Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The National Mourning Day commemorating the 36th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was observed across the country on Monday with a vow to materialize his dream for a ‘Sonar Bangla.’

Millions of mourners with heavy hearts observed the day with a renewed pledge to execute the remaining six convicted killers, now hiding abroad.

The day was a public holiday. The national flag was hoisted at half mast at government and non-government offices to honour Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, the founder of Bangladesh, who was brutally assassinated along with most members of his family on the fateful night of August 15, 1975.

President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at 6:30am. They stood in solemn silence as a contingent of army played the last post on the bugle.

A smartly turned out contingent drawn from the three services gave armed salute to the father of the nation.

Cabinet members, MPs, chiefs of the three services and senior civil and military officials were present.

Later, the Prime Minister went inside the historic residence where Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib and other members of the Mujib family were brutally killed by a group of disgruntled army officers.

Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana went to the Banani graveyard and placed wreaths at the graves of her mother, brothers and other close relations killed on August 15.

As the President and the Prime Minister completed paying homage to Bangabandhu, thousands of leaders and workers of Awami League (AL) and its associate bodies thronged the venue, paying tributes to the Father of the Nation by placing wreathes.

Speaker Abdul Hamid, Chief Whip Abdus Shahid, MPs and AL central leaders, among others, paid homage to the late leader. The Prime Minister flew in a helicopter to her ancestral home at Tungipara in Gopalganj and placed wreaths at the grave of the Father of the Nation. She also offered fateha beside the grave and offered munajat.

A smartly turned out contingent drawn from the three services offered an armed salute as the Prime Minister laid wreaths at the Bangabandhu’s grave. Sheikh Hasina stood for a while amid solemn silence as the last post was played on the bugle.

A special munajat was offered seeking divine blessings and eternal peace for the departed soul of Bangabandhu as well as welfare of the people. Later, a milad mahfil was arranged at the mazar complex.

Bangabandhu’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, his nephew Barrister Fazle Noor Taposh MP, AL general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, ministers, MPs and senior party leaders were present.

The AL ran gruel kitchens at various places of Dhaka city and distributed iftar among destitute, as elsewhere in the country.

The recorded historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu was played on public address system in different parts of the capital.

Roads and islands in cities, towns, villages and market places were decorated with the portraits of Bangabandhu, as well as flags and banners reflecting the people’s love for the great leader.

State-owned BTV and Bangladesh Betar as well as other private television and radio channels aired documentary films on Bangabandhu’s long struggle for independence and the post-independence reconstruction of war ravaged Bangladesh.

Bangladesh missions abroad also observed the National Mourning Day by hoisting the national flag at half-mast and holding discussions on Bangabandhu’s life and works.

Besides, different political, socio-cultural and educational institutions arranged elaborate programs, including discussions, art competitions, special prayers, photo exhibitions to mark the day.

BBN/SSR/AD-16Aug11-12:44 pm (BST)