Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Nation recalls martyred intellectuals with respect

The nation on Saturday observed the 42nd Martyred Intellectuals Day, paying rich tributes to the country’s intellectuals who were abducted and murdered during the 1971 Liberation War.
Thousands of people, including women and children, thronged the Rayerbazar memorial for intellectuals since early dawn to pay their homage to the valiant sons of the soil and placed floral wreaths at the memorial.
Recalling their sacrifice, President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia paid glowing tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing floral wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in Mirpur.
The President placed a wreath at the Memorial at 6:50 am and paid homage to the great heroes who sacrificed their lives for the liberation struggle against Pakistan.
The Prime Minister placed a wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial around 7 am and stood in solemn silence for some time to show respect to the memories of the martyred intellectuals. The President and the PM stood in silence as the Bangladesh Armed Forces gave a state salute, while the bugle played the Last Post marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day. Members of the Cabinet, chiefs of the three services and senior civil and military officials were present.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, placed another wreath at the Memorial as the party chief. Later she spoke to freedom fighters who were wounded during the Liberation War and enquired about their well-being.
The Prime Minister later went to Dhanmondi in the capital and placed wreaths at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, members of Parliament and senior Awami League leaders, including Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Begum Matia Chowdhury, Syed Ashraful Islam, Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Dr Dipu Moni, Dr Hasan Mahmud, Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku and Advocate Qamrul Islam were present.
The Speaker of Parliament, Shirin Sharmin Choudhury, also placed wreaths at the Memorial. Opposition leader and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia with her party leaders placed wreaths at the Memorial around 8:40 am. BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan and Opposition chief whip Zainul Abedin Farroque, among others, accompanied Khaleda.
To commemorate the day, the government as well as political parties and other socio-cultural organisations held various programmes, including seminars, discussions, laying wreaths at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard and Intellectuals Memorial at Rayerbazar, recitation from the Holy Quran, milad-mahfil and doa to mark the day in a befitting manner.
Islamic Foundation organised recitation of the Holy Quran, Milad-Mahfil and Doa-Mahfil at the national mosque Baitul Mukarram on Saturday.
Black flags were kept at half-mast at the central Awami League office, Bangabandhu Bhaban and other ruling party units across the country while national and party flags were flown at half-mast.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agriculture University held various programmes to mark the day. Vice-chancellor Prof Dr M Mahbubur Rahman placed floral wreaths at the Shaheed Minar on behalf of the university in the morning.
Islamic University (IU) observed the Martyred Intellectuals Day through different programmes. IU pro-VC Prof Dr M Shahinoor Rahman hoisted the National Flag at half-mast. Provosts of all residential halls hoisted the National Flag at half-mast and the black flag at the same time. A silent procession led by the pro-VC was brought out. Doa and prayers were offered for the salvation of the souls of martyred intellectuals.
People from different sections also gathered at the memorial to honour the intellectuals who were murdered on the Rayerbazaar killing ground. Shipping minister Shahjahan Khan, along with a group of freedom fighters, placed wreaths there in the morning.
Earlier, Awami League leader and former state minister for local government, rural development and cooperatives minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak began the day’s programme at Rayerbazar at 12.01am by lighting candles.
This year’s Martyred Intellectuals Day was observed on the heels of the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah, who committed atrocities against humanity during the Liberation War.
Among the martyred intellectuals were 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.
These renowned academics, doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers and other eminent personalities were dragged blindfolded out of their homes and taken to unknown places and were brutally tortured and slaughtered. Their bodies were dumped at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and other killing fields in the capital. Since then, the day is being observed as the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
The Martyred Intellectuals Day was also observed elsewhere in the country, including Chapainawabganj, Bhola, Natore, Munshiganj and Nilphamari.
Our correspondent from Chapainawabganj said the Chapainawabganj Government College arranged a discussion meeting on the college premises on the occasion. The college principal, Prof Sultana Razia, was in the chair.

-With The Independent input

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