Dhaka, Dec 14 (UNI) Bangladesh today observed the Martyred Intellectuals Day commemorating those who were killed by Pakistani occupation forces at the fag end of the 1971 War of Liberation.
Sensing an imminent defeat, the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators -- Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams -- abducted frontline Bengali intellectuals and professionals on December 14, 1971 and killed them to cripple a newborn nation intellectually.
Renowned academics, teachers, litterateurs, doctors, engineers, journalists and other eminent personalities were dragged out of their houses blindfolded and were killed before the occupation forces dumped the bodies in Rayerbazar, Mirpur and other killing fields in Dhaka just two days ahead of the final victory of Bangladesh's liberation war.
The martyred intellectuals included Prof Muneir Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof G C 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.
President Professor Dr Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed paid homage to the martyred intellectuals placing wreaths at Martyred Intellectuals Mausoleum at Mirpur this morning.
They stood for a few minutes in solemn silence when the bugle played to its last post. A smartly turned out contingent of army gave guard of honour.
Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar along with deputy speaker Akhter Hamid Siddiqi, Adviser of Liberation War Affairs Ministry Maj Gen (Rtd) MA Matin and war injured freedom fighters also placed wreaths.
Political, cultural and civil-society organisations organised discussions and wreath laying at Mirpur and Rayerbazar monuments.
In a message on the Martyred Intellectual Day the President termed intellectuals ''conscience keepers'' of the nation and said, ''The occupation forces had caused an irretrievable loss to the nation by slaying country's illustrious educationists, physicians, journalists during the Liberation War.'' The President expressed the hope that the ''great sacrifice'' of the intellectuals would inspire the countrymen to build a patriotic and meritorious nation.
Newspapers briought out special supplements highlighting the significance of the day while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and different private television channels aired special programmes.