Bangladesh pays tributes to martyrs, intellectuals of 1971 Pak genocide
Bangladesh on Wednesday paid homage to the intellectuals martyred in the 1971 liberation war as President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led thousands in paying their respects in the capital.
Army bugles played the ‘Last Post’ as Hamid and Hasina stood in solemn silence in a state ceremony at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial here. Pakistani troops and their Bengali-speaking Razakar collaborators and other auxiliary forces massacred several members of the pro-independence intelligentsia including physicians, professors, writers and teachers, throughout the nine-month war that is said to have killed over a million people.
Just two days ahead of the final victory over invading Pakistani forces on December 14, 1971, the infamous Gestapo-like Al-Badr and Al-Shams militias carried out a systematic campaign to murder well-regarded academics and professionals.
The then Bangladesh government and victorious freedom fighters, however, came to know about the brutal massacre only after the December 16, 1971 surrender by Pakistani troops when their top accomplices of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing went into hiding and resurfaced years later. The nation observed the day this year even as most of the top perpetrators have been hanged in the past three years on charges of crimes against humanity during the war.
A memorial erected in memory of the martyred intellectuals at Mirpur area in the capital was readied as President Hamid and Prime Minister Hasina offered tributes by placing wreaths there.