Different political, professional and socio-cultural organisations, including ruling Awami League, today paid glowing tributes to the intellectuals who had to embrace martyrdom, on the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day, reports BSS.
On this day 48 years back, just two days before the final victory over the 1971 Liberation War, the Pakistani occupation forces with the help of their local collaborators — Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams — killed the most prominent intellectuals of the country.
Marking the day, hundreds of people from all walks of life converged at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Memorial in Mirpur and the Rayer Bazar Bodhho Bhumi (killing ground)) to pay their homage to the worthy sons of the soil.
Alongside the leaders and workers of the AL, its associate bodies and other pro-AL socio-cultural bodies on behalf of their respective organizations placed wreaths at the altar of intellectuals’ memorial throughout the day.
The programmes of the day included raising of black flags and hoisting of the national flag half mast, placing of wreaths at the martyred intellectuals memorials and graveyards, discussions, lighting of candles in memory of the martyrs, morning marches, painting, general knowledge and hand writing competitions and milad and doa mahfils.
In the early morning, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the memorial.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also paid respect to the martyred intellectuals for the second time as the AL chief.
AL General Secretary and also Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, AL Presidium Members – Joint General Secretaries Mahbub-Ul-Alam Hanif, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Liberation War Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque, Foreign Minister AKM Momen, AL Organizing Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Enamul Haque Shameem and Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel, among others were present there.
Besides, leaders of Dhaka City (south and north) AL, Bangladesh Awami Juba League, Awami Swechchasebak League, Krishak League, Jatiya Sramik League, Mahila AL, Chhatra League, Juba Mahila League, Jatiya Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), Workers Party of Bangladesh , Bangladesh Communist Party, Samjtantirk Chhatra Front, Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), Bangladesh Crime Reporters’ Association (CRAB), Shilpakala Academy, Nazrul Institute , Supreme Court Bar Association, Udichi Shilpigusthi, Kendriya Khelaghar, universities and other educational institutions and socio-cultural-professional bodies placed wreaths paying homage to the martyred intellectuals.
As many as 200 illustrious sons of the soil, including professors, journalists, doctors, artistes, engineers and writers, were abducted from their respective residences between December 10 and 14 in 1971.
They were taken blindfolded to torture cells at Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in different parts of the city.
Subsequently, they were put to death en masse at different killing grounds, most notably Rayerbazar and Mirpur, in a bid to cripple the newly emerging Bangladesh intellectually.
Those who were exposed to the killers’ wrath on December 14, 1971 included Dr Alim Chowdhury, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Journalists Shahidullah Kaisar, Sirajuddin Hossain, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan and Selina Parveen, and Litterateur Monir Choudhury. Since then, the day is being observed as the Martyred Intellectuals Day.