The National Mourning Day and the 48th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was observed Tuesday, August 15 across the country and Bangladesh missions abroad with due respect and solemnity.
Bangabandhu and most of his family members were brutally killed by some disgruntled army men on the fateful day of August 15, 1975 and this carnage is touted as the ugliest chapter of the nation’s history.
Father of the Nation’s two daughters Sheikh Hasina, now Prime Minister, and Sheikh Rehana escaped the planned assassination as they were staying abroad at that time.
The government drew up elaborate programmes in observance of the day at the national level. The national flag was hoisted half-mast at all government, semi-government, autonomous and educational institutions and private buildings including Bangladesh missions abroad.
As part of the state programme, President Mohammed Shahabuddin paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32 in Dhaka on Tuesday morning.
Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid homage to Bangabandhu, the architect of independent Bangladesh, by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi. From Dhanmondi, Sheikh Hasina went to the Banani Graveyard where her mother Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib, brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, and Sheikh Russell and other martyrs of August 15, 1975 were laid to eternal rest. She placed wreaths and spread flower petals on their graves.
After placing the wreaths, they stood in solemn silence for some time to show profound respect to the great leader. A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Armed Forces gave a state salute at that time, while the bugle played a tune of grief and somber to the last post.
A munajat was also offered seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs of August 15 carnage. Sheikh Hasina also offered Fateha and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs of August 15.
Afterwards, flanked by senior Awami League leaders and cabinet members, AL President Sheikh Hasina placed a wreath at Bangabandhu’s portrait on behalf of the party, while prime minister younger sister Sheikh Rehana was present.
Awami League advisory council member Amir Hossain Amu, its presidium members — deputy leader of the Jatiya Sangsad Begum Matia Chowdhury, Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, Shajahan Khan and Dr Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddin, general secretary Obaidul Quader, joint general secretaries – Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Mahbubul Alam Hanif and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, organising secretaries Ahmad Hossain, Abu Sayed Al Swapan and SM Kamal Hossain, publicity and publications affairs secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, science and technology affairs secretary Abdus Sabur and office secretary Biplab Barua, among others, were also present.
Leaders of 14-party alliance also placed a wreath on Bangabandhu’s portrait on behalf of the alliance. Then, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique paid homage to Bangabandhu respectively at Dhanmondi.
Since the dawn, wearing black badges and carrying banners in their hands, people of all strata including school and college students, leaders and workers of socio-cultural and political organisations thronged the premises of the historic Bangabandhu Bhaban to pay homage to Bangabandhu.
The Bangabandhu Memorial Museum was kept open for all after the prime minister left the place. Awami League’s Dhaka north and south city units, Awami Jubo League, Awami Swechchhasebak League, Mahila Awami League, Jubo Mahila League, Jatiya Sramik League, Bangladesh Krishak League, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), Tanti League and BCL’s Dhaka University unit also paid homage to Bangabandhu.
Different government bodies and socio-cultural organizations, including Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Cultural Affairs Ministry, Dhaka University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), University Grants Commission (UGC), National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), Bangla Academy, National Museum, Department of Public Libraries, Shishu Academy, National Institute of Mass Communication (NIMCO), Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB), Engineers Institution, Bangladesh (IEB), Islamic Foundation (IF) and Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote paid rich tributes to Bangabandhu.
Besides, Jatiya Press Club (JPC), BFUJ-Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, Dhaka Union of Journalists and other journalist bodies paid tributes to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths on Bangabandhu’s portrait kept in front of the JPC in the capital.
Wounded freedom fighters, 1971 Liberation War martyrs’ families, Supreme Court Lawyers Association, Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, Sector Commanders Forum, Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Parishad, Employees of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Jatiya Mahila Sangstha, Jatiya Kabita Parishad, Jatiya Gitikobi Parishad, Jubo Union, Chhatra Union, Sheikh Russell Shishu Sangsad, Bangabandhu Krishibid Parishad and different other social, cultural and professional bodies also placed wreaths.
Later, Sheikh Hasina went to Tungipara in Gopalganj, the ancestral home of Bangabandhu, by an Air Force helicopter to pay tributes to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his mausoleum there.
After placing the wreaths, she stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory Bangabandhu and other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from the armed forces gave a state salute on the occasion, while the bugle was played the last post. Along with her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, the Prime Minister then offered Fateha and munajat at the grave seeking eternal peace of departed souls of the Father of the Nation, Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib and other martyrs of August 15, 1975 massacre.
Speaker, cabinet members, chiefs of the three services, IGP and prime minister’s family members were present. Doa was also offered seeking continued peace, progress and prosperity of the nation. Flanked by senior AL leaders, AL President Sheikh Hasina later placed another wreath at the grave of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party.
The prime minister also joined a milad and doa mahfil on the mausoleum premises marking the National Mourning Day. Along with her younger sister Sheikh Rehana and other family members, the premier then went inside Bangabandhu’s grave and offered Fateha and munajat as well.
Leaders of different associate bodies of AL and its front organizations also placed wreaths at the grave. Special doa and munajat were offered at mosques across the country, including Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, after Zohr prayers.
Special prayers were also offered at temples, churches, pagodas and other places of worships across the country. Special supplement was published in national dailies and periodicals highlighting the importance of the day.
The Department of Mass Communication screened documentary films on life and works of Bangabandhu across the country. Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television broadcast special programme.
All educational institutions, including public and private schools, madrasah, colleges and universities, arranged poem recitation, essay, drawing, art exhibition, doa mahfil and discussions. In line with the national programmes, discussion, doa mahfil and other programmes were also held at the district and upazila levels.
City corporations, municipalities and union parishads arranged programmes in observance of the day. Other private television channels, FM radio and community radio also broadcast the programme live in association with Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television.
In Bangladesh missions abroad, the national flag was kept at half-mast and discussions and other programme were also arranged. As part of AL’s programme, national and party flags were kept at half mast and black flags are hoisted atop of all AL offices across the country, including Bangabandhu Bhaban and central office, with the sunrise.
The AL and its associated bodies distributed food among the poor and destitute people in front of AL Bangabandhu Avenue central office here and other places marking the day