DHAKA, - The nation today paid glowing tributes to the martyred intellectuals in observance of the Martyred Intellectuals' Day commemorating the tragic assassination of the illustrious sons of the soil just two days before the country's final victory against the Pakistani forces in 1971.
Sensing 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 the intention of crippling the newborn nation intellectually.
Since early morning, hundreds of people from all walks of life converged at the areas surrounding Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard and the Royer Bazar Martyrs Memorial (killing ground) to pay their homage to the worthy sons of the soil who were massacred by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators at the dawn of the country's independence on December 14.
The programmes of the day included raising of black flags and hoisting of the national flag at 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 hand writing competitions and milad and doa mahfils seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs.
On the occasion of the Martyred Intellectuals Day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur this morning.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid another wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial as the party chief.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Jatiya Sangsad Deputy Speaker Advocate Fazle Rabbi Mia, Chief Whip ASM Firoz, Awami League Presidium Member Advocate Sahara Khatun and Advisery Council Member Advocate Yusuf Hossain Humayun and other leaders and parliament members of the party were present.
Later, the prime minister talked to the war-wounded freedom fighters and the family members of the martyred intellectuals and enquired about their wellbeing.
The premier later went to Dhanmondi in the capital and placed a wreath at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
After the Prime Minister's departure from Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Memorial area, people from all walks of life, central leaders of the 14-party alliance, other social-cultural-professional bodies and war wounded freedom fighters and members of the martyred families placed wreaths at the memorial in a large queue.
Later, Jatiya Party led by its chairman HM Ershad, BNP led by its chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, Workers Party led by its president Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal led by its president Hasanul Haque Inu, and other political parties placed wreaths at the memorial in observance of the day.
Leaders of Dhaka City AL, Awami Juba League, Awami Swechchasebak League, Krishak League, Jatiya Sramik League, Mahila AL, Chhatra League, Juba Mahila League, Tanti League, Mukitijoddha Sangsad, Dhaka University, Amra Muktijoddhar Santan, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, Shishu Academy, Bangabandhu Parishad, Bangabandhu Gabeshana Parishad, National Museum, Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal, Biplobi Workers Party, National Awami Party, Chhatra Union, Dhaka Reporters Unity and other universities, educational institutions and socio-cultural-professional bodies placed wreaths paying homage to the martyred intellectuals.
Islamic Foundation organised Quran Khwani, milad and doa mahfil at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque where special prayers (munajat) and doa were offered for eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)