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Killing of Intellectuals one of the most brutal
and savage carnages in the history of Bangladesh. It was a planned killing
of the Bangali intellectuals- educationists, journalists, literateurs,
physicians, scientists, lawyers, artists, philosophers and political thinkers
- executed by a group of collaborators under the directive and guidance
of the Pakistani military rulers during the war
of liberation in 1971. The blue print of crippling the intelligentsia
is said to have been chalked out by Major General Rao Farman Ali, the
military adviser to the governor of East Pakistan. The armed cadres of
a para-military force, is alleged to have executed the brutal killing
having been provided with arms and support by the Pakistan army.
The killing of the intellectuals virtually began with
the army crackdown in Dhaka on the night of 25 March, and continued till
the surrender of the Pak-army on 16 December 1971.
The act of killing was initiated in Dhaka and gradually spread
over the whole of East Pakistan especially in the district and
subdivisional towns. The brutality and killing took a serious
turn especially in Dhaka during the days preceding the surrender
of the Pak army, particularly on 14 December, the day now commemorated
as Shaheed Buddhijibi Hatya Dibash (Martyred Intellectuals Day).
A site of
mass massacre of Intellectuals, Mirpur
Courtesy: Liberation War Museum, Dhaka
The killers used to abduct and carry away the targetted
victims from their houses in gestapo style to particular camps or spots
very often covering their face with black cloth. They mostly took advantage
of curfew in the city and kidnapped the victims. The victims were physically
tortured, brutaly killed mostly by indiscriminate bayonet charges. The
main spots of execution in Dhaka city were the marshy land at Rayerbazar
near Mohammadpur and another at Mirpur, where a huge number of dead bodies
were found scattered in the ditches, plains and inside the heaps of bricks.
The dead bodies, eyes covered and hands tied, were found wounded and swelled
all over their bodies and bullet shots on the chest, head or back.
The number of intellectuals killed is estimated as follows:
educationist 991, journalist 13, physician 49, lawyer 42, others (litterateur,
artist and engineer) 16.
[Muazzam Hussain Khan]
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