The nation observes historic Mujibnagar Day today (Monday), commemorating the journey of Bangladesh’s first government that led the Liberation War against Pakistan in 1971.
This day in 1971, senior leaders of Awami League gathered at a mango orchard at Baidyanathtala, which was named Mujibnagar in Meherpur district, to form the provisional government of independent Bangladesh in the absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangabandhu was arrested and flown to Pakistan after a military crackdown on the unarmed Bangalees on March 25 in 1971.
Bangabandhu was declared the first President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh while Vice-President Syed Nazrul Islam became the acting President in absence of Bangbandhu.
Amid the war, Awami League leaders formed the de-facto government on April 10 in absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Tajuddin Ahmad was appointed as the first Prime Minister while Khandoker Moshtaque Ahmed, M Mansur Ali and AHM Quamaruzzaman were named cabinet members.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion of Mujibnagar Day.
They recalled the able leadership, proper directives and war strategies taken by the Mujibnagar government to lead the war into a success.
The President and the Prime Minister paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the four national leaders who led the Mujibnagar government.
They also recalled the contributions of the martyrs, freedom fighters and organisers and supporters of the war.
In his message, Abdul Hamid said the importance and role of the Mujibnagar government were immense in the Liberation War.
"An able leadership, proper directives and war strategies took the war towards a success. After the nine-month bloody war, our much-awaited victory was finally achieved on December 16, 1971," he said.
In her message, Sheikh Hasina described Mujibnagar Day as a red letter day in the country's history.
She said the Liberation War and running of a government got an institutional shape following taking oath of office on April 17 at a mango grove at Baidyanathtala of Meherpur.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that the Mujibnagar government had conducted the Liberation War efficiently for nine months keeping united the people irrespective of classes and professions.
She also recalled that after three years and six months, the anti-liberation reactionary forces killed the Father of the Nation along with most of his family members on August 15, 1975.
And after two and a half months, four national leaders, who led the Liberation War, were brutally killed in jail on November 3 to destroy the Awami League leadership completely.
The ruling Awami League and different socioeconomic organisations have chalked up elaborate programmes to observe the day.
The programmes include hoisting of the national and party flags at Bangabandhu Bhaban, party central office and its district offices at 6:00am.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the capital at 7:00am.
AL leaders will place wreaths at the Memorial Monument at Mujibnagar at 10:00am.
The AL will hold a public rally at Mujibnagar at Sheikh Hasina Mancha at 10:30am with its general secretary Obaidul Quader in the chair. AL central leaders will also take part in it.