The Shaheed Minar (Bengali: শহীদ মিনার Shohid Minar lit. “Martyr Monument”) is a national monument in Dhaka, Bangladesh, established to commemorate those killed during the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations of 1952.
On February 21, 1952, dozens of students and political activists were killed when the Pakistani police force opened fire on Bengali protesters who were demanding equal status for their native tongue, Bengali. The massacre occurred near Dhaka Medical College and Ramna Park in Dhaka. A makeshift monument was erected on February 23 by students of University of Dhaka and other educational institutions, but soon demolished on February 26 by the Pakistani police force.
The Language Movement gained momentum, and after a long struggle, Bengali was given equal status with Urdu. To commemorate the dead, the Shaheed Minar was designed and built by Hamidur Rahman, a Bangladeshi sculptor. The monument stood until the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, when it was demolished completely during Operation Searchlight. After Bangladesh gained independence, it was rebuilt.
At present, all national, mourning, cultural and other activities held each year, regarding 21 February, have been centered around the Shaheed Minar.