Nation observes Martyred Intellectuals’ Day with due respect

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Dhaka, Dec 14: The nation today 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 December 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.

Deep homage was paid on behalf of President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the martyred intellectuals of 1971 at Mirpur killing ground.

A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Armed Forces gave a state salute while the bugle played the last post at that time.

Earlier, national flag was hoisted half mast and black flag was raised on the campus. Later, a special munajat was offered at the central mosque of the university seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of the most enlightened sons of the soil.

The Pakistani troops and their Bengali-speaking collaborators belonging to Razakar or other auxiliary forces killed a number of intelligentsia throughout the nine-month long Liberation War.

But, they visibly engaged the infamous Gestapo like Al-Badr and Al-Shams forces on December 14, 1971 to carry out a systematic campaign to kill the most eminent academics and professionals like doctors, engineers and journalists to make the newborn nation to a state of brainlessness.

The then Bangladesh government and victorious freedom fighters, however, came to know about their last brutal massacre only when the Pakistani troops surrendered on December 16, 1971 and their top accomplices mostly belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing went into hiding to resurface years later.

Most of the December 14 victims were picked up from their residences blindfolded and killed between December 10 and 14 in 1971.