The month of mourning began on Saturday for the nation to recall once again the assassination of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on the fateful night of 15 August, 1975.
The self-confessed killers of 15 August 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 – eldest daughter prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – escaped the planned assassination as they were visiting Germany at that time.
The killing of Bangabandhu, the greatest son of the soil in thousand years, descended 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, saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of Bangladesh.
The month of August is also marked with another conspiracy of assassination. The nation cannot ever forget the attempt of killing Sheikh Hasina through grenade attacks. 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 21 August in 2004.
Sheikh 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 tomorrow.
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 and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader has 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 the social distancing in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also urged all the party units, including metropolitan, district, upazila, municipality and union, to observe the month of mourning coinciding with the central programmes.
Awami Swechchasebak League (ASL) and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) started the month-long mourning programmes by bringing out a torch procession in the city streets marching towards Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in the city in the early hours of today.
Obaidul Quader will inaugurate voluntary blood donation, plasma collection and tree plantation programmes virtually to be organised by Swechchasebak League in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 3:00pm this afternoon.
Dhaka south and north units of AL will hold a special doa seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of 15 August martyrs after the prayers of Eid-ul-Azha.
Marking Sheikh Kamal’s birthday, on 5 August, homage will be paid to Sheikh Kamal by placing wreaths at portrait of Kamal on the Abahani Club premises at Dhanmondi at 9:00am and at his grave at Banani graveyard at 10:00am in the city and doa and milad mahfil will be organised on the day.
Bangladesh Mahila Awami League will organise a virtual discussion on 6 August, marking the birth anniversary of Bangamata Begum Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib. Besides, tributes will be paid to Begum Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib on 8 August by placing wreaths at her grave while Qurankhwani, milad and doa mahfil will be organised on the day to mark her birthday. Jubo Mahila League will also organise a candle lighting programme in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in the city on the day.
Besides, Matsajibi League will organise a discussion at Bangabandhu Avenue on 9 August while Swechchasebak League will organise another discussion on 11 August marking Bangamata’s birthday.
In addition, Swechchasebak League will organise a three-day photo exhibition from 13 to 15 August marking the National Mourning Day while Jubo League will organise Qurankhwani and doa mahfil at Banani graveyard on 14 August.
Besides, elaborate programmes have been taken centrally to observe the National Mourning Day on 15 August in a befitting manner.
At dawn on 15 August, 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 city 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 the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in the city at 9:00am on the day while Dhaka city units of AL and associate bodies will pay homage to Bangabandhu coming with mourning processions.
At 10:00am on the day, homage will be paid to all the martyrs of 15 August by placing wreaths at Banani graveyard while offering ziarat, fateha, munajat and milad mahfil also will 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’s 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. Mohila Awami League will hold a milad and doa mahfil on Bangabandhu Bhaban premises after Asr’s prayers on 15 August.
Besides, Swechchasebak League will organise a human chain on 17 August demanding the trial of responsible person for series bomb blasting while Chhatra League will hoist black flag at its all organisational units and observe one minute silence maintaining the social distancing, marking the series bomb blasting day.
Mohila Awami League will organise a virtual discussion on 18 August marking the National Mourning Day. Jubo Mahila League will organise another discussion on 20 August to mark the day while Jubo League will organise a doa mahfil seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of all 15 August martyrs, including Bangabandhu, and distribute food among destitute people on the same day.
Marking the grenade attack day on 21 August, Awami League and its Dhaka city units and associate bodies have also taken elaborate programmes. Marking the day, Mohila Awami League, Tanti League and Chhatra League will organise virtual discussions on 22 August.
Besides on 24 August, 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 organise doa and milad mahfil there.
Apart from this, Jubo League will organise a discussion on 25 August while Jatiya Sramik League and Mohila League will organise another discussion on 26 August virtually, marking the National Mourning Day.
Besides, Jubo Mohila League will organise a discussion on 28 August, marking the grenade attack day on 21 August.
Mohila Sramik League will organise a human chain on 29 August, maintaining social distancing, demanding the trial of fugitive accused people for 15 August carnage and 21 August grenade attack.
Dhaka south and north city units of AL will hold a discussion on 30 August while Chhatra League will hold another discussion on 31 August, marking the National Mourning day.