The nation observes the Martyred Intellectuals' Day today, Wednesday, by paying rich tributes to the intellectuals killed systematically by the Pakistan occupation army and their local collaborators at the fag end of the country's liberation war in 1971.
Renowned academics, doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers and other eminent personalities were dragged out of their homes, blindfolded, and taken to unknown places and then brutally tortured and slaughtered.
Their bodies were later dumped at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and some other killing fields in the capital.
Sensing an imminent defeat, the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators carried out the cold-blooded mass murders under a carefully thought-out plan to cripple the emerging Bangladesh intellectually.
Among the martyred intellectuals are Muneir Chowdhury, Alim Chowdhury, Muniruzzaman, Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurta, 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 government has taken elaborate programmes to observe the day to commemorate the 14 December tragedy with due respect.
Besides, different socio-cultural and political organisations have also chalked out various programmes that include seminars, discussions and wreath-laying at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard and Intellectuals Memorial at Rayerbazar.
President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Mausoleum at Mirpur at 7:05am.
People from different walks of life will also place wreaths at the Mausoleum paying rich tributes to the martyrs.
In his message, the president said, “It’s the misfortune of the nation that the Pakistan occupation forces had brutally killed the country’s renowned intellectuals on the eve of victory which is irreparable loss for the nation.”
He expressed the hope of building a knowledge-based, prosperous and happy ‘Sonar Bangla’ to be imbued with patriotism and the sacrifice of the martyred intellectuals.