The nation is observing the Martyred Intellectuals Day today (Thursday) to commemorate those intellectuals who were killed systematically by the Pakistan occupation army and their local collaborators at the fag-end of the country's Liberation War in 1971.
On this day in 1971, country's renowned academicians, doctors, engineers, journalists, artists, teachers, and other eminent personalities were dragged out of their homes, blindfolded, and taken to unknown places and then brutally tortured and slaughtered.
Their bodies were later dumped at Rayerbazar, Mirpur, and some other killing fields in the capital.
Sensing an imminent defeat, the Pakistani forces and local collaborators like Al-Badr, Al-Shams, and Razakar forces committed the cold-blooded mass murders aiming to annihilate the country's intelligentsia and cripple the emerging Bangladesh intellectually.
Among the martyred intellectuals are Prof Munier 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 commemorate the December 14 tragedy.
Besides, different socio-cultural and political organisations have taken various programmes that include seminars, discussions, and wreath-laying at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard and Intellectuals' Memorial at Rayerbazar.
President Abdul Hamid paid tributes to the martyred intellectuals placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals' Mausoleum at Mirpur in the morning after his return from Turkey, according to a UNB report.
Awami League also placed wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals' Mausoleum and Rayerbazar Killing Ground.
BNP, led by party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, is also set to pay homage to the martyred intellectuals at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals' Memorial.