The nation observes Jail Killing Day today, commemorating the brutal killing of four national leaders inside Dhaka Central Jail and paying homage to the great sons of the soil.
On November 3 in 1975, some disgruntled army officers assassinated four national leaders--- Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzama inside the jail.
The barbaric killing took place just 79 days after the August 15 massacre.
The four national leaders played a crucial role in forming the first government of Bangladesh (Mujibnagar government) which led the country’s War of Independence in 1971.
Syed Nazrul Islam was the acting President while Tajuddin Ahmad was the Prime Minister of Mujibnagar government, Mansur Ali the finance minister and AHM Qamaruzzaman the home, relief and rehabilitation affairs minister.
Dhaka Central Jail has been shifted to Keraniganj on the outskirts of the capital. The cells of the old central jail on Nazimuddin road have been turned into museums. Belongings of the four leaders have been preserved there.
Murals of the four national leaders were also set up on the premises of the jail.
In separate messages, they also prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of the four national leaders.
When Bangabandhu was imprisoned in Pakistan jail during the Liberation War, the four national leaders in absence of Bangabandhu 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, President Abdul Hamid said.
"The nation will always remember the contributions of the four national leaders with due respect," he added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, termed November 3 (Jail Killing Day) a stigmatised event in independent Bangladesh, saying such killing 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 Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members.
Through the killings of Bangabandhu 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.
Different political parties, including the ruling Awami League, will observe the day across the country following health guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ruling Bangladesh Awami League 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 the dawn.
Party leaders will also place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the capital at 7:00am to mark the day.
Wreaths will be placed at the graves of Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Mansur Ali at Banani graveyard around 7:30am while fateha, milad-mahfil and munajat will be offered there.
Floral wreaths will be placed at the grave of Shaheed AHM Qamruzzaman in Rajshahi. Prayer sessions, offering fateha and milad mahfil will also be held there, marking the day.
The ruling Awami League will hold a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital at 3:00pm with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.