Bangladesh pays tribute to intellectuals martyred in 1971

Dhaka, Dec 14 (IANS) President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tribute on Wednesday to the intellectuals killed on December 14, 1971, two days before the War Liberation ended in the creation of Bangladesh as an independent nation.

Hasina and Hamid placed wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Mausoleum here and stood in silence for two minutes to mark Martyred Intellectuals Day.

Both leaders spoke to freedom fighters and family members of the martyred intellectuals gathered here.

A contingent of Bangladesh Armed Forces presented a state salute, while a bugler played the Last Post, the Daily Star reported.

Members of the cabinet, mayors of city corporations, chiefs of the three Armed Services, as well as civil and military officials were present.

Flanked by leaders of her Bangladesh Awami League party, Hasina laid another wreath as the party chief.

She later went to Dhanmondi here and placed a wreath at the portrait of her father who is also the Father of the Nation, ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum.

On the night of December 14 in 1971, over 200 intellectuals including professors, journalists, doctors, artistes, engineers, and writers were abducted by the Pakistani occupation forces.

They were taken to torture cells in different parts of the city and executed en masse at various killing fields, most notably Rayerbazar and Mirpur.

Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistani occupation on December 16, 1971.