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Bangladesh - December 14, 2023

Nation set to pay homage to martyred intellectuals today

Staff Correspondent: The nation is set to observe the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day today in a befitting manner.
Just two days ahead of the country’s cherished victory, 52 years ago on December 14, 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-Bangladesh.
National programmes have been chalked out to observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day with due respect.
On the eve of the day, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will issue separate messages yesterday.
The Pakistani troops and their Bengali-speaking collaborators belonging to Razakar or other auxiliary forces killed a number of intelligentsias 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 the last brutal massacre on Bangalee only when the Pakistani troops surrendered on December 16, 1971 and their top accomplices mostly belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami ChattraShangha (now Islami Chhatra Shibir) went into hiding to resurface years later.
Those who were exposed to the killers’ wrath on December 14, 1971 included litterateur Munier Choudhury, Prof Govinda Chandra Dev, Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurta, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Prof Santash Chandra Bhattacharya, Journalists Shahidullah Kaisar, Sirajudddin Hossain, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan and Selina Parveen and, 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 state programme, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place separate wreaths at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals’ Memorial at 7.05am and 7.06am 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 martyred 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.
People from all walks of life will lay wreaths at the Intellectuals’ Memorial from 8.30 am.
Different television and radio channels including Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar will hold special discussions while national dailies will publish special supplements on the day highlighting its significance.
Discussions will be held at all district and upazila levels of the country while special prayers will be offered at all mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other places of worship marking the day.
Ruling Awami League and other political parties will also observe the day with various programmes.

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