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Nation set for Amar Ekushey

Staff Correspondent

Painters give finishing touches to the floor paintings on the Central Shaheed Minar premises in Dhaka on Wednesday, marking the upcoming February 21. 
— Sanaul Haque Painters give finishing touches to the floor paintings on the Central Shaheed Minar premises in Dhaka on Wednesday, marking the upcoming February 21. — Sanaul Haque

The nation pays homage to the martyrs of the language movement of 1952 a minute after midnight past today by placing wreaths at shaheed minars across the country.
The Central Shaheed Minar has been decorated for the observance of Shaheed Dibas, or February 21, which has also come to be observed as International Mother Language Day since 2000 after a UNESCO announcement in November 1999.
People will place wreaths at shaheed minars to the singing of Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February and stand in silence for a few seconds at the monument altar in honour of Salam, Barkat, Rafiq and Jabbar who were killed in police shooting on
this day in 1952 when they rallied for the recognition of Bangla as a state language of Pakistan. The incident later culminated into the war of independence in 1971.
The president, Abdul Hamid, and the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, are expected to place wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka a minute past midnight.
The speaker, lawmakers and representative groups of the ruling Awami League will also place wreaths later.
Political parties, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party will, also pay tributes to the language movement martyrs in the first hour of the day.
Language movement heroes, all diplomats, chiefs of the three services and leaders of other political parties will place wreaths at the Shaheed Minar.
Social, cultural, academic and professional bodies and individuals will also pay homage to the martyrs at the venue. Different organisations will hold programmes marking the day.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner, Benazir Ahmed, at a press briefing on Wednesday said that they had planned special security for the Central Shaheed Minar for the observance of Amar Ekushey.
Bomb disposal squads, police personnel in plain clothes, special weapons and tactics personnel, police pickets, foot patrol, mobile patrol and roof-top security will be deployed to keep law and order in and around the Central Shaheed Minar, he said.
The Special Security Force will be keeping watch on all security arrangements for the Central Shaheed Minar as the main programme will be observed there with the president, the prime minister and other state dignitaries attending.
The police will set up checkpoints in different strategic places, including all entry points to the campuses of Dhaka University and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and Dhaka Medical College Hospital premises. Closed-circuit television cameras will also be installed.
The city police detailed a route map prepared by the Central Ekushey Observance Coordination Committee, for the people and traffic on the occasion covering about three square kilometres of the Shaheed Minar area.
Traffic will not be allowed on roads passing by the Shaheed Minar between 7:00pm Thursday and 2:00pm Friday except for vehicles with authorised stickers.
Residents of Nazimuddin Road, Babupura and College Road have been asked to use Dewanbazar Road, Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Nilkhet and New Market Gate 1 on their way to the Azimpur graveyard, the officials said.
People coming from Lalbagh, Azimpur, Plassey crossing, Chawkbazar, Bakshibazar, Urdu Road and Dhakeswari Temple area need to travel through the new gate of the graveyard beside Gate 1 of New Market via the Azimpur Road, New Market crossing and Peelkhana Road.
People need to go to the Shaheed Minar through the roads in front of the Sir Salimullah Hall, Jagannath Hall, Supreme Court building, Doyel Square, Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, TSC crossing, Nilkhet crossing, New Market, Old Railway Road, Azimpur Road, Azimpur crossing and the Palassy crossing. The police have asked people not to set up any awning on the roads.

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