The month of mourning began today 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 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 today urged all level party leaders and activists and associate bodies as well as political, cultural and social organizations 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.
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will inaugurate voluntary blood donation, plasma collection and tree plantation programmes virtually to be organized by Swechchasebak League in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 3 pm 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 August 5, homage will be paid to Sheikh Kamal by placing wreaths at portrait of Kamal on the Abahani Club premises at Dhanmondi at 9am and at his grave at Banani graveyard at 10am in the city and doa and milad mahfil will be organized on the day.
Bangladesh Mahila Awami League will organize a virtual discussion on August 6, marking the birth anniversary of Bangamata Begum Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib. Besides, tributes will be paid to Begum Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib on August 8 by placing wreaths at her grave while Qurankhwani, milad and doa mahfil will be organized on the day to mark her birthday. Jubo Mahila League will also organize a candle lighting programme in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in the city on the day.
Besides, Matsajibi League will organize a discussion at Bangabandhu Avenue on August 9 while Swechchasebak League will organize another discussion on August 11 marking Bangamata's birthday.
In addition, Swechchasebak League will organize a three-day photo exhibition from August 13 to 15 marking the National Mourning Day while Jubo League will organize Qurankhwani and doa mahfil at Banani graveyard on August 14.
Besides, elaborate programmes have been taken centrally to observe the National Mourning Day on August 15 in a befitting manner.
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 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 am on the day while Dhaka city units of AL and associate bodies will pay homage to Bangabandhu coming with mourning processions.
At 10am 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 10am.
Doa and milad hahfils 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 August 15.
Besides, Swechchasebak League will organize a human chain on August 17 demanding the trial of responsible person for series bomb blasting while Chhatra League will hoist black flag at its all organizational units and observe one minute silence maintaining the social distancing, marking the series bomb blasting day.
Mohila Awami League will organize a virtual discussion on August 18 marking the National Mourning Day. Jubo Mahila League will organize another discussion on August 20 to mark the day while Jubo League will organize 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 August 21, 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 organize virtual discussions on August 22.
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.
Apart from this, Jubo League will organize a discussion on August 25 while Jatiya Sramik League and Mohila League will organize another discussion on August 26 virtually, marking the National Mourning Day.
Besides, Jubo Mohila League will organize a discussion on August 28, marking the grenade attack day on August 21.
Mohila Sramik League will organize a human chain on August 29, 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 August 30 while Chhatra League will hold another discussion on August 31, marking the National Mourning day.