The nation is observing the Martyred Intellectuals Day on Thursday to commemorate the brightest minds killed systematically by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators towards the end of the Liberation War in 1971.
On this day in 1971, the country’s renowned academicians, doctors, engineers, journalists, artists, teachers and other eminent personalities were dragged out of their homes, blindfolded, taken to unknown places, brutally tortured and murdered, reports UNB.
Their bodies were later dumped at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and other killing fields in Dhaka.
Sensing an imminent defeat, the Pakistani forces and their local collaborators Al-Badr, Al-Shams and Razakars committed the cold-blooded mass murders aiming to annihilate the country’s intelligentsia and intellectually cripple the newly born Bangladesh.
Among the martyred intellectuals were Prof Munier Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurta, Prof Santosh Bhattacharya, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, journalists Khandaker Abu Taleb, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan (Ladu Bhai), ANM Golam Mustafa, Syed Nazmul Haq and Selina Parvin.
The government has chalked out elaborate programmes to commemorate the day.
President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals on the occasion of the Martyred Intellectuals Day this morning.
The president and then the prime minister placed wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in Mirpur.
They stood there in solemn silence for a while as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the illustrious sons and daughters of the soil.
The president and the PM issued separate messages marking the day yesterday.
The president in his message said, “I call upon all to play an effective role from their respective positions to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War and the sacrifices of the martyred intellectuals.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, urged all irrespective of party affiliation to unite against the killers of 1971, war criminals, fundamentalists and perform their duties from their respective positions to continue the development of the country by resisting all conspiracies of anti-democratic forces.
Family members of the martyred intellectuals and freedom fighters are paying homage to the martyred intellectuals at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard and at Rayer Bazar Memorial.
Leaders and activists of different political and social organizations are also paying homage at the respective places.
Special doa and munajat are scheduled to be offered at mosques, temples and churches marking the day.
Bangladesh Television and private television channels are broadcasting special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Newspapers have published special supplements highlighting the importance of the day.