The grateful nation is set to observe the National Mourning Day on Saturday with due respect and solemnity, marking the 45th anniversary of assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The government, different socio-cultural, political and professional organisations, including ruling Awami League and its associate bodies, have chalked out various programmes to mark the day maintaining social distancing due to the prevalence of coronavirus.
The day is a public holiday.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – the architect of the country’s independence -- was assassinated along with most of his family members at the crack of dawn on August 15, 1975 by a cabal of heinous army personnel under a deep-rooted conspiracy against the country and its independence.
His two daughters -- Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana -- survived the massacre as they were abroad at that time.
Eighteen members of the family along with Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons -- Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lt Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell--, two daughters-in-law -- Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal --, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rob Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were killed on the fateful night.
Bangabandhu’s Military Secretary Col Jamil Uddin Ahmad (Bir Uttam), who was later promoted posthumously to the rank of Brigadier General, was also killed during the massacre. Some members of a family at Mohammadpur in the capital were killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
In observance of the day, the national flag will be kept hoisted half-mast at government, autonomous, semi-autonomous, educational institutions, private buildings and Bangladesh missions abroad on Saturday.
Besides, wreaths will be placed at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the city and a munajat will be offered there at 6.30 am on Saturday.
Wreaths will also be laid at the graves of Bangabandhu’s martyred family members and other martyrs of August 15, 1975 at Banani Graveyard in the capital followed by offering fateha around 7:30am the same day.
A munajat will also be held there seeking salvation of the departed souls of the martyrs of Aught 15, 1975.
Tributes will also be paid to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his Mazar at Tungipara in Gopalganj district around 10 am followed by offering fateha and a special doa mahfil there.
A special munajat will be offered after Zohr prayers in all mosques across the country while special prayers will be arranged in temples, pagodas, churches and other worship places at a convenient time across the country.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of the great leader while newspapers will bring out supplements on the occasion.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Post Office has released a Tk 10 postage stamp, a Tk 10 opening day cover and a Tk 5 data card, commemorating the reinstatement of the studentship of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally unveiled the commemorative postage stamp, opening day coper and the data card at a ceremony at her official residence Ganobhabn on Friday.
Gallery Cosmos has organised a virtual art, photography and multimedia exhibition of 42 renowned Bangladeshi artists to observe the National Mourning Day and celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Inaugurated today (Friday), the exhibition, titled ‘BRAVE HEART’, will continue until August 31 on www.gallerycosmos.org.bd
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages commemorating the National Mourning Day.
In his message, President Md Abdul Hamid said, “August 15, 1975 is regarded as a scandalous chapter in the history of the Bangali nation. On this fateful night, the undisputed leader and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally assassinated at his Dhanmondi residence by a group of killers with the direct and indirect connivance of anti-liberation forces. With a heavy heart, I pay my deep homage to them and pray to the Almighty Allah for the eternal peace of the departed souls on this Mourning Day.”
Recalling the sole contributions of Bangabandhu to the country’s independence and establishing the rights of people, he said, “Bangabandhu and Bangladesh thus emerged as a unique entity to the people of Bangladesh. Though the assassins killed Father of the Nation, they could not wipe out the principle and ideal of this great man. As long as Bangladesh will exist, the name and fame of Father of the Nation will remain ever shining in the minds of millions of Bangalis of our country.”
“On the National Mourning Day, let’s translate our grief into strength and devote ourselves to build 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by the Father of the Nation,” the President said.
In her message, the Prime Minister said she respectfully remember all the martyrs of the 15 August and pray to the Almighty Allah for salvation of their departed souls.
“The anti-liberation clique killed Bangabandhu at a time when he had engaged in the struggle to building a Golden Bangladesh along with the whole nation by reconstructing the war-ravaged country. Through the killing of Bangabandhu, the defeated forces of the Liberation War made abortive attempts to ruin the tradition, culture and advancement of the Bangalee Nation. The aim of the killers was to break the state structure of secular democratic Bangladesh and foil our hard-earned Independence,” she observed.
Mentioning that her government has already executed the verdict of the Bangabandhu murder case, the PM said the trial of the killers of Four National Leaders has been completed. “The verdicts of the cases against war criminals of 1971 are being executed. Our government has been following a 'zero-tolerance' policy to uproot militancy and terrorism. The path of grabbing state power unconstitutionally has been stopped through the 15th amendment to the Constitution.”
She urged all to remain united and prepared to resist any evil attempt by the anti-liberation communal group, and anti-development and anti-democracy forces. “The killers had been able to assassinate Bangabandhu but they couldn’t kill his dreams and ideals. Let the glory and ideals of the Father of the Nation's sacrifice be reflected on our actions in the Mujib Year.”
BNP chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia turns ‘76' on Saturday.
BNP has no scheduled programme to celebrate the day.
However, the party will arrange doa mahfils across the country on Saturday seeking long life and early recovery of Khaleda.
