The nation is paying deep homage to the martyred intellectuals in observance of the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day Today commemorating the tragic assassination of the illustrious sons of the soil just two days before the country’s final victory achieved through a bloody nine-month war in 1971.
Sensing an imminent 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, 1971 and assassinated them with an intention of crippling a newborn nation intellectually.
Renowned academics, teachers, litterateurs, doctors, engineers, journalists and other eminent personalities were picked up from their houses, blindfolded and were killed before the occupation forces and dumped their bodies at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and other killing fields in Dhaka just two days before the Pakistani forces, led by General Niazi, surrendered on December 16, leading to the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign state.
The martyred intellectuals counted Prof Munir Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurata, 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 day is being observed in a different perspective this year as the government led by Awami League under which the War of Liberation was successfully fought is determined to complete the trial of the war criminals while some anti-liberation political parties are launching action programmes including road blockade and hartals one after another in their bid to save the war criminals.
The day’s programme begins with placing of wreathes at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur in the capital early in the morning. The programmes, includes placing of wreathes at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in Mirpur and Rayerbazar Mausoleums, discussions, seminars, Milad and Doa Mahfils.
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private television (TV) channels and radio stations will air special programmes, while newspapers will bring out special supplements highlighting the significance of the day.