The nation is observing the Martyred Intellectuals Day today paying tributes to the intellectuals killed systematically by the Pakistan occupation army and their local collaborators at the fag-end of the country's Liberation War in 1971.
Renowned academics, doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers and other eminent personalities were dragged out of their homes, blindfolded, and taken to unknown places and then brutally tortured and slaughtered on the day in 1971.
Their bodies were later dumped at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and some other killing fields in the capital.
Sensing an imminent defeat, the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators carried out the cold-blooded mass murders under a carefully thought-out plan to cripple the emerging Bangladesh intellectually.
Among the martyred intellectuals are Prof Muneir Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurta, Prof Santosh Bhattacharya, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, journalists Khandaker Abu Taleb, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan (Ladu Bhai), ANM Golam Mustafa, Syed Nazmul Haq and Selina Parvin.
The government has chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day to commemorate the December 14 tragedy.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid profound tributes to martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur on the occasion of Martyred Intellectuals Day at about 8:00am.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also paid rich tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi, marking the day.
After placing the wreath, she stood there for some time as a mark of respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of Bangladesh's independence.
Awami League will hold a discussion marking the day at the Institute of Engineers in the city. Prime Minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina will address the programme as the chief guest.
BNP will also hold a discussion at the National Press Club in the afternoon.
Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Ulema Dal will arrange a doa mahfil at the ground floor of the BNP’s Nayapaltan central office at 10:30am, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day and the Victory Day.
A munajat will be offered seeking salvation of the departed souls of martyrs.
Besides, different socio-cultural and political organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes that include seminars, discussions and wreath-laying at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard and Intellectuals Memorial at Rayerbazar.