The nation recalls today 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.
Marauding Pakistani military and their collaborators sensing their imminent defeat systematically killed prominent Bangladeshi intellectuals and professionals at the fag end of the Liberation War, mostly on December 14, 1971 just two days before the occupation military surrendered, aiming to cripple the emerging new nation.
The national flag will be hoisted at half-mast along with black flags atop government and educational institutions today to mark the day.
Political parties, socio-cultural and professional organisations and people from all walks of life and ages would place 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, Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir recalled the contributions of martyred intellectuals in messages issued on Thursday.
Abdul Hamid in his message said that killing of intellectuals just before the victory was an irreparable loss to the nation. He called on all to be imbued with the patriotism of the martyred intellectuals and work together to develop a merit-based nation.
Hasina said, ‘We have brought the killers of the martyred intellectuals to justice and verdicts against top war criminals have already been executed. Verdicts on other war criminals would be executed soon.’
Fakhrul said that immortal martyred intellectuals wanted to see a a just and a democratic country, but it was never realised due to ill forces hidden within the country.
He urged all to work united to make the state prosperous, self-dependent and strong and fulfil the dreams of the martyrs.
Pakistani military 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.
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 and the 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 taken elaborate programmes, including seminars, discussions and placing wreaths at the memorials at Mirpur and Rayerbazar.
The ruling Awami League would hoist national flag along with party flag and black flag on the day.
The AL would place wreath at martyred intellectuals memorial at Mirpur at 7:15am, then place wreath at the portrait of founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmandi at 7:45am and at Rayerbazar memorial at 8:45am. It would hold a discussion at Krishibid Institution auditorium at Farmgate at 3:00pm, where party president Sheikh Hasina would chair, a party press release said.
Leaders of the Jatiya Oikya Front would place wreath and Mirpur and Rayerbazader memorials in the morning.
BNP will hold a discussion at Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium at 3:00pm.
Dhaka University has also taken programmes to pay respect to the martyred intellectuals, many of whom belonged to the university. Black flags would be hoisted at all dormitories, at the vice-chancellor’s residence and buildings of the university in the morning.
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