The nation is observing the National Mourning Day today recalling with a heavy heart Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the 43rd anniversary of his martyrdom.
The killing of Bangabandhu and most of his family members on the fateful night of August 15, 1975 is the ugliest chapter of the nation’s history.
The self-confessed killers of August 15 did not assassinate Bangabandhu alone, but also killed 16 other members of his family, friends and relatives.
They include his wife Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew and eminent journalist Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, his pregnant wife Arzoo Moni and Colonel Jamil.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, escaped the planned assassination with her sister Sheikh Rehana as they were staying overseas then.
The killing of Bangabandhu, the greatest son of the soil in thousand years, descended a pall of gloom and spread a sense of deep sadness among the people in the country and across the globe.
The world protested and condemned the killing saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of Bangladesh.
Like previous years, the government, Awami League and different political and socio-cultural organisations, educational institutions and professional groups chalked out elaborate programmes to pay the utmost respect to the greatest son of the soil on the day of his martyrdom.
The nation, however, started observing the month of mourning from August 1, recalling the most brutal killing in its history and renewing the pledge to safeguard perpetually the country’s independence and sovereignty.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the Day.
The government drew elaborate programmes to observe the Day with due respect and solemnity. As part of the programme the national flag will fly half-mast atop the offices of all government, semi-government and autonomous bodies and educational institutions on the day.
In the morning, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Museum in the capital city at 6.30am.
A smartly turned out contingent of the Armed Forces gave a guard of honour to the portrait of the Bangabandhu. A special munajat and fateha also was offered there.
Later in the morning, Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths and offered fateha at the Banani graveyard for the family members of the father of the nation and others, who embraced martyrdom with Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975.
Following the president and the prime minister and other dignitaries, people from all walks of life with wearing black badges thronged the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to pay their profound homage to Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at his portrait there.
In the morning, prime minister will also place wreath at the mazar of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj. Fateha was offered and the armed forces again staged a guard of honour there. A special milad mahfil and dua was held there on the day.
In line with the national programme, different ministries and departments, directorates and agencies will organise various programmes at their respective institutions.
Similarly, all city corporations, district councils, municipalities and union councils will organise different programmes to observe the day with due respect and solemnity.
Bangladesh missions abroad will arrange discussions with hoisting the national flag half-mast atop their respective offices.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private TV channels and radio stations are taking special programmes in observance of the National Mourning Day. National and regional newspapers will bring out special supplements on the occasion.
Besides, specially designed posters would be displayed at educational institutions and other public places, reminding the black chapter of the country’s history.
Shishu Academy, Bangabandhu Memorial Museum and many other educational institutions is going to organise discussions on Bangabandhu’s life and works.
The district and upazila administrations are also set to observe the day through doa mahfil and discussions in line with the national programmes.
Bangladesh Television has taken initiatives to read out the Bangabandhu’s books – “Osomapto Atmajibani” and “Karagarer Rojnamcha”. Awami League (AL) will keep the national flag and the party flag at half-mast while black flag will be hoisted at the Bangabandhu Bhaban and all other offices of the party across the country.