On the occasion of the Intellectual Martyred Day, Black Day in the history of Bangladesh, 49 years ago on December 14, various political, social, cultural and prominent groups observed what they call systemic and targeted genocide by the Pakistan Army to kill some of the best and brightest minds in order to destroy the intellectual backbone of the country.
In Dhaka, a group of approximately 1,000 students/youths of Mukti Joddah Manch marched from Dhaka University Raju Memorial sculpture towards Pakistan High Commission where they handed a memorandum demanding formal apology for the atrocities committed by the Pakistani forces during the Liberation War. Bangladesh Social Activist Forum, NGO pro-Liberation group held rallies in Dhaka from the National press Club which terminated with a memorial meeting at Bangladesh Child Welfare Council Auditorium, Segunbagecha, Dhaka. Approximately 100 people participated in the programme. Separately, a human chain rally was organized at Dhaka Press Club where 100 people participated holding banners and posters calling for Pakistan to apologies for the genocide. Another human chain programme under the banner of Global Law Thinker Society was organized with around 70 people who raised slogans and made speeches against the heinous act and irreparable damage done by Pakistan in 1971.
Bharat-Bangladesh Sampreeti Sangsad organized a bicycle rally from Police Plaza to Gulshan Avenue near Pakistan High Commission demanding justice for Pakistan barbarism in 1971. The protesters were holding placards with slogans like ‘Pak conspiracy still active after killing Bangabandhu to damage his sculpture’, ‘Brutality of Pak forces not forgettable’, ‘Cut off relations till Pakistan tenders apology’, etc.
In Narayanganj, under the banner of local Shramik League chapter, a human chain-cum- demonstration was organized from Saheed Minar to Press Club covering the major intersections of the city. People from all walks of life participated in the programme to express solidarity with the killed intellectuals and to express their anger at the Pak Army and its collaborators. Around 1,000 people took part in the procession-cum-rally which was addressed by local leaders and Alems / Ulemas. Later in the evening, a candle light ceremony was also observed to mark the occasion to pay respect to the departed souls. A movie tilted ‘Children of War’ was also screened on this occasion in the local auditorium which was attended by more than 100 people.
In Khulna, volunteers of Bangladesh Social Activist Forum held a rally of 100 people which included 50 bikers. Similar programmes were held in Rajshahi, Benapole, Satkhira and Patuakhali under the banner. Scores of people were seen participating in these programmes. Elsewhere in Magura a human chain rally was organized which was attended by about 100 people holding banners and posters depicting photographs of martyrs.
In Sylhet, a rally & discussion program was organized by Sylhet Shwadhinota Forum, a platform of civil society members at Central Shahid Minar, Sylhet. The event was presided over by Mohammad Abdullah Al Helal, President of the organization. The participants were holding banners and posters with writing – ‘after killing Bangabandhu, Pak conspiracy is active to damage his sculpture’, sign of Pak destruction is still present in the soil of Bangladesh, it has to be uprooted’, ‘brutality of Pak forces in not forgettable’, ‘Pakistan wanted to eliminate Bengali intellectuals’, ‘cut off relations till Pakistan tenders apology’ etc. The organization also brought out a street march from Central Shahid Minar to Court Point Sylhet. Around 300 people were present in the program.
Comilla : A human-chain and open discussion program was organized by Projonmo 71 (Barura upazila Chapter) at Zero Point, Barura Upazila, Comilla to condemn Pakistan for killing Bengali intellectuals in 1971. Jashimuddin Khokon, President of the organization led the event. Other prominent persons who were present in the program include – Rakibul Islam (General Secretary of Projonmo 71 (Barura upazila Chapter), Nasir Uddin (General Secretary of Shyamal Bangla Sangskritik Sangha), Ikramul Haqaue (General Secretary of upazila press club) etc. around 500 people were present in the programe.
Jongibad Pratirodh Andolan Bangladesh (JPAB) organized a bicycle rally followed by human chain program in Rajshahi demanding trial of Pakistan army who was involved in killing martyred intellectuals on 14th December, 1971 as well as state apology for the genocide in 1971. The cycle rally was started at 0900 hrs. from Kamaruzzaman Square and ended in zero point after completing a round in Rajshahi city. At the end of the rally human chain program was started which was attended by more than 150 activists of JPAB and local people. The human chain program was presided over by Kamaruzzaman, Convener, JPAB.
Chittagnong: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organized a bike rally followed by a human chain at the Press Club, Chittagong. VHP General Secretary, Kapil Krishna Mondal was present on the occasion as the key note speaker along with other leaders/activists. In the program, the speakers criticized and condemned the heinous acts committed by Pakistan during the Liberation War in 1971 through the Pakistani army/allies including razakars. They also demanded to boycott all Pakistani goods and to ban the Pakistan Embassy in Dhaka after closing all diplomatic relations for the brutal/barbaric massacre in the history of Bangladesh.
A weeklong film show (from 1800 to 200 hrs) at TSC Hall, Dhaka University starting from 14.12.20 is being held by Muktijodha Mancha . Seven films on Liberation War would be showed at open air theater at TSC.
Various programmes highlighted that Bangladesh which is still reeling from the loss of martyred intellectuals is determined to eliminate fundamentalism and terrorism from its soil as it enters into the 50th year of its independence.