Number of 1971 Genocide victims to exceed 3 million: research

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DHAKA, March 22, 2019 (BSS) – An academic study group today unveiled part
of findings of its ongoing research on 1971 genocide fearing the casualty
figure of the Liberation War could exceed 3 million, once their nationwide
survey was completed.

“The figure is likely to exceed 3 million if our ongoing nationwide study
is completed using the global positioning system (GPS), pinpointing the 1971
killing fields,” Historian Professor Dr Muntassir Mamoon told a seminar on
the eve of the Independence Day.

Mamoon, who leads the state-sponsored project under a group called Centre
for Genocide-Torture and Liberation War Studies, said they so far compiled
the statistics on the massacre survey in 20 of the 64 districts, listing
5,121 cases of mass killings.

He said in each of the case, five to 1,000 people were slaughtered by the
Pakistani troops and their cohorts while in one particular case of Jessore’s
Chuknagar killing, over 10,000 people were mowed down in hours.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid and Cultural Affairs
Secretary Dr M Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal also attended the seminar at the Bangla
Academy as the study is being carried out with the ministry’s assistance.

Mamoon said in terms of casualty figure, the 1971 Genocide was the worst
after the Second World War Holocaust when the then Nazi regime killed six
million Jews in a systematic and bureaucratic manner in between 1941 and
1945.

Mamoon said the post 1975 regimes of General Ziaur Rahman, General Ershad
and Begum Khaleda Zia along with the Jammat-e- Islami visibly tried to
downplay the 1971 Genocide with an ill political motive.

“All of them virtually tried to erase the ‘Genocide’ from the history” in
pursuance of their politics to appease Pakistan and their Bengali cohorts of
1971, he said.

Mamoon said BNP just tried to portray Ziaur Rahman as the 1971 hero and
simultaneously made their best efforts to hide the misdeeds of Jamaat’s the
then outfits like al-shams and al-badar.

The center is using the GPS facilities for the first time in South Asia to
gauge the genocide intensity while in the second phase of the study, it
surveyed 10 districts.

These are: Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Narail, Panchagarh, Moulvibazar, Jessore,
Lalmonirhat, B-Baria, Cox’s Bazar and Barisal.

In March last year, the centre revealed its survey results in 10 districts
— Nilphamari, Naryanganj, Bogra, Natore, Kurigram, Pabna, Rajshahi,
Satkhira, Bhola and Khulna.

Mamoon, also a Bangabandhu Chair Professor and Chairman of 1971: Genocide-
Torture Archive & Museum Trust, said the group identified a total of 5,121
mass killing incidents by the Pakistani occupation forces in 20 districts.

He said their study found 404 killing fields, 502 mass-graves and 547
torture cells in the 20 districts.

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