Bangladesh adds 118 more names to list of intellectuals martyred in 1971

The additions take the total number of names on the list to 560

Special Correspondent
Published : 24 March 2024, 07:28 AM
Updated : 24 March 2024, 07:28 AM

Another 118 names have been added to the list of intellectuals martyred during the 1971 Liberation War.

Minister of Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Huq unveiled the updated list at a press conference at the ministry on Sunday.

“In the fourth phase we are adding the names of another 118 people. Using our judgment and as per the definition, we have determined a list of 560 people as martyred intellectuals.

“We will send this list for publication as a gazette today. You can find the list on the website after the gazette is published.

The list was first issued as a gazette on Apr 7, 2021 by the ministry and included 191 names. On May 29, 2022 it was updated with another 143. On Feb 15 this year, an update added 108 more names to the list. Sunday’s additions take the total names to 560.

The list includes the names of writers, teachers, politicians, social workers, doctors, lawyers, writers, service workers, engineers, playwrights, journalists, musicians and cultural workers.

Among them were 18 writers, a philosopher, three scientists, a painter, 198 teachers, a researcher, 18 journalists, 51 lawyers, 113 doctors, 40 engineers, 37 employees in the public and private sectors, 20 politicians, 29 philanthropists, and 30 people with a role in culture, film, drama, music, and the other arts.

No architects or scholars were found to be martyred, the minister said.

“The list has yet to be finalised,” Huq said. “We will finalise the list before Dec 14. There are more names to be reviewed and some are in the process of being reviewed. Initially, we have compiled a draft of 560 names. Inshallah, I will announce the final list before Dec 14.”

On Nov 19, 2020, the government formed a committee composed of researchers, freedom fighters, and officials from the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs to compile the list of martyred intellectuals.

Near the end of the Liberation War in December 1971, the Pakistani military began to understand that they would not achieve victory.

They then planned a massacre to weaken the newly independent country culturally, socially, and academically. According to the plan, on the night of Dec 14 the Pakistani forces, with the help of local collaborators – the Razakars, Al Badr, and Al Shams – took the brightest minds in the country from their homes, and then tortured and killed them. After independence, the mutilated bodies were found at slaughterhouses in Dhaka’s Rayerbazar and Mirpur. Many bodies could not be identified.

Bangladesh commemorates the brutal killings by marking Dec 14 as Martyred Intellectuals Day. However, the complete list of those killed in the massacre has not been published so far.