President M Abdul Hamid has paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Mausoleum at Mirpur in the capital on the occasion of Martyred Intellectuals Day.
The President placed the wreaths around 7:05 am on Thursday to pay homage to the great heroes, who embraced martyrdom for the cause of the country and the nation, a day before the final victory during the 1971 Liberation War.
President Abdul Hamid stood in solemn silence there for some time as the bugle played the last post.
After placing the wreaths, the President also talked to the war-wounded freedom fighters and family members of the martyred intellectuals there and enquired about their wellbeing.
Earlier, on his arrival at the mausoleum site, President Abdul Hamid was received by several cabinet members, deputy speaker, parliament members, senior Awami League leaders, war-wounded freedom fighters and family members of the martyred intellectuals.
Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Road Transport and Bridge Minister Obaidul Quader, also Awami League general secretary, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Chief Whip ASM Feroz, State Minister for foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Textile and Jute Mirza Azam, former Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, former Home Minister Advocate Sahara Khatun, former Food Minister Dr Abur Razzak, Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, chiefs of three services and senior civil and military officials, among others, were present on the occasion.
On this day in 1971, the illustrious sons of the soil were brutally killed at the fag end of the Liberation War as the Pakistani occupation army with the help of their local collaborators -- Razakar, Al-Badr and Al- Shams -- abducted intellectuals and professionals sensing their imminent defeat.
The intellectuals were taken blindfolded to torture cells in Mirpur, Mohammadpur,Nakhalpara,Rajarbagh and other locations in different parts of the capital and later executed en masse at different killing grounds, most notably Rayerbazar and Mirpur to cripple the nation intellectually.
Since then, the day is being observed as the Martyred Intellectuals Day.