Homage was paid to the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman recalling his struggle for the independence of Bangladesh as the National Mourning Day was observed across the country on Wednesday marking the 43rd anniversary of his assassination.
The government, political parties, and different socio-political and cultural organisations observed the day with due respect.
Mujib, the undisputed leader of the country’s struggle for liberation, was assassinated along with all but two of his family by a group of army officers at his Dhanmondi house on early August 15, 1975. His daughters – Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana – survived the massacre as they were abroad.
As the day broke, people wearing black badges started streaming into the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 and his grave at his ancestral home at Tungipara in Gopalganj in silent to pay tributes to the independence hero.
President Abdul Hamid, was the first to place wreaths at the portrait of Sheikh Mujib at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at the dawn followed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
After placing the wreaths, they stood in solemn silence for a minute when bugles played the last post. A smartly turned out contingent drawn from the three services presented salute on the occasion.
Hasina, also the ruling Awami League president, along with senior party leaders placed another wreath on behalf of her party at the portrait of Mujib.
After placing wreaths at the portrait of her father, Hasina along with her sister Sheikh Rehana went to Dhanmondi 32 house, the historic residence of Mujib
that witnessed one of the world’s most barbaric carnage and later turned into a museum.
Chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, cabinet members, advisers to prime minister, parliament members and leaders of Awami League, its allies and associate bodies and senior government officials also placed flowers at Mujib’s portrait.
After placing wreath at Dhanmandi, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said that the party along with the people would resist extremist forces.
A special prayer seeking eternal peace of the departed souls as well as the progress of the country was offered there.
After departure of the president and prime minister, people from all walks of life and different political and socio-cultural organisations, vice-chancellors of different public universities in Dhaka, freedom fighters, government officials and employees placed wreaths at Mujib’s portrait.
Hasina and Rehana along with cabinet members and senior party leaders also placed wreaths at the graves of their mother, brothers and other family members and relatives, killed on August 15, 1975, at Banani graveyard in the morning.
Thereafter, the prime minister, accompanied by her cabinet colleagues and party leaders, went to Tungipara by a helicopter, placed wreaths on her father’s grave and take part in a special prayer there.
Special prayers were offered in mosques after Zuhr prayers, and at temples, churches and other places of worship across the country and foods were served amongst the destitute.
The day was a public holiday.
The day’s programmes began with hoisting of the national flag at half-mast.
The Awami League, its associate organisations and different political and socio-cultural organisations held various programmes marking the day. All ward, upazila and district units of the Awami League held special prayer sessions and played the historic March 7 address of Mujib and patriotic songs through public address system.
In the capital, the Awami League set up public address system in all major intersections, thoroughfares and different residential areas to play the historic March 7 address and songs dedicated to Mujib.
State-run Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar, and private television channels and radio stations aired special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of Mujib. Newspapers also carried special supplements.
New Age correspondents in districts reported that the day was observed with due solemnity in all district and upazila headquarters.
The Awami League will hold a discussion marking the day at Bangbandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka today with Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
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