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib among the people in cyclostyle process. Independence Day was declared on 26th March, on the basis of the declaration of independence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On March 25, more than 100,000 people were killed across the country in the `Operation Searchlight` campaign conducted by Pakistani occupying forces. More than 50 thousand freedom loving unarmed Bengalees were killed in Dhaka. Most of them were sleeping. The prevalence of such a brutal murder in human history is very rare. The genocide started on the night of 25th and the whole country became a huge mass killing ground in the days of the Liberation War. After so many years of independence, mass killing areas were discovered in different places of the country. The history of oppression and repression is still being published today. The murders and bloodshed of that one night prove that Bengalis paid a heavy price to get their cherished freedom.
This night is a chapter of pain in Bangladesh’s history. On the other hand, this night witnessed the birth moment of an independent state too. For the mistake that Pakistani invaders did by killing the unarmed Bengalis that night, they paid for it through their continuous defeat in the water, ashore and aloft of Bengal. Their action brought equal and opposite reactions. They killed hundreds of thousands of Bengalis in this land; similarly, they left behind hundreds of thousands of dead bodies of their companions in this land.
Bangla Insider/ SM