Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Thousands of mourners from all strata on Wednesday thronged the Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi Road-32 in Dhaka and mazar at Tungipara to pay deep homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman commemorating his 37th anniversary of martyrdom.
Since morning, people from all walks of life including leaders and workers of different political parties and social, cultural and professional bodies and institutions started thronging at the historic Dhanmondi Road-32 residence of Bangabandhu where the great leader along with most of his family members was assassinated by some disgruntled and over ambitious army officers in a military putsch on the fateful night of August 15 in 1975.
Those 18 members of Bangabandhu’s family and his close ones massacred in the August 15 tragedy included his wife Bangamata Fazilatunnessa Mujib, brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, nephew Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, his pregnant wife Arzoo Moni and Bangabandhu’s military secretary Bir Uttam Colonel Jamil (later promoted as Brigadier General posthumously), who rushed to spot of occurrence on receiving an SOS from Bangabandhu Bhaban early in the morning.
However, both the daughters of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, escaped the carnage as they were abroad then. Since the mayhem, Awami League, its associate bodies and other likeminded pro-liberation, democratic and progressive political partiers, social, cultural and professional organisations have been observing the day as the National Mourning Day.
After assumption of office in 1996, the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina initiated trial of the self- confessed killers of Bangabandhu in a traditional court and the court awarded them with capital punishment, which was upheld by the country’s apex court. The court’s verdict for five of the self-confessed killers had been executed on January 27 in 2010 while the government had already taken steps for bringing back home the remaining absconding killers from abroad to free the nation from a stigma.
The day was a public holiday.
The day’s program was started with hoisting of the National Flag at half-mast and raising of black flags atop all public and private buildings including Bangabandhu Bhaban in the morning as a mark of respect to the martyrs of August 15 carnage.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid glowing tributes to the great leader by placing wreath at his portrait at 6 in the morning. A smartly turned out squad of three forces presented guard of honour to the slain first president of the republic.
Later, the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad (Parliament) Advocate Abdul Hamid and Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali placed wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu there.
Flanked by senior leaders of Bangladesh Awami League and her cabinet colleagues, Sheikh Hasina also placed wreath there on behalf of the ruling party.
In the morning, Sheikh Hasina also showered rose petals on the graves of her family members including her mother Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnessa Mujib, brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, cousin Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, his wife Arzoo Moni, uncle Abdur Rab Serniabat, sister-in-laws Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal at Banani graveyard, where they were laid to eternal rest.
She also placed wreath at the graves of the independence leaders and close associates of Bangabandhu, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed and Captain M Mansur Ali, who were killed inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3 in 1975 by the usurpers of state power. Sheikh Hasina, along with her cabinet colleagues and senior party leaders, also offered doa seeking divine blessing for the departed souls of the martyrs of the August 15 carnage.
In commemoration of Bangabandhu’s martyrdom and the National
Mourning Day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also paid glowing tributes to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreath at his mazar at Tungipara in Gopalganj district at around 10 in the morning.
Central leaders of her party, cabinet colleagues, advisers, three chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and lawmakers were present, according to reports.
A smartly turned out squad of the armed forces played last post on the bugle when Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana stood there in solemn silence for sometime as mark of respect to the indomitable independence leader.
A team of central leaders of Awami League led by its presidium member and Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam attended the milad and doa mahfil at the mazar of Bangabandhu at Tungipara in Gopalganj district.
They also placed wreath at his portrait at Bangabandhu’s mazar at Tungipara in Gopalganj district this morning. A special munajat session was also held there for peace of the departed souls of the martyrs of the August 15 carnage.
In the city, hundreds of people from all walks of life, wearing black badges and carrying banners and placards inscribed with the demand for bringing back home the fugitive self-confessed killers of Bangabandhu to execute their capital punishment, thronged Bangabandhu Memorial Museum also in the morning to pay profound homage to father of the nation by placing wreath at his portrait there.
Senior Awami League leaders Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Begum Matia Chowhdury, Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Syed Ashraful Islam, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Nurul Islam Nahid, Obaidul Quader, Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, Advocate Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Nuh-ul- Alam Lenin, Advocate Mezbahuddin Siraj, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Advocate Afzal Hossain, Asim Kumar Ukil, Mrinal Kanti Das, Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiduddin and Advocate Qamrul Islam, among others, were present.
Besides, leaders and workers of the associate bodies of Awami League and likeminded socio-cultural organisations paid tribute to the father of the nation by placing wreaths at the his portrait there.
The national dailies published special supplements while Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television and other private sector television channels and radio centres aired special programs highlighting on the simple and self-less life of Bangabandhu, his affection and care for his people and immense contributions to the nation.
Special prayers were offered at all the places of worships seeking divine blessings for eternal peace of the souls of the martyrs of the August 15 carnage while blood donations camps and distribution of iftar among the destitute were the other programs of the day.
Awami League will organize a discussion meeting at the city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 2-30 pm on Thursday.
BBN/SSR/AD-16Aug12-2:50 am (BST)