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Sat, Dec 14, 2019 1:01

President, PM pay homage to martyred intellectuals

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President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing a wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at the capital on the occasion of Martyred Intellectuals Day.

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing a wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at the capital on the occasion of Martyred Intellectuals Day.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the President on his arrival at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at 7:00 am. When President M Abdul Hamid arrived, the Prime Minister went to the martyr altar.

The President and the Prime Minister placed the wreath around 7:05 am to pay homage to the great heroes of the country, who embraced martyrdom for the cause of the nation, just two days ahead of the country’s final victory for independence on this day 48 years back.

The President along with the head of the government stood in solemn silence there for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyred intellectuals.

A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Armed Forces gave a state salute while the bugle played the last post at that time.

After placing the wreath, President Hamid exchanged views with the Prime Minister.

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and ruling Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader were present there.

Abdul Hamid also talked to the war-wounded freedom fighters and family members of the martyred intellectuals who were present there and enquired about their health.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, secretaries concerned to the Bangabhaban accompanied the President at that time.

Members of the cabinet, parliament members, the chiefs of the three services, the mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) as well as high civil and military officials were present during the time

Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), placed another wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial as the party chief.

Later, the Awami League president Sheikh Hasina paid homage at the martyr altar with party leaders with floral wreaths. Awami League Presidium members — Matia Chowdhury, Abdur Razzak, general secretary Obaidul Quader, joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, office secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap were present.

The memorial area was opened to the public at the end of rich tributes of the President and the Prime Minister. Thousands of people of all ages gathered at the martyr altar with national flags and floral wreaths. From the morning, the martyr altar of the Rayer Bazar Boddhobhumi filled with flowers with various political parties, social and cultural organizations and people from all walks of life.

From there, the Premier later went to Dhanmondi in the capital and placed a wreath at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day.

After placing the wreath, she stood there for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of the country’s independence.

Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina laid another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu as the party chief.

On this day 48 years back, the Pakistani occupation forces with the help of their local collaborators — Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams — killed the most prominent intellectuals of the country.

As many as 200 illustrious sons of the soil, including professors, journalists, doctors, artists, engineers and writers, were abducted from their respective residences blindfolded from December 10 to 14 in 1971.

They were taken blindfolded to torture cells at Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in different parts of the city.

Subsequently, they were put to death en masse at different killing grounds, most notably Rayerbazar and Mirpur, in a bid to cripple the newly emerging Bangladesh intellectually.

Those who were exposed to the killers’ wrath on December 14, 1971, included Dr Alim Chowdhury and Dr Fazle Rabbi, Journalists Shahidullah Kaisar, Sirajuddin Hossain, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan and Selina Parveen, and litterateur Monier Choudhury.

Since then, the day is being observed as the Martyred Intellectuals Day.