Dhaka – The nation paid glowing tribute to Bangladesh’s independence architect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his 44th death anniversary.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sehikh Hasina, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, opposition leaders and people from all walks of life placed floral wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu in Dhaka and offered prayers at the grave at his ancestral home in Tungipara.
A group of disgruntled army officers killed Bangabandhu and most of his family on this day in 1975.
The day is being observed as national mourning day every year. The Awami League party which Bangabandhu headed to lead Bangladesh’s independence struggle chalked out month-long mourning programme.
Bangabandhu was assassinated at his Dhanmondi home on August 15, 1975 when he was the president of Bangladesh, which gained independence from Pakistan less than five years ago.
The presidential placing of floral wreaths at the Bangabandhu’s portrait was followed by a state salute by a military contingent.
The president and the prime minister stood in solemn silence in front of the portrait for some time. Hasina, who is the head of the ruling Awami League party, paid another wreath in on behalf of her party. Senior AL leaders were present at that time.
Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, also took her daughter Saima Wazed Hossain and Awami League leaders to Banani graveyard where she paid respect to the other victims of the August 15 massacre.
Her mother Fajilatunnesa Mujib, brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell were laid to eternal rest at Banani graveyard.
Hasina then traveled to Tungiparha, the ancestral home of Bangabandhu where he was buried after the assassination, to pay homage.
Bangabandhu’s daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, younger brother Sheikh Abu Naser, nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni and brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniyabat, Moni’s wife Begum Arju Moni and Serniyabat’s daughter Baby, son Arif and grandson Sukanto Babu, security chief Col Jamiluddin Ahmed, police officer Siddiqur Rahman, three guests and four domestic helps were victims of the massacre.
National flag was flown half-mast at all the government, semi-government and autonomous office buildings and black flag was flown at all the Awami League offices across the country to observe the day of mourning.
The day is a public holiday. State-run as well as private television channels and radios have been airing special programme highlighting the significance of the day and the life and contribution of Bangabandhu for Bangladesh.
Special prayers have been arranged at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas across the country. A prayer service will also be held at the president’s official residence Bangabhaban to mark the occasion.