President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have paid rich tributes to four national leaders on the occasion of the Jail Killing Day, recalling their immense contributions to the War of Liberation and the nation.
On the eve of the day, in separate messages, they also prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of the four national leaders.
"I pay deep respect to their memories," he added.
Noting that the country's independence was achieved under the leadership of Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of the Bangalee Nation and the architect of Independent Bangladesh, he said Bangabandhu proclaimed independence of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971 and eventually the Liberation War started at his call.
When Bangabandhu was imprisoned in Pakistan jail during the Liberation War, the president said in absence of Bangabandhu the four national leaders made an outstanding contribution in forming the Mujibnagar Government, devising war strategy and tactics, carrying out administrative activities, conducting the Liberation War, carrying on diplomatic efforts and keeping an eye on refugees to turn the Liberation War into a people's war in 1971.
"The nation will always remember the contributions of the four national leaders with due respect," the President added.
The head of the state said the anti-liberation clique brutally killed the four national leaders inside the Dhaka Central Jail on November 3 in 1975 in continuation to the assassination of Bangabandhu and most of his family members on August 15 in 1975 to make the nation leaderless alongside jeopardizing the independence and sovereignty of the country.
"But design of the killers did not come out successful," he said, adding Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his ideology will remain alive as long as Bangladesh exists.
The President said Bangabandhu had a dream to build a happy and prosperous "Sonar Bangla".
"Everybody would make contribution from their respective positions to materialize the unfinished dream of Bangabandhu and this would be our pledge on the Jail Killing Day," he added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, termed the November 3 (Jail Killing Day) a stigmatized day in the history of independent Bangladesh, saying such killing in the jail (a secured place) is unprecedented in the world's history.
She said the killing of the four national leaders were the sequel to the assassination of the Father of the Nation and most of his family members.
Through the hateful killings of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib and four national leaders, the defeated forces of Liberation War and anti-state cliques wanted to erase the name of Bangladesh Awami League forever from the soil of Bangladesh, destroy the spirit of Liberation War and make the nation leaderless, she added.
"The purpose of the killers was to break the state structure of the non-communal democratic Bangladesh and undermine our independence achieved at a huge cost," the premier said.
The anti liberation forces started the politics of killing, coup and conspiracy after August 15 in 1975 and proclaimed indemnity ordinance to save the self-confessed killers, Sheikh Hasina said.
She said Ziaur Rahman, after grabbing the state power illegally, had killed the democracy by imposing martial law, dissecting the constitution, awarding the killers through rehabilitating them with jobs in Bangladesh missions abroad instead of bringing them under trial and giving citizenship to the anti-liberation elements and war criminals.
The direct and indirect patrons of the 1975's conspirators and killers grabbed the state power for the next 21 years, the head of the government said, adding that the illegal rulers distorted the history of the great Liberation War and pushed the country backwards.
"Bangladesh Awami League won the elections in 1996 and formed the government after long 21 years and started the trial of Bangabandhu murder. But the BNP-Jamaat coalition government stopped the trial proceedings of case after assuming power in 2001," Sheikh Hasina said.
The countrymen again voted the AL to win the elections of December 29, 2008 by a huge margin, she said, adding the AL government after ascending the state power has achieved significant success in establishing justice in the country by eliminating the politics of revenge.
"We have freed the nation from stigma by executing the verdict of the killings of Father of the Nation with his most of the family members. The trial of the killings of the four national leaders has also been completed," she said, adding that efforts are on to track the locations of the fugitive killers and bring them back to the country.
As per the commitment given to the people, many verdicts, came from the two tribunals of the crimes against humanity cases of 1971, have been executed and many trials are undergoing, Sheikh Hasina said, adding the way of seizing power illegally has been blocked by amending the constitution.
Peace and democracy have been re-established in the country following the principle of zero tolerance against terrorism and militancy, the Prime Minister said.
"Today, we stand as a self-respecting country with our head high before the world due to our various adopted-steps in last 13.5 years," she said.
During this time, Bangladesh has achieved the status of a developing country," she said.
The government has been able to keep the wheel of the country's economy running even amid the Coronavirus epidemic situation, Sheikh Hasina said, adding, "Our government is working relentlessly to build a prosperous 'Sonar Bangladesh' as dreamt by father of the nation by 2041".
Noting that anti-liberation communal clique and anti-development and anti-democratic forces are still hatching conspiracies against the country in various ways, she urged all to deal with any conspiracy or ill attempt of the evil forces with concerted efforts.
"Let's uphold the democracy and the rule of law resisting all conspiracies, being imbued with the spirit of the great Liberation War and build a hunger-and poverty-free Sonar Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation with the collective efforts- this would be our pledge on the Jail Killing Day," Sheikh Hasina said.