On 10 November 1987, Awami Jubo League (AJL) leader Nur Hossain, who imprinted his bare chest and back with the slogans 'Free democracy' and 'Down with autocracy', embraced martyrdom in police firing
On 10 November 1987, Awami Jubo League (AJL) leader Nur Hossain, who imprinted his bare chest and back with the slogans 'Free democracy' and 'Down with autocracy', embraced martyrdom in police firingFile Photo

Shaheed Nur Hossain Day, a red-letter day to restore democracy in the country, will be observed tomorrow with due solemnity.

On this day in 1987, Awami Jubo League (AJL) leader Nur Hossain, who imprinted his bare chest and back with the slogans 'Free democracy' and 'Down with autocracy', embraced martyrdom in police firing during an anti-autocracy demonstration at Zero Point in the city, now known as Shaheed Nur Hossain Square.

AJL leader Nurul Huda Babul and farmers’ leader Aminul Huda Tito of Bajitpur in Kishoreganj district were also killed in police firing during the mass movement for restoration of democracy against autocratic rule.

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The martyrdom of Nur Hossain and others during the mass upsurge of late 1990s expedited the anti-autocracy movement. In the face of the movement, the then autocratic ruler had to step down on 6 December in 1990. Since then, the day is being observed every year as the Shaheed Nur Hossain Day.

Different socio-cultural and professional organisations as well as ruling Awami League have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.

Awami League’s programmes to mark the day include placing of wreaths at Shaheed Nur Hossain Square at 9.30am and offering of special prayers seeking eternal peace of the departed soul of the slain AJL leader.

President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day.

“Today 10 November is the Shaheed Nur Hossain Day. This is an important day in the history of restoring democracy in Bangladesh,” the President said in his message.

On this day in 1987, Nur Hossain sacrificed his life while waging movement in the city streets against autocratic rule, he said, adding, “Today, I recall all the martyrs with respect, including Nur Hossain, who embraced martyrdom for the country’s democracy”.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, recalled all martyrs, who embraced martyrdom for the country’s democracy in 1987, with due respect on the Shaheed Nur Hossain Day.

Many unidentified people, including Babul and Fattah, sacrificed their lives in the movement of restoring democracy, she said.

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Finally the democracy was restored on 6 December in 11990 with fall of the autocratic ruler in the subsequent of the continued movements and struggles, the prime minister said, adding subsequently the people got back their rights to vote and food. Sheikh Hasina prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of all martyrs, including Nur Hossain, and convoyed deep sympathy to the bereaved families. In a separate statement today, Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader urged the people all levels, including party units, associate bodies and likeminded organizations across the country, to observe the “Shaheed Nur Hossain Day” in a befitting manner.