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Nation set to pay homage to martyred intellectuals tomorrow

DHAKA, The nation is set to observe the Martyred Intellectuals' Day tomorrow in a befitting manner.

Just two days ahead of the country's victory on this day 47 years ago, the

marauding Pakistan army in collusion with their local collaborators Al

Badr, AlShams and Razakars killed the most prominent intellectuals of the

country in a bid to cripple the newly emerging nation of Bangladesh.

A memorial erected in memory of the martyred intellectuals at Mirpur in the

capital has been readied as national leaders and people from all walks of

life will pay tributes by placing wreaths there.

The Pakistani troops and their Bengalispeaking collaborators belonging to

Razakar or other auxiliary forces killed a number of intelligentsia

throughout the ninemonth long Liberation War.

But, they visibly engaged the infamous Gestapo like AlBadr and AlShams

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 JamaateIslami and its student wing went into hiding to resurface years

later.

Those who were exposed to the killers' wrath on December 14, 1971 included

Dr Alim Chowdhury and Dr Fazle Rabbi, Journalists Shahidullah Kaisar,

Sirajudddin Hossain, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan and Selina Parveen and

litterateur Monier Chowdhury.

Most of the December 14 victims were picked up from their houses

blindfolded and killed during December 10 to 14 in 1971.

Bangladesh, this year, observes the day with a sense of relief from the

stigma of impunity as the top assassins, who managed to make their room in

the national politics with the patronage of influential vested quarters

emerged after the August 15, 1975 assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

Rahman, were hanged.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate

messages on the eve of the day paying glowing homage to the martyred

intellectuals.

In separate messages, they urged the people from all strata to come

forward being inspired with the spirit of War of Liberation to build a

knowledgebased society as well as povertyfree country dreamt by Father of

the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The President said the intellectuals had played a very significant role

and worked as the conscience of the nation in advancing the Liberation War

towards its successful end.

But it is unfortunate that the occupation forces had brutally killed those

intellectuals including academicians, physicians, litterateurs, journalists

and artists just on the eve of the victory, which was an irreparable loss to

the nation, he added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in the history of the liberation

struggle of the Bangalee nation, the Martyred Intellectuals' Day is a painful

occasion.

She said when the country was close to achieve the final victory under the

leadership of the greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the intellectuals were killed on December

14 by the occupation forces and their local collaborators like Razakars, Al

Badars and AlShams.

President Abdul Hamid will place a wreath at Martyred Intellectuals

Memorial at Mirpur at 7:05 am tomorrow while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at

the memorial at 7:06 am.

Members of martyred and freedom fighters will place wreaths at Martyred

Intellectuals Memorial at 7:22 am and Rayerbazar Killing Ground at

Mohammadpur at 8:30 am.

Later, people of all walks will place wreaths at Martyred Intellectuals

Memorial.

Bangladesh Television and private television channels will broadcast

special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.

Discussion will be held at district and upazila level across the country.

Marking the day, ruling Awami League and other political parties have

chalked out various programmes.

The ruling party will organise a meeting at Krishibid Institution

Bangladesh at 3 pm on December 14. Awami League President and Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina will preside over the meeting.

Dhaka University authorities will observe the day by taking different

programmes.

Different political, professional, social and cultural organisations,

including Jatiya Press Club, Dhaka Reporters Unity, Bangabandhu Gabeshana

Parishad, Jatiya Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Communist Party of

Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy, National Museum,

Bangabandhu Parishad, Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, Sector Commanders' Forum

and Liberation War Museum, have also chalked out elaborate programmes to

observe the day.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)