Bangladesh honours martyrs of 1971 genocide with a nationwide blackout

The government establishments, as well as those at Dhaka University, plunged into darkness for one minute at 11pm

Published : 25 March 2024, 06:15 PM
Updated : 25 March 2024, 06:15 PM

In a solemn tribute to the martyrs of the 1971 genocide, Bangladesh observed a one-minute nationwide blackout, plunging the country into darkness to symbolise the atrocities committed by Pakistani occupation forces on the night of March 25, 1971. 

Government and educational institutions, including Dhaka University, participated in this poignant moment of remembrance at 11pm on Monday, reflecting on the dark chapter in the nation's history. 

Many organisatons held candlelight vigils to mark the day, declared National Genocide Day by the government.   

The genocide began with the Pakistan Army's operation targeting unarmed Bengali civilians in a ruthless crackdown on their quest for autonomy and independence.

Codenamed ‘Operation Searchlight’, it carried out genocide in the first hours of that night in Dhaka. This brutal onslaught marked the beginning of Bangladesh's struggle for liberation. 

Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence before being arrested by the Pakistani forces in the early hours of Mar 26, observed as Independence Day now. 

Bengalis retaliated with spectacular resistance and fought for nine months of the Liberation War to snatch victory on Dec 16 when occupying Pakistani forces surrendered to the allied forces backed by India.