The nation today recalls the countless intellectuals who embraced martyrdom at the hands of Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators’ killing squads on this day in 1971 with due solemnity.
Barbaric Pakistani army and their collaborators sensing their imminent defeat systematically killed prominent Bangladeshi intellectuals and professionals at the fag end of the liberation war on this day in 1971 aiming to cripple the emerging new nation.
The national flag will be hoisted at half-mast along with black flags today.
Activists of different political and social organisations and people from all walks of life and ages would
place floral wreaths at memorials at Mirpur and Rayerbazar as well as elsewhere in the country at the day break.
President Abdul Hamid, prime minister Sheikh Hasina, opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia recalled the contributions of martyred intellectuals in separate messages issued on the eve of the day.
Abdul Hamid in his message said killing of intellectuals just before the victory was an irreparable loss to the nation. He called upon all to be imbued with the spirit of patriotism of the martyred intellectuals and work together to develop a merit-based nation.
In her message, Sheikh Hasina said in the history of the liberation struggle of the Bengali nation, the Martyred Intellectual Day is a painful occasion.
‘We have brought the killers of the martyred intellectuals under trial and verdicts of top war criminals have already been executed. Verdicts on other war criminals would be executed soon,’ she said.
‘We will make the country free from stigma by completing trial of all war criminals’, she promised.
Khaleda Zia in her statement said that immortal martyred intellectuals wanted to see a nation with its head held high and a just and a democratic country, but it was never realised due to ill forces hidden within the country.
She urged all to work united to make the state prosperous, self-dependent and strong and fulfill the dreams of the martyrs.
Pakistani army and their local collaborators Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, only two days before their surrender, abducted members of the Bengali intelligentsia blindfolded, with their hands tied, from their houses to army camps or other places. They never returned.
They took all––writers, scientists, artistes, singers, teachers from universities to primary schools, researchers, journalists, lawyers, physicians, engineers, architects, sculptors, people involved in film making and theatre and cultural activists—and decomposed bodies of many of them were found from ditches and others water bodies as well as places in Dhaka and its suburbs.
Discovery of blindfolded and mutilated bodies of many of the martyred intellectuals from the killing fields of the occupation army across the country shocked the nation as well as world.
Immediately after independence, December 14 was declared as the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day by Tajuddin Ahmed, the country’s first prime minister.
To mark the day, different socio-cultural and political organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes, including seminars, discussions and placing wreaths at the memorials at Mirpur and Rayerbazar.
Ruling Awami League would hoist national flag along with party flag and black flag on the day.
BNP will also hold a discussion at the Mahanagar Natya Mancha in the afternoon.
Dhaka University has also prepared programmes to pay respect to the martyred intellectuals, many of whom belonged to the university. Black flags will be hoisted at all dormitories, at the vice-chancellor’s residence and buildings of the university in the morning.
Almost all political parties and socio economic organisations chalked programmes to observe the day.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country