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Bangladesh pays solemn tribute to martyred intellectuals of 1971

  • Published at 10:22 am December 14th, 2020
On behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her Military Secretary Major General Naqib Ahmed Chowdhury place the floral wreaths to pay homage to the great heroes of the country, at Rayerbazar in Dhaka's Mohammadpur on Monday, December 14, 2020 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Elaborate programs are being held nationwide to commemorate the December 14 tragedy

The nation is observing the Martyred Intellectuals Day to commemorate those intellectuals killed systematically by the Pakistan occupation forces and their local collaborators at the fag-end of the country’s Liberation War in 1971.

Just two days ahead of the country’s final victory for independence on this day 49 years back, 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.

As many as 200 illustrious sons of the soil, including professors, journalists, doctors, artistes, engineers and writers, were abducted from their respective residences blindfolded between December 10 and 14 in 1971.

On behalf of President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, their military secretaries paid homage at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial on Monday, when the nation remembered some of its sharpest minds as it observed the Martyred Intellectuals Day | ISPRThey 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.

Among the martyred intellectuals of December 14 were Prof Munier Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guhathakurta, 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.

Photo of the memorial erected in the memory of the 1971 martyred intellectuals at Rayerbazar in Dhaka's Mohammadpur. The photo was taken on Monday, December 14, 2020 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneSince then, the day is being observed as the Martyred Intellectuals Day, to pay homage to the great fallen heroes.

The government has chalked out elaborate programs to commemorate the December 14 tragedy.

President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals on Monday morning.

On behalf of the premier, her Military Secretary Maj Gen Naqib Ahmed Chowdhury placed a wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur around 7:10am.

On behalf of the president, his Military Secretary Maj Gen SM Shamim-uz-Zaman also placed a wreath at the memorial at the same time.

Mass people visit Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Rayerbazar in Dhaka's Mohammadpu, to pay homage to the Martyred Intellectuals, on Monday, December 14, 2020 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneThe day is being observed on a limited scale due to fresh surge of the Covid-19 cases.

Family members of the martyrs and freedom fighters placed wreaths at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial and people from all walks of life are paying tributes by placing wreaths at the memorials in Mirpur and Rayerbazar killing grounds.

Besides, different socio-cultural and political organisations have taken various programs, including seminars and discussions, on the occasion.

State-run and private television channels and radio stations are airing special programs highlighting the significance of the day.