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Protest outside Pak mission in Washington, demonstrators demand apology for 1971 Bangladesh genocide

WASHINGTON: A US-based Bangladeshi organisation along with other South Asian minorities held a protest outside the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, demanding an apology for the 1971 ‘genocide’ named Operation Searchlight.
Dozens of protestors raised flags, held placards, and chanted anti-Pakistan slogans.
During the protest outside the Pakistani embassy, Pranesh Haldar, an organiser, told ANI in addition to the apology, the protestors also demand from Pakistan the Extradition of 195 Pakistani war criminals. “We demand that Pakistan holds a Trial for raping and killing thousands of women and children in 1971,” Haldar added.
On March 25, 1971, at midnight under the name Operation Searchlight, seen by many as the first step in the Bengali genocide, Pakistan Army killed about 100,000 Bengalis in a single night. They targeted academics and scholars, specifically murdering many university students and professors. The protestors say that the goal of the operation was to crush the Bengali nationalist movement through fear – they attacked Pilkhana, Rajarbagh Police Lines, Jagannath Hall, a non-Muslim dormitory of Dhaka University, Iqbal Hall, Ramna Sri Ramna KaliTemple and other major institutions.
While interacting with ANI, Debatosh Majumdar, a Bangladeshi American narrated how a family member went missing almost seven decades ago in Bangladesh. After a relentless search, the Mujumdar family learned that their loved one had been killed, allegedly by the Pakistan Army. “They did not just kill my grandfather, whom I had never seen, but they also wanted to kill my grandmother,” he said.
“I appeal to the US administration to activate the Magnitsky Act against Pakistani 195 war criminals and the officials protecting them. And I also demand that organizations like the World Bank and IMF should stop finding Pakistan,” Mujumdar added.
Priya Saha, a Bangladeshi activist based in the US stressed how people here are not fully aware of the station of minorities in the south Asian region. Saha told ANI that the prime objective of South Asian Minorities Collective (SAMC) is to make the people aware of the ground realities facing minorities in South Asia. “We Demand Compensation from Pakistan for the refugees and destruction of millions of homes, businesses, and worship places,” Saha concluded.

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