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Sitesh Guha | HENB | Washington, D.C. | Oct 15, 2022:: A recent Congressional Resolution in United States recognizes 1971 Bangladesh Genocide mainly perpetrated against Hindus, as stated in a press note released by HRCBM. As per the press note, the resolution demanded action under International Law against Pakistan Armed Forces and Islamist War Criminals.
On Friday, Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced a historic resolution recognizing the genocide that took place over the course of 9 months in Bangladesh in 1971 and which disproportionately targeted members of the Hindu community and secular groups in the country formerly known as East Pakistan.
Congressman Steve Chabot, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and Co-Chair of the Bangladesh Caucus, who introduced H.R. 1430 on Friday, said, “There was a genocide. Millions of people were killed [in 1971] in what is now Bangladesh, and what was then East Pakistan. About 80% of those millions that were killed were Hindus. And it was, in my opinion, a genocide just like other genocides – like the Holocuast – happened. And there were others that have occurred, and this was one that, thus far, hasn’t really been declared by definition. And we are working on this now.”
Saleem Reza Noor, whose family members were brutally murdered by armed Islamists in 1971, expressed relief after 51 years of despair. “Our genocide is finally getting recognition in the U.S. Congress.” Noor stated his satisfaction as both Republicans and Democrats joined forces to introduce a historic resolution that has the potential to reshape the geopolitics of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Indo-Pacific.
Priya Saha, Executive Director of the Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), an organization that was at the forefront of this multi-year campaign, said, "On this 51st anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, we hope that millions of people in Bangladesh who were systematically exterminated by the Pakistan army and their collaborators in 1971 will be formally memorialized." As a survivor, I hope that this bipartisan resolution will finally bring closure to individuals who have endured pain and suffering, as well as foreign nationals from other countries in the region, who risked or lost their lives in 1971 and have gone largely unnoticed until now. We also hope that this resolution will initiate a detailed action plan to ensure that the Biden administration will hold the Pakistan Army and their Bangladeshi collaborators – the Razakars, Al-Shams, Al-Badr, and Jamaat-e-Islami – accountable.” Saha added, “Even now, these extremist groups are persecuting indigenous religious minorities in
Adelle Nazarian, Director of Communications and Legislative Outreach for Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (Hindu PACT) and who worked closely with lawmakers and legislators to see the introduction of H.R., and whose members in Congressman Chabot’s district played a key role in sensitizing the senior lawmaker on this issue, said “This is a powerful and necessary step towards delivering justice globally." "Recognition of the 1971 atrocity in Bangladesh as a genocide is a major win for humanity and trustfully in the global community’s efforts to recognize and prevent other atrocities from ever taking place again.” Adelle added, ""Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”
Aroma Dutta, a member of Parliament from the Hindu community in Bangladesh whose grandfather and uncle were killed by the Pakistan Armed Forces, said, “My grandfather, Dhirendra Nath Datta (85 years), along with his son, Dilip Datta (40 Years), were picked up by the brutal Pakistani Army on the 29th of March, 1971. They were taken into the Mainamati Cantonment in Cumilla, brutally tortured for more than two weeks and murdered; their lifeless bodies were thrown into a ditch, never to be found. Until today, they lie in a mass grave.” Dutta added, “I want the killers to be punished for murdering innocent people, including the elderly, young women, and children." My family and I have still not recovered from the trauma and suffering. I, along with other "Family members of the martyrs demand recognition of this genocide in which millions were raped and killed.”
More than 30 national Hindu community organizations, and many at the local level, expressed their deep gratitude to Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D- CA) for their perseverance and endurance in seeing this historic genocide recognition come to fruition.
Last year, former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also condemned the Hindu Genocide in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971.
__Inputs from HRCBM Press Note.