International recognition of 1971 genocide

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Published on March 25, 2021
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Khondaker Habib Ahsan:

The launch of Operation Searchlight on innocent Bangladeshi people by Pakistani troops on March 25, 1971, the most horrific and brutal event in history. Bangladesh emerged as a sovereign nation-state in exchange for the blood of 3 million people killed during the liberation war of 1971. The history of giving life to so many unarmed innocent people for the sake of freedom is certainly not an isolated incident. The conspiracy to eradicate the Bengali language in 1952 and the subsequent massacre on the night of March 25, the last intellectual massacre to destroy the entire nation is a complete and clear picture of the Pakistani plan to annihilate the Bengali nation.

According to the Geneva Conventions and the Genocide Convention, genocide is an act of complete or partial annihilation of a nation, religious community or ethnic group. In addition, the definition of genocide under Article 2 of Resolution 260 (3) adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948 also proves that in 1971 genocide took place in Bangladesh. On 11 March 2017, the national parliament of Bangladesh adopted a resolution declaring the day as 'National Genocide Day'. a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on, March 20, approved the declaration of March 25 as a "Class A" day and the proposal to observe the day nationally and internationally.

During the long nine-months of Bangladesh's war of independence, the Pakistani military and its allies killed 3 million people and deliberately raped 200,000 to 400,000 Bengali women, all of whom were either mothers, sisters or wives. Rape of a daughter in front of her father, a wife in front of a husband, a sister in front of a brother became the norm during the war. This image of cruelty against the Bengalis was not unknown to any country in the world at that time. In a report in the New York Times, Malcolm W. Brown mentioned: One incident is widely believed and is visible through many means that 563 women were taken to army camps in March and April. They were not released for fear of scandal, despite the possibility of an abortion.

Indiscriminate genocide was also a matter of priority in certain cases. The Pakistanis identified them as their main enemies - the Awami League leaders and activists and supporters, the communists and socialists, the freedom fighters and their allies, the Hindu community irrespective of women, men, children and the elderly, and the students and intellectuals. But that was not always the priority. In the beginning, they were attacked indiscriminately and then they were killed indiscriminately. Rareer in the history of the world than the scene of such killings and brutality against the poor Bengalis who did not get enough food, adequate clothing or medical treatment when needed.

In most cases of torture, the method used by Pakistani military officers and ordinary soldiers is- Swearing in obscene language, as well as physical beating until the skin is torn out, Hanging a rope with his legs, as well as stabbing with a bayonet and beating with the butt of a rifle, Naked to stand in the open for hours, Cigarette fire all over the body, Inserting a thick needle into the nails and head of the hands and feet, Inserting thick needles into the nails and head of the hands and feet with tongs, Baking cigarette fire inside the anus and inserting ice cubes, Pulling out the fingernails and toenails with tweezers, tying the legs to the rope and dipping the head repeatedly in hot water, Hands and feet tied and left in the hot sun on the street, sprinkling salt and pepper powder on bloody wounds, Naked wounded body left on the ice slab, Insert an iron rod into the anus to give an electric shock, If you want water to urinate in the mouth, Day after day in a dark room, the light bulbs on the eyes are not allowed to sleep, Methods of applying electric shock to sensitive parts of the body.

Many mass graves and slaughterhouses have been found in Bangladesh since the victory and are still going on in different parts of the country. Hundreds to thousands of people were killed in one mass grave. Pictures and video footage of a dog eating a dead body in a mass grave found after the end of the war are also preserved in both national and international media and state archives, all of which are clear evidence of indiscriminate genocide. According to R j Rummel a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii- "Lower-ranking officers and soldiers were involved in the genocide. They have voluntarily fueled the creation of a communal atmosphere among the Bengalis. They often compared Bengalis to baby monkeys and chickens. General Niazi said that low-level people live in this low place. The Hindus among the Bengalis are involved in Nazism from Judaism. Muslim Bengalis will only follow their ideology; Otherwise, he will fall to his death. Soldiers can kill anyone. Journalist Dan Cougin quotes a Pakistani captain as saying that they can kill anyone for anything.

In a long and bloody nine-month bloody war, the Pak army and its local allies deliberately killed 991 teachers, 13 journalists, 49 doctors, 42 lawyers and 16 writers-engineers. Notable among them is the death of popular filmmaker Zahir Raihan on January 30, 1972. On that day he was ruthlessly killed by armed Biharis in Mirpur. Martyred Intellectuals' Day is remembered in Bangladesh in memory of the victims of the December 14 killings.U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy even accused the Pakistani government of genocide and warned of a complete suspension of U.S. military and economic aid. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the atrocities against Bengalis as one of the five largest genocides of the twentieth century.

It is not a matter of when Bangladesh will get international recognition for genocide or how many more rivers of blood were needed to get international genocide recognition but as long as the international community bears the responsibility of international recognition of genocide in Bangladesh in 1971 it will be a time of shame for history.

Writer: Deputy Science Affairs Secretary, Bangladesh Student’s League Central Executive Committee.