The nation on Sunday celebrated the 48th Victory Day paying homage to countless freedom fighters who made the supreme sacrifice to free Bangladesh from the occupation army of Pakistan during the Liberation War.
Holding the national flag, people from all walks of life streamed to the National Memorial at Savar and other memorials across the country to pay homage to the martyrs.
Holding banners people wearing headbands inscribed with Victory Day waited since dawn to lay wreaths at the National Memorial.
The common slogan heard was ‘We want corruption free Bangladesh.’
National flag was hoisted atop public and private buildings that were illuminated at night.
Musical functions and discussions highlighting the heroism of freedom fighters marked the day long celebrations.
The Victory Day celebrations commenced with the military guns booming 31times to pay salute to the freedom fighters at dawn.
The first to lay wreaths at the National Memorial was president Abdul Hamid followed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina to pay homage to the martyrs
A smart contingent drawn from the three services presented arms as the buglers played the last post.
Sheikh Hasina, flanked by senior leaders of the ruling Awami League, laid another wreath at the National Memorial as the party chief.
The speaker , the chief justice, ministers, Jatiya Oikya Front leader Kamal Hossain, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the three service chiefs, MPs freedom fighters, diplomats and senior civil and military officials paid homage to the martyrs.
As the day wore on, the whole memorial area became crowded with people of all ages and different political, socio-cultural and professional organisations and different institutions.
Later, Sheikh Hasina placing wreaths on the portrait of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, along with his party leaders, also placed wreaths at the grave of the late president and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.
On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistani occupation forces launched a brutal onslaught and committed genocide on the innocent and unarmed Bengalis.
War for Independence was preceded by 23 years of intense political struggle for autonomy and democracy.
On December 16, 1971, the commander of 93,000 occupation forces of Pakistan army lieutenant general AAK Niazi surrendered at the Ramna Race Course, later renamed Suhrawardy Udyan.
Political parties, cultural and professional organisations and educational institutions held discussions and rallies and brought out processions to celebrate Victory Day.
Special prayers were offered at mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship for national progress and prosperity.
Newspapers brought out special supplements and television channels and radio stations aired special programmes to mark Victory Day.
Jatiya Oikya Front supremo Kamal Hossain after paying homage to the martyrs of the Liberation War called on the people to resist repression by hired goons.
‘We must be united to resist repression and “lathial bahini” like we did in 1971. We’ll lead the country forward on the basis of four fundamental state principles,’ said Kamal.
Among others, Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Nazrul Islam Khan, ASM Abdur Rab and other JOF leaders accompanied him.
Gana Sanghati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki said that the people of the country had sacrificed their life in 1971 to establish rights, democracy and dignity of life that became elusive now.
He said that the country was under autocratic rule.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad general secretary Maleka Banu said that gender equality and violence against women continued in this country even now.
Ekattorer Muktijuddha general secretary Kamal Ahmed said that the goals of Liberation War remained unachieved.
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