1971 Bangladeshi Genocide

21 March – 16 December 1971


West Pakistani (present day Pakistan) government launched Operation Searchlight to eliminate opposition to West Pakistani rule and power (leading into the War for Independence)


In a duration of about 8 months:

  • 60k to 3 million Bangladeshis slaughtered
  • 200k - 400k women became victims of a systematic campaign of genocidal rape
  • 10 million Bangladeshis forced to flee to India

("Mass Graves" cont'd)

“There were piled up dead bodies. Dead Kids’ on dead mum’s laps. Wives hugging their beloved husbands to protect them from killer bullets. Dads’ hugging their daughters to shield them. Within a flash they all were just dead bodies. Blood streamed into the Bhadra river, it became a river of corps. A few hours later when the Paki bastards ran out of bullets, they killed the rest of the people with bayonet.” (Witnesses of massacre in Chuknagar)

(Source: Muntassir Mamun, The Archive of Liberation War, Bangabandhu and Bangladesh Research Institute)


Operation Searchlight was launched on March 26, 1971.

Pakistan surrenders to Indian forces on December 16, 2015 (Bangladeshi Allies)

March 21- December 16, 1971

(8 months, 2 weeks, 3 days)


Battles fought (primarily) throughout East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh).

After Indian involvement: Parts of North India


The Bangladeshi Genocide occurred in 1971 after years of tension between West & East Pakistan (Bangladesh) following the partition of India in 1947

Tensions were caused by cultural differences, lingual differences & Pakistan’s overall neglect and maltreatment of East Pakistan in times of need.

Bangladeshi nationalism grew through movements like the Bangladeshi Language Movement, & the education of the public on West Pakistan's crimes (by intellectuals).

As a result, West Pakistani government launched Operation Searchlight (beings war).

Genocide Flyer

Fatiha Choudhury

Ms. Tria

Human Rights - 1B

December 21, 2015