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President, PM pay tributes to martyred intellectuals

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2Staff reporter
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on behalf of the nation first paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Mausoleum yesterday morning.
Both the President and the Prime Minister stood in solemn silence there for some time as the bugle played.
The President and the Prime Minister talked to the war-wounded freedom fighters there and enquired about their wellbeing.
Earlier, on his arrival at the mausoleum site, the President was received by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Later, flanked by the senior AL leaders, Hasina placed another wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Mausoleum as the AL chief.
On this day in 1971, the illustrious sons of the soil were brutally killed at the fag end of the Liberation War.
With defeat looming large, the Pakistani occupation army aided by their local collaborators-- Razakar, Al-Badr and Al- Shams -- abducted frontline intellectuals and professionals on December 14, 1971 and killed them to cripple the nation intellectually.
The killers dragged renowned academics, teachers, litterateurs, doctors, engineers, journalists and other eminent personalities blind-folded out of their houses and killed them before dumping the bodies in Rayerbazar, Mirpur and other killing fields.
Their bodies were later dumped at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and some other killing fields in the capital.
The cold-blooded mass murders were carried out under a carefully thought-out plan to cripple the emerging Bangladesh intellectually, as the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators sensed an imminent defeat.
To commemorate the December 14 tragedy, different socio-cultural and political organizations have chalked out elaborate programs, including seminars, discussions and wreath-placing at Mirpur martyred intellectuals’ graveyard and intellectuals’ memorial at Rayerbazar.
The intellectuals were taken to torture cells blindfolded in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in the city and later executed en masse at different killing grounds, most notably Rayerbazar and Mirpur.
Since then, the day is being observed as the Martyred Intellectuals Day.