Controversial book accuses Bengalis of 1971 war crimes





Forty years ago Bangladesh won its independence from Pakistan in a short but brutal civil war in which it was claimed as many as three million people could have died. A book released to coincide with the anniversary has reached some highly controversial conclusions as the BBC's Alastair Lawson has discovered.

Sarmila Bose's book, Dead Reckoning, says that one of the bloodiest wars in the past half-century has been "dominated by the narrative of the victorious side" - Bangladeshi nationalists who won independence in 1971 from Pakistan.

She writes that both sides in the conflict "are still imprisoned by wartime partisan myths".

The introduction of her book does not exonerate Pakistani troops from committing atrocities during Bangladesh's bloody struggle for freedom 

But in what is certain to be viewed in Bangladesh as an extremely controversial conclusion, it says Bengalis - fighting for and against independence - also committed "appalling atrocities".....  



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