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'US, China suppressed genocide reports during Bangladesh liberation war'

IANS  |  Agartala 

The United States, China and a few other countries tried to suppress the reports of genocide and bloodbath in the then East Pakistan during Bangladesh's nine-month-long war of liberation, freedom fighters and experts of that country said here on Wednesday.

"The USA, China and a few other countries besides Pakistan tried to suppress news about the genocide and massacres in the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during the nine-month-long liberation war of Bangladesh," renowned Bangladeshi historian and Genocide and Torture Archive and Museum Trust president Muntasir Mamun said.

"Never did these countries accept and highlight the torture, massacres and mass rape of lakhs of men and women during the liberation struggle in Bangladesh. In no country in Asia, except Bangladesh, such type of genocide and massacres besides gang rape of lakhs of women happened," he told reporters.

Mamun said: "Pakistani forces during the nine months of liberation war (March 26 to December 16, 1971) massacred over three million Bangladeshi men, women and children, and gang raped over six lakh women and tortured lakhs of people."

"More than one crore families were uprooted from their ancestral homes and lands during that period."

Mamun, accompanied by other Bangladeshi freedom fighters and pro-liberation experts, said only India, the then USSR and a few other countries helped Bangladesh achieve success in creation of a sovereign Bangladesh and recognised the unprecedented mass execution of lakhs of innocent people.

India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh.

Ahead of Bangladesh's Independence Day on March 26, a three-day exhibition "1971: Genocide and Torture" was held here from Monday to Wednesday to showcase the sacrifices lakhs of people of erstwhile East Pakistan made to achieve their freedom.

"We have located more than 1,000 mass graveyard across Bangladesh, and with the help of the government would protect them to remember the people who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle," Genocide and Torture Archive and Museum Trust secretary Sheikh Baharul Alam said.

"The international conspiracies against Bangladesh still continue vigorously," he added.

Bangladeshi patriots vowed to win their independence on March 26, 1971, when Bangabandhu Mujibur Rehman gave the call, leading to the launch of a massive guerilla struggle against the then Pakistani rulers and their army.

The 'Mukti Juddha' (Liberation War), as it is called in Bangladesh, later turned into a full-scale India-Pakistan War, leading to the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers in Dhaka on December 16, 1971, to the Indian Army and creation of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation.

During the exhibition, many documentary films on the Bangladesh Liberation War were screened and a workshop with the painters and artists of both Bangladesh and India organised here.

The Tripura government and Tripura Sanskriti Samanvay Kendra, a renowned literary and cultural organisation, were the co-organisers of the exhibition which intended to depict to the new generation the heinous and inhuman mass killings, rape and torture, committed by the Pakistani Army and their local collaborators.

During the Bangladesh Liberation War, 10 million men, women and children from the then East Pakistan took shelter in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya.

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First Published: Wed, March 25 2015. 17:18 IST