The nation will observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day on Monday to pay 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 Prof Muneir Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurta, 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 government has chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day to commemorate the December 14 tragedy.
Besides, different socio-cultural and political organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes that include seminars, discussions and wreath-laying at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard and Intellectuals Memorial at Rayerbazar.
President Abdul Hamid will pay tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Mausoleum at Mirpur at 8.05 am.
Awami League will place wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Mausoleum at 8:10 am while at Rayerbazar Killing Ground at 9.10 am.
The party will also hold a discussion marking the day at the Institute of Engineers in the city. Prime Minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina will address the programme as the chief guest.
BNP will pay homage to martyred intellectuals, led by party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in the morning. The party will also hold a discussion at the National Press Club in the afternoon.
Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Ulema Dal will arrange a doa mahfil at the ground floor of the BNP’s Nayapaltan central office at 10:30am, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day and the Victory Day.
A munajat will be offered seeking salvation of the departed souls of martyrs.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia have issued separate messages recalling the invaluable contributions of the martyred intellectuals and paying their deep respects to their memories.
In his message, the President said, “It’s the misfortune of the nation that the Pakistan army had killed many meritorious people, including educationists, doctors, writers, journalists and artists, only two days ahead of the nation's Victory.”
He expressed the hope of building a knowledge-based, rich and happy ‘Sonar Bangla’ through the sacrifice of the martyred intellectuals.
In her message, the Prime Minister said Jamaat and some fanatic political parties assisted the Pakistani army through forming Al-Badr, Al-Shams and Razakar force and perpetrated crimes like murder, rape, arson and looting during the Liberation war.
She also urged all irrespective of party and opinion to get united to foil all conspiracies of war criminal of 71 Jamaat and their allies.