Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The nation is celebrating the 49th Victory Day in flag-waving mood on Monday paying rich tributes to the martyrs for their supreme sacrifice during the 1971 Liberation War.
The cityscape in capital Dhaka as well as all the other urban areas has taken a festive look with special displays of banners and festoons on the streets while all the public transports as well as private vehicles are waving the national flag.
On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation forces surrendered after nine-month-long battle that ensued after the proclamation of independence of Bangladesh by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 26.
General AAK Niazi, who had commanded the Pakistani occupation forces, surrendered to the allied forces of Bangladeshi freedom fighters and Indian forces at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on December 16 with 93,000 soldiers following a miserable defeat in the war that broke out in March 1971.
People in their thousands poured into the National Memorial at Savar and other memorials across the country holding the green and red national flag to pay homage to the martyred freedom fighters.
People also brought out victory processions, held concerts and arranged fireworks, photography exhibition and other programmes marking the day calling for resisting fundamentalism and establishing the rule of law, democracy, secularism, equality human dignity and social justice.
They renewed the pledge to create a secular and prosperous society free from poverty and inequality.
Celebration programmes across the country are going on.
The Victory Day, a public holiday, was heralded by a pre-day 31-gun salute.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tribute to the martyrs placing wreaths at the National Memorial at the dawn.
The president and the prime minister after placing wreaths at the altar of the memorial stood there in solemn silence for some time as a mark of respect to the memories of the martyrs.
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force presented a state salute on the occasion when bugles played the last post.
Sheikh Hasina, flanked by senior leaders of the ruling Awami League, laid another wreath at the memorial as the party chief.
Chief Justice Sayed Mahmud Hossain and Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury also placed wreaths at the memorial.
Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the chiefs of the three services, members of parliament, freedom fighters, diplomats and high civil and military officials also paid homage to the martyrs.
No sooner the memorial was opened to all after the state dignitaries left, political parties and socio-cultural organisations thronged the place which was soon buried under heaps of flowers placed by them. Many brought red and green flags while some wore dresses made with the colour of the flag.
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 stood in queue at the memorial ground to place wreaths and pay tribute to the freedom fighters.
President Abdul Hamid along with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended the Victory Day Parade marking the 49th Victory Day.
Different contingents of Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force as well as Freedom Fighters, Para-military forces, law enforcement agencies and ministers participated in the attractive parade.
Political parties, cultural and professional organisations and educational institutions are holding discussions and rallies and brought out processions to celebrate the Victory Day.
The president and prime minister issued separate messages on the occasion. National dailies were brought special supplements.
The state-owned and private televisions and radios are broadcasting month-long special programmes highlighting the Liberation War.
Special prayers were offered in mosques and other places of worship, seeking eternal peace of the souls of the martyrs of Liberation War and peace, progress and prosperity of the country.
Baitul Mukarram National Mosque organised Quran Khwani, milad and doa mahfil under the auspicious of Islamic Foundation marking the day.
Improved diets were served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
Destitute children were allowed to visit children’s parks and other recreational centres across the country free of cost.
Bangladesh missions abroad observed the day through various programmes.