Exactly at 9pm on Friday, Bangladesh will plunge into darkness to mark Genocide Day.
The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs has decided to observe a nationwide one-minute symbolic ‘blackout’ on Friday night marking Genocide Day.
On the black night of March 25 in 1971, the Pakistani military junta resorted to mass killings in Dhaka to implement its blueprint to thwart the Awami League's assumption of office following the election mandate of 1970.
In the attack dubbed 'Operation Searchlight', the Pakistani security forces mercilessly killed nearly three million people -- Bengali members of the East Pakistan Rifles and police, students, teachers and people.
The Pakistani forces also set thousands of properties on fire and looted business establishments.
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The day is being observed as Genocide Day officially for the sixth time in the country since the Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on March 11, 2017.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have already issued separate messages on this occasion.
"The observance of Genocide Day is a recognition of the great sacrifices made by three million Bengalis in the liberation struggle of Bangladesh," the President said.
"It is also a symbol of protest against the genocide committed by the then Pakistani aggressors."
According to the President, the horrific genocide of 1971 is a black chapter not only in Bangladesh but also in the history of world humanity. "The pledge that such genocide does not happen anywhere else will be reflected worldwide through the observance of the Genocide Day."
In her message, the PM said that genocide, oppression, and other humanitarian disasters are still happening in some parts of the world.
“I believe that by following the ideals of peace enunciated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and avoiding all forms of discrimination, communalism, and colonialism we can build a peaceful world order."
The PM called upon the people to unite for building Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla in the spirit of the War of Liberation and following his ideals.
Political parties and cultural organisations have lined up programmes to mark the day.
Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations are airing special programmes while national dailies published supplements marking the day.
Meanwhile different religious organisations will hold special prayers and doa mehfil praying for peace.
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Similar programmes have been arranged at district and upazila levels and by Bangladesh embassies in different countries to highlight the significance of the day.