Imran A. Chowdhury
The bloods on the terraces, avenues, lanes, courtyards and the streets of East Pakistan started to pour profusely on the fateful night of the 24/25th March 1971. When the sudden burst fires of the machine gun, canons, tanks and rifles broke the silence of the night for the Bengalis. A tremendous shock, a fear of dying, the overwhelming sounds of the guns, continuous volleys of cannons and artilleries, the machine guns and rifles started to make the most vivid of all noises the Bengalis have not previously heard. The awakened up inhabitants of sleepy provincial capital city of Dhaka and its sub urban areas sprung out of bed with fear, anger, scaredon that fateful night.
Indiscriminate killing rampage went on for all night, the loud speakers were announcing the proclamation of curfew and stranded the city dwellers in their houses, flats, slums and the killing of selective targets went for the rest of the night.
They killed scores of students in the university halls of studies, butchered them lot like animals and left those carcasses and dead corpses to rot in the green grasses of Bengal with the red bloods of its own people.
People sleeping on the platforms of the railway stations, bus terminals and steamer pontoons started to run a-mock bewildered and disoriented Those overwhelmed people were all killed right there on the spot and the. Bodies were left there to rot, decompose and perish.
The military junta had it all well manicured plan to destroy the whole uprising and kill the nucleus of the movement for independence once for all with an all out comprehensive plan of an annihilation of the race all by itself.
The marching columns then started to inch into the ladies hostels of the universities and colleges, medical colleges, engineering university hostels, the nursing training dormitories and captured and looted and rounded up those thousands of Bengali girls and lady students and took them as their prisoner to their barracks , make shift camps, check posts and tents and were brutally captivated and deliberately raped – raped with the orders from their senior planners to make sure all those captivated women are raped and impregnated so that in the next year or so the Bengali women give birth to a batch of half caste children who would be the pure Pakistani – what a vicious plan of obliterating the identity of a race. The Pakistani soldiers were brainwashed to believe that the Bengali muslims were lesser muslim and they are going to join a Jihad in East Pakistan – what a mammoth lie and who decides who is purer or better muslim? What a dear price to pay for asking for democracy.
Nine months of systematic killing, rapes, disgrace and humiliation killed more than a few million Bengalis. Today those killers and their ancestors are in denial of the genocide.
An unconditional apology would perhaps would be enough to ease the pain. How long will it take for their conscience to come to its senses and accept the crime against thehumanity that they committed in Bangladesh in 1971 and what will it take for the rest of the world to recognise the 25th March as an international genocide day?
Imran A. Chowdhury
Writer and Historian
An ex commissioned officer of Bangladesh army. Son of a freedom fighter and a brother of a martyr freedom fighter – whose brother was killed by the Pakistani Army in capitvity; a 17 year old student freedom fighter. Witnessed the 1971 war of liberation at the age of 11.