The nation observed National Mourning Day on Wednesday, marking the 43rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
People from all walks of life with a heavy heart remembered Bangabandhu, the best Bangalee of all time, with a call for bringing back his fugitive killers and executing the verdict against them.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in paying homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait at Dhanmondi in the morning.
After placing the wreaths, the President and the premier stood in solemn silence for a while as a mark of deep respect to the iconic leader and architect of the nation.
A smartly turned-out contingent, drawn from the three services, paid a state salute while the bugle was played in the last post.
Sheikh Rehana, the youngest daughter of Bangabandhu, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, cabinet members, PM’s advisers, AL-led 14-party alliance leaders and senior government officials were present.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain followed the President and the premier in paying tributes to Bangabandhu.
Later, Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Awami League, flanked by senior leaders, placed a wreath at Bangabandhu’s portrait on behalf of the party.
She along with her sister Sheikh Rehana then visited the historic Dhanmondi residence which witnessed one of the world’s barbaric carnages 43 year ago.
Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana stayed for some time at Dhanmondi residence (now Bangabandhu Memorial Museum).
The premier then went to Banani Graveyard where her mother Bangamata Fazilatun Nesa Mujib and brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell and other August 15 martyrs were laid to eternal rest.
Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana placed wreaths and showered petals on their graves.
Besides the government, the ruling Awami League observed the day with elaborate programmes, including milad mehfil and feeding of the destitute.
The day was a public holiday.
The day’s programmes began with hoisting of the national flag at half-mast.
The AL flew the national flag at half-mast and hoisted black flags at its offices across the country.
Front organisations of the ruling party, including Juba League, Bangladesh Chhatra League, Swechchhasebak League, Jatiya Sramik League, Mohila Awami League, Tanti League, Jatiya Muktijoddha Sangsad, Muktijoddha Prajanma League, Dhaka University, Bangla Academy, Bangabandhu Academy, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, National Press Club and a host of organisations paid tribute to Bangabandhu.
After the departure of the President and the premier, several thousand people wearing black badges paid their respects to their great leader.
Sheikh Hasina later went to Tungipara in Gopalganj and placed wreaths at the grave of Bangabandhu.
Milad mehfils and special munajat were held at Bangabhaban and religious institutions after Asr prayers, seeking salvation of the departed soul of Bangabandhu and other martyrs.
The ruling party dished out food among the destitute across the country on the occasion of National Mourning Day.
The AL will organise a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital today to mark the day. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the event.
On the fateful dawn of this day in 1975, a group of disgruntled army officers assassinated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members.
Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasants leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youths leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were also killed along with Bangabandhu.
Bangabandhu’s two daughters — Sheikh Hasina, incumbent Prime Minister, and Sheikh Rehana — escaped the carnage as they were in Germany at that time.
The 15th of August is considered a black chapter of the human history as the vested quarter, by capturing state power, trampled people’s long-cherished desire for economic emancipation.
Six convicted killers of Bangabandhu--Lt Col (sacked) Noor Chowdhury, Maj (sacked) Sahriful Haque Dalim, Lt Col (sacked) Khandkar Abdur Rashid, Lt Col (rtd) AM Rashed Chowdhury, Capt (rtd) Abdul Majed and Risaldar Moslehuddin--are still absconding in different countries while another fugitive convict Aziz Pasha died in Zimbabwe in 2001.