Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The nation celebrated the 41st anniversary of victory in the Liberation War on Sunday with a call for hastening the war crimes trial and upholding the spirit of independence.
To mark the historic day, people are paying rich tributes to the heroic sons of the soil who laid down their lives to liberate their beloved motherland.
On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation forces chief general AAK Niazi along with 93,000 troops surrendered to the joint forces of Mukti Bahini and Mitra Bahini in the capital Dhaka.
Bangladesh proclaimed its independence on March 26, 1971 after 23 years of struggle for self-determination, bringing down the erstwhile West Pakistani armed forces’ genocidal wrath on its people the night before.
In a heinous genocide, the Pakistan army and their local collaborators – Razakars, Al-Badrs and Al-Shams — launched a barbarous crackdown on the innocent people of Bangladesh at midnight past March 25, 1971.
The nation, under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, finally clinched independence on December 16 after the nine months’ War of Liberation.
The day is a public holiday. The national flag has been hoisted atop all government, semi-government and other important establishments.
The day was heralded by a 31-gun salute at dawn at Tejgaon Old Airport in Dhaka. 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at National Mausoleum at Savar Sunday morning, paying tribute to the valiant sons and daughters of the soil, who made supreme sacrifices for the independence of the country in 1971.
After placing the wreaths, the prime minister stood in solemn silence for some time to show respect to the memories of the martyrs of the great War of Liberation in 1971.
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from three services presented a state salute on the occasion when the last post was played on the bugle.
Flanked by senior leaders of the party Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.
Ministers, advisers, parliament members, chiefs of the three services, foreign guests who are now in the capital Dhaka to receive the Friends of Liberation War Honour, freedom fighters, diplomats and high civil and military officials attended the function.
On her return to the capital from Savar, the prime minister also placed wreaths at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Opposition leader Khaleda Zia also paid homage to the war heroes placing wreath at the National Mausoleum later.
People across the country are gathering at various monuments to pay tributes to the national heroes.
Streets have been flooded with the enthusiastic people carrying banners of different political, social, cultural and professional organisations, and singing patriotic songs.
Special prayers are being offered at mosques, temples, churches and other worship places, seeking divine blessings for peace and progress of the country.
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private television channels are airing special programs while newspapers brought out supplements on the day.
President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia issued separate messages on the occasion paying deep tributes to the valiant freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifices in the War of Liberation in 1971 for the cause of country’s independence.
BBN/SSR/AD-16Dec12-12:20 pm (BST)