Nation Mourns: In tears, in prayers
Yesterday, the road that leads to the residence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Dhanmondi-32 was dotted with posters and black banners epitomising an ambience of remorse.
The historic March 7 Speech of Bangabandhu and patriotic songs, played using loudspeakers, kept reverberating through the place and surrounding areas.
These created an atmosphere which literally took everyone there back to the cruelest day of August when some disgruntled army officers assassinated Bangabandhu and most of his family members in that very residence in 1975.
Gathering in front of the house, people from all walks of life stood in sombre silence and placed floral tributes before the portrait of the Father of the Nation as the country observed his 42nd death anniversary yesterday.
In the morning, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation to pay deep tributes to the great leader.
Hamid and Hasina placed floral wreaths separately and stood in silence for some time. During that time, a smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Armed Forces gave state salute and a bugle played the tune of grief.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, ministers, Bangabandhu's youngest daughter Sheikh Rehana, senior leaders of Awami League and 14-party and senior government officials were present.
Hasina, also the president of AL, flanked by her party leaders then placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of the party.
Later, the PM along with her sister Sheikh Rehana visited the historic residence, which has now been turned Bangabandhu Memorial Museum. The two sisters survived the day in 1975 as they had been in the then West Germany.
After they left, the area in Dhanmondi was opened to the public. Later, different political, social and cultural organisations paid tributes to Bangabandhu.
Those who went to the area included Mohammed Shakil, a Jubo Sramik League activist, who along with his family lives in the city's Moghbazar. He brought his two-year-old son Yasin Sami with him.
“He [Sami] has come here for the first time. I want him to know about Bangabandhu who did so much for our nation,” Shakil said.
From Dhanmondi-32, the prime minister went to the Banani graveyard where her mother Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib, brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, Sheikh Russell and other martyrs of August 15 were laid to eternal rest.
Hasina prayed for the departed souls, and placed floral wreaths and sprinkled petals on their graves.
Later in the day, the prime minister went to Gopalganj and paid tributes to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his grave in Tungipara.
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from the three defence services gave a state salute on the occasion, while the bugle played the last post. Chiefs of the three services were present.
Accompanied by Sheikh Rehana, the premier then offered munajat at the mazar seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of August 15, 1975 massacre.
Prayers were also offered seeking continued peace, progress and prosperity of the nation.
Besides, special dua mehfils were organised and destitute people were fed as a mark of respect for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose unparalleled leadership earned Bangladesh its freedom from Pakistani subjugation after a nine-month bloody war in 1971.
[The report has inputs from UNB and BSS]