NATION MOURNS ITS FATHER
Dhaka: The National Mourning Day will be observed in the country on Saturday marking the 40th anniversary of assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangabandhu, the architect of Bangladesh’s independence, was assassinated along with all but two members of his family at the crack of dawn on 15 August in 1975.
Mujib’s two daughters – Sheikh Hasina, now the Prime Minister, and Sheikh Rehana – fortunately survived the massacre as they were abroad at that time.
Eighteen members of the family along with Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lt Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, two daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rob Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were killed on the fateful night.
Bangabandhu’s Military Secretary Col Jamil was also killed. Some members of a family at Mohammadpur in the capital were also killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
The day is a public holiday. The government, the ruling Awami League and different socio-cultural, political and professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day with due solemnity.
On the day, the national flag will fly at half-mast at all government, semi-government and autonomous bodies, educational institutions, private buildings and Bangladesh missions abroad.
The national flag will fly at half-mast at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the capital and party offices across the country at dawn. The President and the Prime Minister will place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi at 6:45 am. The Armed Forces will present a guard of honour on the occasion.
The Prime Minister will also place wreaths on the graves of the members of Bangabandhu’s family and other martyrs at Banani graveyard at 7:30am.
Senior AL leaders will place wreaths at the Bangabandhu Mausoleum in Tungipara of Gopalganj at 10am. A milad and doa mahfil will also be held there.
Doa and milad mahfils will be held at all mosques after Zohr prayers and special prayers will be arranged in temples, pagodas, churches and other worship places at convenient time across the country.
Food will also be distributed among insolvent and destitute people at noon.
A milad mahfil will be held at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban at 5pm to mark the day.
Mahila Awami League will arrange a milad and doa mahfil at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the city after Asr prayers.
Besides, Awami League will arrange a discussion at the city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 4pm on Sunday. Awami League president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the programme as the chief guest.
Different socio-political organisations will also organise various programmes, including discussions, poetry recitation session, child-juvenile painting competition, photographic exhibition, tree plantation and distribution of cooked food among the destitute.
Bangladesh missions abroad will observe the National Mourning Day in a befitting manner tomorrow.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages commemorating the National Mourning Day.
In his message, the President said, “The 15th August 1975 is regarded as a heart-rending and disgraceful chapter in the history of the Bangalee nation as well as the path of our democratic advancement.”
Recalling Bangabandhu’s contributions to the nation and its birth, he said, “For his extraordinary contributions towards achieving Independence, Bangabandhu and Bangladesh have emerged as a unique symbol to the people of Bangladesh. The assassins though killed the Father of the Nation yet they could not wipe out the principle and belief of Bangabandhu.”
He also called upon all to translate the grief into strength on the National Mourning Day and devote themselves to build a happy and prosperous Bangladesh to complete the unfinished task of Bangabandhu.
In her message, the Prime Minister said, “Under the dynamic, courageous and charismatic leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the people of this territory brought the glowing sun of the independence breaking the shackles of subjugation of thousands of years. The Bangalees have gotten their own nation-state, flag and national anthem.”
She regretted that Bangabandhu was killed at a time when he had undertaken an arduous task of building a Golden Bangla reconstructing the war-ravaged country and unifying the whole nation. “The defeated forces of the Liberation War made abortive attempts to ruin the tradition, culture and advancement of the Bangalee nation. Their target was to destroy the secular democratic fabric of Bangladesh.”
.“We have executed the verdict of the Bangabandhu killing case. The trial of the killers of four national leaders has been completed. The trials of the war criminals and the 21st August grenade attack cases are also progressing. We are committed to upholding democracy, constitution and rule of law. No conspiracy will be able to distract us from establishing the truth and justice,” Hasina observed.
The Prime Minister said the killers were able to assassinate Bangabandhu but they could not erase his dreams and ideals. “The ideals of Bangabandhu’s long struggle of sacrifice are implanted in the heart of Bangalee nation.”
State-run Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of the slain leader. Newspapers will bring out supplements on the occasion.
Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam in a statement urged the party leaders, activists, supporters, well-wishers and leaders of its front organisations to observe the day in a befitting manner.
AUGUST 15, 2015