US congressman Steve Chabot, along with congressman of Indian origin Ro Khanna, introduced a legislation in US House of Representatives to declare Pakistan Army action against Bengalis and Hindus in 1971 during the Liberation War of Bangladesh as "genocide" and "crime against humanity".
The eight-page resolution titled ‘Recognising the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971’ was submitted by Indian-American Congressmen Ro Khanna and Seve Chabot on Friday in the US House of Representatives. Among other things, it calls on the Pakistani government to apologize to the Bangladeshi people for its role in such a genocide.
"With help from my Hindu constituents in Ohio's First District, Rep Ro Khanna and I introduced legislation to recognise that the mass atrocities committed against Bengalis and Hindus, in particular, were indeed a genocide," Chabot tweeted on Friday.
The Bangladesh Genocide of 1971 must not be forgotten, he said.
"3,000,000 people were killed, over 2,00,000 women were raped and, due to stigma, the full number will likely never be known nor the victims remembered. Streets of Dacca (Dhaka) are aflood with Hindus," the eight-page resolution titled ‘Recognising the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971’ the legislation continues.
On 8th April, 1971, Consul General Blood sent another telegram which mentions that the "term genodice applies fully to this naked, calculated and widespread selection of Hindus for 'special treatment'". The resolution quotes Sydney Schamberg's writings of 1994. It is to mention that Schamberg was a New York Times correspondent who was in East Bengal during the war.
‘Proud to join Rep Steve Chabot in introducing the first resolution commemorating the 1971 Bengali Genocide in which millions of ethnic Bengalis and Hindus were killed or displaced in one of the most forgotten genocides of our time,’ Ro Khanna, a US congressman of Indian origin, twitted following the submission of the resolution on October 15.
‘We must not let the years erase the memory of the millions who were massacred. Recognising the genocide strengthens the historical record, educates our fellow Americans, and lets would-be perpetrators know such crimes will not be tolerated or forgotten,’ Steve Chabot said.
The proposed resolution states that the Bangladesh genocide is one of the forgotten genocides of the 20th century and its lack of recognition remains an open wound for millions of people who were directly affected by the atrocities.
It condemns the atrocities committed by the Pakistan military against the people of Bangladesh from March 1971 to December 1971 and recognises that such atrocities against Bengalis and Hindus constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.
The resolution recognizes that entire ethnic groups or religious communities are not responsible for the crimes committed by their members; calls on the President of the United States to recognize the atrocities committed against ethnic Bengalis and Hindus by the Armed Forces of Pakistan during 1971 as crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
It reaffirms the United States commitment to promoting peace, stability, and intercommunal harmony in the Indo-Pacific region, and the right of all people living in the region, regardless of national, racial, ethnic, or religious background, to enjoy the benefits of democratic institutions, the rule of law, the freedom of religion, and economic opportunity.