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30. November 2012 5 30 /11 /November /2012 23:35

Killing of intellectuals

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Rayerbazar killing field photographed immediately after the war, showing bodies of intellectuals who demanded a separate, autonomous state from Pakistan (Image courtesy: Rashid Talukdar, 1971)

During the war, the Pakistan Army and its local collaborators carried out a systematic execution of the leading Bengali intellectuals. A number of professors from Dhaka University were killed during the first few days of the war.[2][34] However, the most extreme cases of targeted killing of intellectuals took place during the last few days of the war. Professors, journalists, doctors, artists, engineers, writers were rounded up by Pakistan Army and the Razakar militia in Dhaka, blindfolded, taken to torture cells in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in different sections of the city to be executed en masse, most notably at Rayerbazar and Mirpur.[35][36][37][38] Allegedly, the Pakistani Army and its paramilitary arm, the Al-Badr and Al-Shams forces created a list of doctors, teachers, poets, and scholars.[39][40]

During the nine month duration of the war, the Pakistani army, with the assistance of local collaborators systematically executed an estimated 991 teachers, 13 journalists, 49 physicians, 42 lawyers, and 16 writers, artists and engineers.[37] Even after the official ending of the war on 16 December there were reports of firing from the armed Pakistani soldiers or their collaborators. In one such incident, notable film-maker Jahir Raihan was killed on January 30, 1972 in Mirpur allegedly by the armed Beharis. In memory of the persons killed, December 14 is mourned in Bangladesh as Shaheed Buddhijibi Dibosh ("Day of the Martyred Intellectuals").[8][41][42]

Several noted intellectuals who were killed from the time period of 25 March to 16 December 1971 in different parts of the country include Dhaka University professors Dr. Govinda Chandra Dev (Philosophy), Dr. Munier Chowdhury (Bengali Literature), Dr. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury (Bengali Literature), Dr. Anwar Pasha (Bengali Literature), Dr M Abul Khair (History), Dr. Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta (English Literature), Humayun Kabir (English Literature), Rashidul Hasan (English Literature) and Saidul Hassan (Physics), as well Dr. Hobibur Rahman (Professor of Mathematics at Rajshahi University), Dr. Mohammed Fazle Rabbee (Cardiologist), Dr. Alim Chowdhury (Ophthalmologist), Shahidullah Kaiser (Journalist), Nizamuddin Ahmed (Journalist),[43] Selina Parvin (Journalist), Altaf Mahmud (Lyricist and musician), Dhirendranath Datta (Politician), and Ranadaprasad Saha(Philanthropist).

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