The nation on Friday observed Martyred Intellectual Day, recalling with due respect those intellectuals who were killed by the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators on the day in 1971.
Sensing their imminent defeat, the Pakistani army and their collaborators systematically killed prominent Bangladeshi intellectuals and professionals at the fag end of the liberation war to cripple the emerging new nation.
The national flag was hoisted at half-mast along with black flags on the day.
President Md Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the martyred intellectuals placing a wreath at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur in the capital in the morning after his return from Turkey, reports United News of Bangladesh.
Awami League leaders and activists placed wreaths at the memorial and Rayerbazar killing ground in the morning.
They also placed wreaths at the portrait of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founding president of the country in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmandi.
Opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front and its major component Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders paid homage to the martyred intellectuals at the memorial in the morning.
Activists of different political and social organisations and people from all walks of life and ages placed wreaths at memorials across in the country.
Socio-cultural and political organisations took elaborate programmes, including seminars, discussions and placing wreaths at the memorials.
Dhaka University organised programmes to pay respect to the martyred intellectuals, many of whom belonged to the university.
Awami League held a discussion meeting at Krishibid Institution auditorium to mark the day. The party president, Sheikh Hasina, chaired the programme.
BNP also held a discussion meeting at Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium to mark the day.
President Abdul Hamid, prime minister Sheikh Hasina, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir recalled the contributions of martyred intellectuals in separate messages issued on the eve of the day.
Gono Bishwabidyalay also observed the day. Faculty members, officers and students of the university placed a wreath at the memorial at Mirpur, said a press release.
Pakistani army and their local collaborators Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, only two days before their surrender, abducted members of the Bengali intelligentsia from their houses and took them 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. Decomposed bodies of many of them were found at different places in Dhaka and its suburbs.
Discovery of blindfolded and mutilated bodies of many of the martyred intellectuals from the killing grounds of the occupation army across the country shocked the nation as well as the world.
Immediately after independence, December 14 was declared as Martyred Intellectuals Day by Tajuddin Ahmad, the country’s first prime minister.
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