The nation on Sunday celebrated the 48th Victory Day, marking the most precious moment when the country was liberated from the Pakistani occupation forces after a nine-month-long bloodstained War of Liberation, with vowing to transform the country into developed one.
Forty-seven years back on December 16 in 1971, Bangladesh was born as an independent country under the leadership of the Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and for the supreme sacrifice of three million people and the honour of nearly half a million women.
Different socio-political, educational and cultural institutions and organisations arranged a series of programmes to celebrate the nation’s glorious victory over the Pakistani occupation force.
The government also celebrated the day with different programmes at the national level.
The day started with 31 gun salutes. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum at Savar at dawn.
At first President Abdul Hamid placed the wreaths at the altar of the National Memorial with the rise of the sun. He was followed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
After placing the wreath, President and the Prime Minister stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the Great War of Liberation of 1971.
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force presented state salute on the occasion when bugles played the last post.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokan, AL Joint General Secretaries Advocate Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Organizing Secretaries BM Mozammel Haque, AFM Bahauddin Nasim and AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, Office Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, Forest and Environment Secretary Delowar Hossain and Deputy Office Secretary Barrister Biplob Barua, among others, were present.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, members of the cabinet, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, the chiefs of the three services, the mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Flanked by senior leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, laid another wreaths at the National Memorial as the party chief.
Later, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokan and leaders of other political and sociocultural organisations placed wreaths at the National Memorial.
They were followed by the freedom fighters and their family members, foreign diplomats, leaders of Awami League and different political and social organisations and people from all walks of life.
The other political and socio-cultural organizations are included Central 14-party, BNP, Gana Forum, Jukto Front, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Awami Jubo League, Swechasebak League, Chhatra League, Krishak League, Jubo Mohila League, Mohila Awami League, Tanti League, Jatiya Party (JP), Bangladesh Student Union, Jubo Union, Udichi, Bangladesh Red Cross Society, Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, Dhaka University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, National University, Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy, Open University, Bangabandhu Parishad, Jagannath University, Sector Commanders’ Forum-Muktijuddha 71 and Sammilita Sangskritik Jote.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also paid rich tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban at the historic Dhanmondi 32 in the city.
Awami League and its associate bodies, different educational institutes and socio-cultural and professional organisations also paid homage to the supreme leader of the War of Liberation by placing garlands at his portrait.
The day was a public holiday. The national flag was hoisted atop government, semi-government and private offices as well as offices of autonomous bodies across the country.
Important roads and road islands were decorated with miniature national flags and colourful festoons.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion. National dailies were brought out special supplements.
The state-owned and private televisions and radios are broadcasting month-long special programmes highlighting the Liberation War. Different organisations organised discussion and displayed Liberation War related documentary.
Receptions were held to freedom fighters and family members of martyrs at city, district and upazila levels.
Besides, Awami League led by Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim paid rich tribute to the mazar of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Bangladesh Police also paid its martyrs members by placing wreaths at Razarbagh Mausoleum.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Inspector General of Police Dr Javed Patwari and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman, among others, were present.
Special prayers were offered in mosques and other places of worship, seeking eternal peace of the souls of the martyrs of Liberation War and peace, progress and prosperity of the country.
Baitul Mukarram National Mosque organized qurankhwani, milad and doa mahfil at 10 am under the auspicious of Islamic Foundation marking the day.
Improved diets were served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
Destitute children were allowed to visit children’s parks and other recreational centres across the country free-of-cost. Marking the Day, Awami League (AL) organized two-day long programme.
Bangladesh missions in abroad observed the day through various programmes.