National Mourning Day todayStaff Correspondent
National Mourning Day will be observed today marking the 37th anniversary of the death of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Mujib was assassinated along with all but two of his family on August 15, 1975 by a group of disgruntled army officers.
His daughters Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana survived the massacre as they were in Germany at the time.
On the fateful night of August 15, the killers murdered Sheikh Mujib, his wife Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law and former minister Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, also chairman of Awami Juba League, and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby
Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu.
Five of Mujib’s 12 killers sentenced to death penalty were executed in 2010 while six are hiding overseas.
The prison authorities hanged the five killers on January 27, 2010, a year after the Awami League-led alliance government had assumed office. The executed were Syed Faruk Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Muhiuddin Ahmed, Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed.
The government has vowed to bring back other fugitive killers — Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haq Dalim, MA Rashed Chowdhury, SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Abdul Mazed and Moslem Uddin — to face the court verdict. One of the killers, Aziz Pasha, reportedly died abroad.
The Awami League government, during its previous tenure, on August 8, 1996, declared August 15 National Mourning Day and a public holiday but its successor, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance government, scrapped the decision on August 2, 2002.
The High Court on July 27, 2008 declared the BNP government’s decision illegal. The day is now a public holiday.
The ruling Awami League and its front organisations have been observing various programmes throughout August highlighting Mujib’s struggling life and contribution to Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 and post-independence nation-building activities.
Different cultural and social organisations are also holding month-long programmes to pay homage to Mujib and the members of his family.
The president, Zillur Rahman, and the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, in separate messages paid tributes to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The government, the Awami League and its front organisations have chalked out different programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.
The programmes include the hoisting of the national flag at half-mast and black flags atop Bangabandhu Bhaban and Awami League offices all over the country at dawn, placing wreaths by the president and the prime minister at the portrait of Mujib at Bangabandhu Bhaban and a guard of honour at 6:30am, paying homage to the martyrs of the August 15 carnage in the Banani graveyard and saying prayers at 7:20am.
Other programmes of the day are the placing of wreaths on Mujib’s grave at Tungipara in Gopalganj, session of recitation from the Qur’an, saying prayers and holding prayer sessions there at 11:30am and holding of a prayer session on the premises of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the capital by Mahila Awami League at 11:00am.
Besides, special prayers will be said in all places of worship for peace of the departed souls of the martyrs of the August 15 mayhem.
The president, Zillur Rahman, and the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, in separate messages paid tributes to the memories of Mujib and other slain members of the family. They also prayed for peace of the departed souls.
In his message, Zillur said that August 15, 1975 is a shameful chapter in the history of the Bengali nation. ‘The contribution of Bangabandhu towards our national history is immense. Although the conspirators had killed Bangabandhu, they could not wipe out his ideals and beliefs,’ he said.
In her message, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, said that although the killers had assassinated Mujib, they could not kill his dreams and ideals. Millions of people nurture in their hearts the ideals of Mujib.
‘Let us take forward with bold steps the struggle to build a Golden Bangla as dreamt by Bangabandhu turning the grief of the great loss of the father of the nation into strength,’ she said.
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Date:Wednesday, 15th August, 2012
Date:Wednesday, 15th August, 2012