The nation is set to observe the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day tomorrow in a befitting manner.
Just two days ahead of the country’s cherished victory on this day 51 years ago, the occupation Pakistan army in collusion with their local collaborators — Al-Badr, Al-Shams and Razakars – butchered the most prominent intellectuals of the country in a bid to cripple the newly emerging nation of Bangladesh.
The national programmes have been chalked out to observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day with due respect.
On the eve of the day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages today.
The Pakistani troops and their Bengali-speaking collaborators belonging to Razakar or other auxiliary forces killed a number of intelligentsia throughout the nine-month long Liberation War.
But, the Pakistan occupation force visibly engaged the infamous Gestapo like Al-Badr and Al-Shams personnel on December 14, 1971 to carry out a clandestine systematic campaign to kill the best academics and professionals like doctors, engineers and journalists to turn 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 Jamaat-e-Islami 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, Prof Govinda Chandra Dev, Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurta, Prof Santash Chattacharjee, Prof Anwar Pasha, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury and Prof Muniruzzaman.
Most of the December 14 victims were picked up from their houses blindfolded and killed during December 10 to 14 in 1971.
As per programmes, wreaths will be placed at 7.05am and 7.06am at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Memorial by the head of the state and the head of the government (Prime Minister) respectively.
Several television channels including Bangladesh Television (BTV) and private TV channels will air it from the spot.
Led by the Liberation War Affairs Minister, members of the martyrs’ families and the valiant freedom fighters including wounded freedom fighters will place wreaths at the Intellectuals Memorial at 7.22am and Rayer Bazar Boddho Bhumi at 8:30am.
From 8.30 am on the day, people from all walks of life will lay wreaths at the Intellectual Memorial.
Different television and radio channels including Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar will hold special discussions on the occasion of Martyred Intellectuals Day highlighting the significance of the day.
Discussions will be held at all district and upazila levels of the country while all mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other places for worship will offer special prayers marking the day.
Marking the day, ruling Awami League and other political parties have chalked out various programmes.
As part of the party programme, Awami League will hoist black flag at the party’s Bangabandhu avenue central office, Bangabandhu Bhaban in city’s Dhanmondi area and other offices of the party across the country right after dawn and keep the national and party flags at half mast.
The AL leaders will place wreaths at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in Mirpur at 7am.
Besides, the leaders and workers of Awami League will place wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait at Bangabandhu Bhaban at 7.30am and at Rayer Bazar Boddho Bhumi at 8.30am.
A discussion will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) at 3 pm on the same day. The Awami League (AL) President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over the programme.