Staff Correspondent ;
Dhaka – For the first time in nearly five decades, Bangladesh has no celebration on its National and Independence Day due to the global pandemic of new coronavirus.
The government has cancelled all events, including placing of floral wreath at the National Mausoleum in Savar, for the celebration of the day.
A nationwide travel restriction has been imposed asking the residents to stay indoors to help slow the spread of the virus.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in separate messages, however, greeted the people.
The president and prime minister usually place wreaths early in the morning as a mark of respect to the memories of the liberation war martyrs every year on this day.
The day is a public holiday.
On this day in 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh’s independence in the wake of the black night of the March 25 when Pakistani occupation forces launched the worst ever genocide on the unarmed civilians in Dhaka, the then provincial capital of East Pakistan.
The declaration followed a nine-month armed struggled that was ended on December 16, 1971 through the surrender of the Pakistani forces. Three million people laid their lives inspired by the call of Bangabandhu to liberate the country.
He had called upon the people to build up strong resistance against the Pakistani barbaric occupation forces.
The Pakistani military junta arrested Bangabandhu on that night following his declaration of independence and took him into the jail him in West Pakistan.
The declaration of independence was soon put on air by wireless. The declaration was first broadcast by Awami League leader MA Hannan from Kalurghat Radio Station in port city of Chittagong on March 26, 1971.
However, on March 27, 1971, the then Major Ziaur Rahman announced the proclamation of independence on behalf of great national leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from the same radio station.