The nation today observes the Jail Killing Day commemorating the assassinations of four national leaders, who were brutally murdered inside the Dhaka Central Jail on this day in 1975.
Four national leaders Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman were killed by some disgruntled army personnel on November 3 in 1975, just 79 days after the August 15 massacre.
The ruling Awami League, its front organisations and several socio-cultural organisations have chalked up various programmes to mark the day.
Tajuddin, who took the main initiative, was the prime minister of the Mujibnagar government while Syed Nazrul Islam was the acting president, Mansur Ali was the finance minister and AHM Qamaruzzaman was the minister of home, relief and rehabilitation affairs.
The former Dhaka Central Jail has been shifted to Keraniganj, an outskirt of the capital. The cells of the jail, where the leaders were killed, have been turned into museums and their belongings have been preserved there.
Besides the cells, murals of the four leaders were set up on the jail premises.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the national leaders on the occasion of the Jail Killing Day recalling their immense contributions to the War of Liberation.
The President, in a message on the eve of the day, said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s close aides four national leaders- Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman- were brutally killed by anti-liberation forces inside the Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975.
“Today I am recalling them with profound respect,” he added.
“When Bangabandhu was imprisoned in Pakistan jail during the Liberation War, the four national leaders made an outstanding contributions to form Mujibnagar Government, devise war strategy and tactics, carry out administrative activities, conduct the Liberation War and diplomatic efforts to turn the Liberation War into a people’s war,” he said.
The President said the nation will always remember the contributions of four national leaders with respect.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of the four leaders and said such killings in the safe custody of jail are unprecedented in the world.
The premier said the killings of the four national leaders were the sequel to the killing of Father of the Nation and his family members.
Through these killings, the conspirators wanted to erase the name of Bangladesh Awami League, she added.
She recalled the grenade attack on 21 August in 2004 and said though she escaped the attack, 22 people, including Ivy Rahman, were killed in the carnage.
A reactionary clique is conspiring to hamper the trial process of war criminals and the country’s development, Sheikh Hasina said and urged the people to be united imbued with spirit of the War of Liberation to resist the conspiracy.
The Prime Minister said, “I believe the countrymen will uphold democracy and rule of law resisting the conspiracies being imbued with spirit of Liberation War”.
She hoped they (countrymen) will work to build ‘Sonar Bangla’, dreamt by Bangabandhu through implanting the Vision 2021 and Vision 2041.
They paid rich tributes to the national leaders for their contributions during the nation’s movements for democracy and war of independence.
The AL will begin the day by hoisting the national flag and party flag at half-mast at its central and district offices across the country at 6:00am.
Party leaders will also place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 7:00am.
They will also place wreaths at the graves of Syed Nazrul, Tajuddin and Mansur Ali at Banani in the capital at 8:00am while wreaths will be placed at Qamaruzzaman’s grave in the northern city of Rajshahi.
The party will also hold a discussion programme at Krishibid Institution auditorium at 3:00pm.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to chair the programme.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader urged all the leaders and activists to observe the day in a befitting manner.