The month of mourning begins on Thursday for the nation to recall once again the most brutal assassination in its history 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. 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 black marked with another conspiracy of assassination. The nation cannot ever forget the heinous 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 August 21 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 beginning on Thursday.
This year, the nation will observe the National Mourning Day and the 44th anniversary of martyrdom of Father of the Nation.
Awami Swechchasebak League (ASL) will start its month-long mourning programme by bringing out a torch procession in the city streets marching towards Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the early hours of Thursday, ASL general secretary Pankaj Devnath, MP, told BSS on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, AL general secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, will inaugurate a voluntary blood donation programme organized by Krishak League (KL) at Dhanmondi at 3 pm on the day.
At dawn on August 15, the national flag and party flag will be kept at half-mast while 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.
Other programmes of this mourning month include observing birth anniversaries of Begum Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib and Bangabandhu’s eldest son Sheikh Kamal, serial bomb blasts on August 17, grisly grenade attack on August and death anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
In line with the national programme, different ministries and departments, directorates and agencies, all city corporations, district councils, municipalities and union councils will organize various programmes at their respective institutions in this month.