Bangladesh is set to observe the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day on Tuesday in a befitting manner.
Bangladesh Prime Minister (PM), Sheikh Hasina on Monday said that the anti-liberation forces started the politics of killing, coup and conspiracy in the country.
The killers carried out repression and tortures against free thinkers, teachers, writers, journalists and politicians, she added.
President Mohammad Abdul Hamid and the PM paid deep respect and rich tributes to the sons of the soil on the occasion of the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day.
Hasina said the terrorist and militant groups carried out a reign of terror in the country from 2001 to 2006. They unleashed arson terrorism in the country to thwart the national election of January 5, 2014, and they are still hatching conspiracies, she added.
She said the anti-liberation forces assassinated Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (famously referred to as ‘Bangabandhu’) and most of his family members on August 15, 1975, which was a heinous killing.
“We have brought the killers of the martyred intellectuals under trial and have been executing the verdicts. No conspiracy can divert the nation from this process. Those who wanted to save the heinous war criminals will also be brought to justice one day,” Hasina added.
The nation will remember forever the sacrifice of martyred intellectuals, she said and called upon the people to be united against the conspiracies of the killers of 1971 and war criminals and Jamaat-clique for continuation of development.
In separate messages on the eve of the day, the President and the Prime Minister urged the people to come forward being imbued with the ideology of the martyred intellectuals and spirit of the Liberation War to build a non-communal, happy and prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’.
President Abdul Hamid, in his message, said the intellectuals, as the conscience of the nation, had played a very significant role with their sharp writings and intellect-based spirit to create public opinion in favour of the Liberation War, provide suggestions to the war-time Mujibnagar government in advancing the war towards its successful end.
But it is unfortunate that the occupation forces of Pakistan and their local collaborators had brutally killed the country’s eminent intellectuals, including academicians, physicians, litterateurs, journalists and artists on December 14,1971, just on the eve of the victory, causing an irreparable loss to the nation, he added.
The President called upon all to be imbued with the ideology of the martyred intellectuals and build a non-communal society based on spirit of the Liberation War.
In her message, PM Sheikh Hasina said martyred intellectual day is a shameful chapter in the history of Bangladesh as the Pakistani occupation forces, anti-liberation forces and their local collaborators killed eminent intellectuals at the fag end of the Liberation War to turn the nation into a brain-empty state.
Sheikh Hasina said when the country was close to the final victory under the leadership of the greatest Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the intellectuals were killed by the occupation forces and their local cohorts like Al-Badars, Al-Shams and Razakars.
The Bangladesh premier said Professor Mofazzal Haidar Chowdhury, Munier Choudhury, Anwar Pasha, Shahidullah Kaisar, Gias Uddin, Fazle Rabbi, Abdul Alim Chowdhury, Siraj Uddin Hossain, Selina Parveen and Joytirmay Guha Thakurada were among those who were killed by the occupation forces and their collaborators.
Just two days ahead of the country’s cherished victory on this day 50 years ago, the occupying 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.
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 their tribute by placing wreaths there.
The national programmes have been chalked out to observe the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day with due respect.
M Abdul Hamid and Sheikh Hasina will issue separate messages on the occasion.
The Pakistani troops and their Bengali-speaking collaborators belonging to Razakars 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 Alim Chowdhury and Fazle Rabbi, journalists Shahidullah Kaisar, Sirajudddin Hossain, Nizamuddin Ahmed, S.A. Mannan and Selina Parveen and litterateur Monier Chowdhury, Govinda Chandra Dev, Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurta, Santash Chattacharjee, Anwar Pasha, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury and Prof Muniruzzaman.
Most of the December 14 victims were picked up from their houses, blindfolded, and killed from December 10–14, 1971.
As per programmes, wreaths will be placed at 7.05 a.m. at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Memorial and several television channels, including Bangladesh Television (BTV) and private TV channels will air it from the site.
Led by the Liberation War Affairs Minister, members of the martyrs’ families and the valiant freedom fighters will place wreaths at the Intellectuals Memorial at 7.22 a.m. and Rayer Bazar Boddho Bhumi at 8:30 a.m.
From 8.30 a.m. on the day, people from all walks of life will lay wreaths at the Intellectual Memorial maintaining proper health rules.
Different television 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. The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs has requested the public not to use mike or loudspeaker in the area of the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial to maintain the sanctity of the Martyred Intellectuals 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 Dhanmondi and other offices of the party across the country in the morning and keep the national and party flags at half-mast. It will place wreaths at Intellectual Memorial in Mirpur at 8 a.m.
Leaders and workers of Awami League will place wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait at Bangabandhu Bhaban at 8.30 a.m. and at Rayer Bazar Boddho Bhumi at 9 a.m.