The month of mourning begins today (Sunday) for the nation to recall once again the brutal assassination of its founding father and renew the pledge to safeguard perpetually the country’s independence and sovereignty.
The killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on the fateful night of August 15, 1975 is the ugliest chapter of the nation’s history.
The self-confessed killers of August 15 did not assassinate Bangabandhu alone, but also killed 16 other members of his family, friends and relatives.
The martyrs of the August 15 carnage included Bangabandhu’s wife Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, his sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, Bangabandhu’s brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew and eminent journalist Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, Moni’s pregnant wife Arzoo Moni and Bangabandhu’s military secretary Colonel Jamil.
Bangabandhu’s two daughters – incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – escaped the planned assassination as they were visiting Germany at that time.
With the killing of Bangabandhu, the greatest son of the soil in thousand years, a pall of gloom descended and a sense of deep sadness spread among the people in the country and across the globe.
The world protested and condemned the killing, saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of Bangladesh.
The month of August is also black marked with another conspiracy of assassination. The nation cannot ever forget the heinous attempt of killing Sheikh Hasina through grenade attacks in 2004.
The vested quarter, who assassinated Bangabandhu in 1975, also tried to destroy Awami League (AL) by killing its president Sheikh Hasina with grenades on an anti-terrorism rally at Bangabandhu Avenue here on August 21 in 2004.
Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack suffering splinter injuries when 24 of her party men, including Awami League’s women affairs secretary Ivy Rahman, were killed and 500 others injured.
Like in the previous years, different political and socio-cultural organisations, including ruling Awami League (AL) and its associate bodies have chalked out month-long programmes to observe the month of mourning beginning tomorrow.
In view of the current coronavirus pandemic, the ruling Awami League, however, has decided to observe the month-long programmes commemorating the 46th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Mourning Day on August 15 on a limited scale maintaining health guidelines.
On July 24, AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced the programmes at a press conference at his official residence in the city.
Usually elaborate programmes are observed from the central to grassroots levels in August every year marking the month of mourning, he said, adding that this time at the directives of Prime Minister and party President Sheikh Hasina, a decision has been taken to observe the programmes on a limited scale, strictly following the health protocols considering the current coronavirus situation.
As per the programmes drawn up to observe the month of mourning, on August 5, marking the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Shaheed Sheikh Kamal, floral wreaths will be placed at his portrait on the premises of Abahani Club at Dhanmondi at 8:30am. Later, wreaths will be laid at his grave at Banani Graveyard at 9:15am.
To observe the birth anniversary of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, wreaths will be placed at her grave at Banani Graveyard at 9:00am on August 8.
On August 15, marking the martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Mourning Day, homage will be paid to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No. 32 at 8:30 am.
Homage will also be paid to other August 15 martyrs by laying wreaths at their graves at Banani Graveyard at 9:15am on that day.
An AL delegation will pay tributes to Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at his mausoleum at Tungipara in Gopalganj at 11:00am on the day.
Special doa and prayers will be arranged at all mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other places of worships across the country to observe the National Mourning Day.
Besides, a discussion will be arranged marking the National Mourning Day at 3:30pm on August 16.
On August 17, Dhaka city north and south units of AL will organise a discussion commemorating the countrywide series bomb attacks that took place on the day in 2005.
On August 21, tributes will be paid to the martyrs of the August 21, 2004 gruesome grenade attacks by placing wreaths in front AL central office at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue in the city at 9am. An indoor discussion will be arranged at 3.30pm on that day.
On August 27, marking the death anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, homage will be paid to him by placing wreaths at his grave on the premises of Dhaka University Central Mosque at 9am. -BSS