Dhaka – Bangladesh on Monday paid glowing tributes to the martyrs of 1971 liberation war as the country celebrates its Independence and National Day in festivity.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed floral wreaths at the National Mausoleum in Savar to pay homage to the martyrs.
On this day in 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence of Bangladesh following the crackdown by the Pakistani occupation forces on the unarmed Bangalees on the black night of March 25.
The nation soon launched the War of Liberation and brought independence to the nation after a nine month bloody struggle on December 16, 1971. An estimated 3 million people were killed, more than 200,000 women were raped and numerous homes were torched by the Pakistani forces during the war.
This year, the 48th Independence Day celebration added different colours after Bangladesh’s recent UN recognition for its eligibility to graduate from the group of Least Developed Countries to the developing one.
Tens of thousands of people from different strata placed floral wreaths at the National Mausoleum after the President and Prime Minister left the place. The Prime Minister, Hasina, also placed flower at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu museum in Dhaka.
Ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, chiefs of the three services, freedom fighters, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Later, flanked by senior leaders of the party, Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.
Families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies and common people also laid wreaths at the national memorial.
The Prime Minister led the nation to sing the National Anthem in correct form at the “Jatiya Shishu Kishore Samabesh” held at Bangabandhu National Stadium. Hasina also visited the parade by the children at the ground.
The day is a public holiday.
The national flag is flying atop all government and private buildings while all streets and important city intersections have been decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons.
Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and islands have also been illuminated with the light in red and green – the colour of the national flag.
National dailies have brought out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels have been broadcasting special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Improved diets have been served among the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes and other public institutions to mark the day.
Bangladesh missions abroad and the expatriate Bangladeshis across the world have also been celebrating the Day by arranging various events.