The month of mourning begins today for the nation to recall the brutal assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on the night of August 15, 1975, the ugliest chapter in the nation's history, and renew the pledge to safeguard the country's independence and sovereignty.
The self-confessed killers of August 15 did not assassinate Bangabandhu alone, but also killed 16 other members of his family, friends and relatives.
They included Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, 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, his pregnant wife Arzoo Moni and military secretary Colonel Jamil.
Bangabandhu's two daughters -- Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana -- were visiting Germany at the time.
The killing of Bangabandhu led to a pall of gloom and spread a sense of deep sadness among the people in the country and across the globe. The world protested and condemned the killing, terming it 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 to kill Hasina through grenade attacks.
A vested quarter tried to destroy Awami League (AL) by killing its president Hasina with grenades during an anti-terrorism rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka on August 21, 2004.
Hasina narrowly escaped the attack suffering splinter injuries when 24 of her party men, including Awami League's women's 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 and its associate bodies, have chalked out month-long programmes to observe the month of mourning that will begin from today.
This year, the nation will observe the National Mourning Day and the 45th anniversary of martyrdom of Father of the Nation.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday urged all level party leaders and activists and associate bodies as well as political, cultural and social organisations to observe the day with solemnity, maintaining social distancing in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also called upon all the party units, including metropolitan, district, upazila, municipality and union, to observe the month of mourning coinciding with the central programmes.
At dawn on August 15, the national flag and party flag will be kept at half-mast and black flag will be hoisted at the Bangabandhu Bhaban, Awami League (AL) headquarters in the capital and all other offices of the party across the country.
Tributes will be paid to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in Dhaka at 9:00am on the day, while Dhaka city units of AL and associate bodies will pay homage to Bangabandhu with mourning processions.
At 10:00am, homage will be paid to all the martyrs of August 15 by placing wreaths at Banani graveyard while religious programmes will also be held there.
Simultaneously, homage will be paid to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his grave at Tungipara in Gopalganj and offering ziarat, fateha, munajat and milad mahfil also will be held there at 10:00am.
Doa and milad mahfils will be held at all mosques across the country after Zohr prayers on the day while special prayers will be offered at temples, pagodas, churches and all places of worships.
In the afternoon, food will be distributed among the orphans, poor and destitute people.
Marking the grenade attack day on August 21, Awami League and its Dhaka city units and associate bodies have also taken elaborate programmes.
Besides on August 24, Awami League and its Dhaka city units and associate bodies will pay homage to Ivy Rahman by placing wreaths at her grave in Banani graveyard and organize doa and milad mahfil there.