National Mourning Day observedNew Age Online
The nation paid rich tributes to the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman commemorating the 38th anniversary of the great leader’s assassination on Thursday.
Thousands of mourners wearing black badges placed wreaths at the portrait of the slain leader in front of his historic Dhanomondi residence and recalled the leader’s life-long struggle for achieving political and economic freedom for the Bengalis.
Mujib was assassinated along with all but two of his family members by some disgruntled army officers at his Dhanmondi Road 32 residence on August 15, 1975. His two daughters—Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana—survived the brutal carnage as they were traveling abroad.
As the day broke, the mourners thronged the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi and his grave at Tungipara to pay homage to the independence hero.
The president, Abdul Hamid, was the first to place wreath at the portrait of Mujib at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 6:30am followed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
Thereafter, the president and the prime minister and the speaker paid their tributes.
The members of the cabinet, chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force and senior leaders of the Awami League including party general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam were present at the time.
After placing the wreaths, they stood in solemn silence for a minute when bugles played the last post. A smartly turned out contingent drawn from the three services presented salute on the occasion.
A special prayer seeking eternal peace of the departed souls as well as progress of the country was offered.
Hasina, also the president of Awami League, placed another wreath on behalf of her party at the portrait of Mujib.
The official ceremony over, people from all walks of life and different organisations paid their tributes by placing wreaths at the portrait.
Sheikh Hasina also placed wreaths at the graves of her mother, brothers and other family members and relatives, who were killed on August 15, 1975, at Banani graveyard in the morning.
The president and the prime minister flew to Tungipara in Gopalganj at 10:30am and placed wreaths at the grave of Sheikh Mujib.
Fateha and special prayers were offered and milad mahfil held at Tungipara in the morning.
AL general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, after placing wreath at the Banani graveyard, said the threat of BNP to wage tougher movement would not bring any benefit for them and the country.
‘Nothing can be gained through agitations this time. If you (BNP) have any proposal for constructive political solution, come to parliament because parliament is the best place to solve all political matters,’ he added.
The Awami League, its front organisations including Mahila Awami League, Swechchhasebak League, Juba League and Chhatra League, different political parties including Communist Party of Bangladesh, different socio-cultural and educational institutions held various programmes to mark the day.
Although it was a public holiday, many government offices organised discussions and milad mafil in the capital.
All ward, upazila and district units of AL held special prayer sessions. They played the historic 7th March address of Sheikh Mujib through public address system.
President Abdul Hamid said the nation is somewhat stigma-free with the trial of Sheikh Mujib’s assassins. ‘Now we should take all-out initiatives to bring the death-sentenced fugitives back to country in order to execute the verdict,’ he added.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said the killers could have killed Bangabandhu but they could not kill his dreams and ideals. ‘Millions of people of this soil have been nurturing in their hearts the ideals of sacrifice of Bangabandhu,’ she added.
Sheikh Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Sheikh Mujib, said the people must win the struggle to establish an economically solvent, democratic and non-communal Bangladesh as dreamt by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The day was a public holiday. The national flag flew at half-mast while black flags were hoisted atop government and private buildings to mourn Mujib and his slain family members.
The state-run Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar, and private television channels aired special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of Mujib. Newspapers also carried special supplements.
New Age correspondents in districts reported that the National Mourning Day was observed in a befitting manner in each of the district and upazila headquarters.
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