The nation on Saturday (Dec 14) observed the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day paying glowing tributes to the intellectuals, who were brutally killed by the Pakistan occupation forces and their local collaborators at the fag-end of the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
Sensing a humiliating defeat, the retreating Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators – Rajakars, Al-Badrs and Al-Shams — dragged off the frontline Bangalee intellectuals and worthy professionals from their houses on Dec 14 and assassinated them with the intention of crippling the newborn nation intellectually.
Marking the day, hundreds of people from all walks of life converged at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Mausoleum in Mirpur and the Rayer Bazar killing ground (Baddhobhumi) to pay their homage to the worthy sons of the soil.
The programmes of the day included raising of black flag 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 seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs.
President Md. Abdul Hamid paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreath in the morning at the Martyred Intellectuals Mausoleum at Mirpur, Dhaka. Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial.
Earlier, PM Sheikh Hasina received the President on his arrival at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at 7 am.
The President along with the head of the government stood in solemn silence there for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyred intellectuals.
A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Armed Forces gave a state salute while the bugle played the last post at that time.
Jatiyo Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Liberation War Affairs Minister A K M Mozammel Haque and ruling Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, several cabinet members, parliament members, senior Awami League leaders, the chiefs of the three services, the mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, high level civil and military officials, war-wounded freedom fighters and family members of the martyred intellectuals were present.
After placing the wreath, President Hamid exchanged views with the Prime Minister. Abdul Hamid also talked to the war-wounded freedom fighters and family members of the martyred intellectuals who were present there and enquired about their health.
Later, Bangladesh Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, along with senior party leaders, paid homage to the martyrs.
Awami League Advisory Council Member Amir Hossain Amu, General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Advocate Abdul Matin Khasru, Dr Md Abdur Razzaque, Joint General Secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanok and Abdur Rahman, Organizing Secretaries AFM Bahauddin Nasim, BM Mozammel Haque, A K M Enamul Haque Shamim and Barrister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury (Nowfel) were present, among others.
Family members of the martyrs and freedom fighters led by Liberation War Affairs Minister A K M Mozammel Haque paid homage to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur and Rayer Bazar Buddha Bhumi (killing ground).
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury also paid homage to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur in the city and exchanged greetings with war-wounded freedom fighters and family members of the martyred intellectuals.
Besides, JS Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah also paid rich tributes to the great heroes of the country.
Besides, Awami League paid homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait on Dhanmondi road 32 in the morning.
At first, PM Sheikh Hasina placed wreath at Bangabandhu’s portrait. Later, she placed another wreath as the president of Awami League.
Awami League organised a discussion at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh in the afternoon. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting.
Besides, different political, professional, social and cultural organisations, including BNP, Jatiyo Party, Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal, Bangladesh Workers Party, Bangladesher Communist Party, Basad, Gono Forum and Jatiyo Press Club, also paid homage to the martyred intellectuals.
The JPC opened a special corner at the club on the 1971 Liberation War coinciding with the Martyred Intellectuals Day and Victory Day celebrations.
Dhaka University authorities organised a discussion at the Teacher-Student Centre with Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman in the chair.
Islamic Foundation organised Quran Khwani, milad and doa mahfil at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque where special prayers (Munajat) and doa were offered for eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs.
People from all walks of life, central leaders of the 14-party alliance, other social-cultural-professional bodies and war-wounded freedom fighters and members of the martyred families placed wreaths at the memorial.