In a press release signed by BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Thursday urged their party’s all units, including the two Dhaka city units to arrange the doa and milad mahfils at their all offices also seeking salvation of the departed souls of party leaders and activists died of corona and other diseases and the early recovery of those suffering from the illness. But the party did not mention that it has chalked out the programmes to mark Khaleda’s birthday.
“We’ve not taken any programme to celebrate our chairperson’s birthday under the current situation of the country. We’ve not been celebrating it for the last few years with any programme as per Madam’s (Khaleda’s) directives. We only pray for her wellbeing on the day,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told UNB.
He said their party will arrange doa and milad mahfils on Saturday seeking divine blessings for the welfare of Khaleda and the country so that it gets rid of corona pandemic.
Asked whether they backed off from celebrating the birthday on the National Mourning Day to avoid criticisms, he parried the question, saying Khaleda herself does not want to celebrate it under the current situation of the country.
As in previous four years, Fakhrul said BNP had no programme to cut any cake to celebrate the birthday in the early hours of Saturday.
Amid criticisms by Awami League leaders for celebrating her birthday on the National Mourning Day, BNP marked her 72nd and 73rd, 74th and & 75th birthdays through holding doa mahfils instead of cutting any cake.
Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail since her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case by a lower court on February 8, 2018.
On March 25 last, the BNP chief was released from jail for six months upon an executive order considering her age and humanitarian ground following an application by her family. The six-month tenure of the order will end on September 24.
Meanwhile, the nation is set to observe the National Mourning Day the same day commemorating the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on August 15, 1975.
Khaleda and her party used to observe August 15 as her birthday since 1991, but there are controversies about her actual date of birth and even the birth year.
Various records suggest Khaleda Zia was born in 1945, but her party claimed in 2015 that her actual birth year is 1946. She also registered her birth year 1946 in her new passport.
According to Banglapedia and well-known encyclopedias Wikipedia and Britannica Khaleda was born to Iskandar Majumder, a businessman, and Taiyaba Majumder in Dinajpur district in 1945.
The biodata of Khaleda Zia submitted to the Parliament Secretariat when she was made the opposition leader last suggests that she was born on August 15, 1945.
Awami League leaders have long been claiming that her birthday is September 5, 1945 as per her marriage certificate while August 19, 1946 as per her first passport. Khaleda herself put the date as August 9, 1944 while registering for her matriculation exams, they said.
The superintendent of a juvenile correction centre in Jashore was suspended and ten people including the centre’s officials and Ansar men were held for interrogation centering the clash that killed three adolescents there on Thursday evening.
The correction centre’s Superintendent Abdullah Al Masud was suspended and a three-member probe body was formed over the matter, said Deputy Commissioner of Jashore Md Tomijul Islam Khan.
The body has been asked to submit a report within five working days, he said.
Earlier, ten people were held for interrogation, said Additional Superintendent of Police, DSB, Towhidul Islam.
Earlier, three teenagers were killed and 15 others were injured in a clash at the correction centre Thursday evening.
The injured teens claimed that the deaths occurred due to the violence committed by the correction centre’s officials and Ansar members.
The three teenagers were brutally beaten up by the Centre officials and Ansar men and later succumbed to their injuries without getting any medical treatment in time, they alleged.
The deceased were - Naim Hossain, 15, son of Nannu Parmanik of Shibganj, Parvej Hasan Rabbi, 18, son of Roza Mia of Daulatpur and Rasel Hossain, 18. The bodies were sent to Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy.
Mushfiq, Trainer at the correction centre, on Thursday said a number of adolescents were injured a few days ago after their two groups locked into a fight. The clash on Thursday evening was related to the previous one.
The trio was declared dead after being taken to the hospital, he added.
"The boys had several wounds on their bodies," Amiyo Das, doctor at the hospital said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed condolence on the Air India Express plane crash in Kerala.
In a Message to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said that She was shocked and saddened to news of the Air India Express plane crash in Kozhikode, Kerala, according to a release from PM's press wing.
"I understand that the flight was carrying mostly Indian nationals as part of your government's Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate Indian nationals stranded abroad due to COVID restrictions," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that on behalf of the people and the government of Bangladesh, She expressed her deep condolences for the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones in the tragic accident.
"Our thoughts and prayers continue for the speedy recovery of those injured."
Fayaz Taher, COO at Bongo and co-founder of Startup Dhaka, has been appointed as the new Board President of TiE Dhaka Chapter.
He is also joined by new Board Members- Barrister Sameer Sattar (Founder and Head of the firm Sattar & Co.), Nusrat Aman (CEO of Ayat Education), Riyad Husain (MD. of NDE Solutions & ex-CEO of Magnito Digital), Siffat Sarwar (Co-founder of ShopUp), Arman Haque (Chairman of InnStar), and Bijon Islam (Co-founder and CEO of LightCastle Partners).
“I am really excited about this opportunity as Bangladesh is in an important juncture in innovation and startup ecosystem. With everyone’s support, past presidents, charter members and the new board members, we hope to take TiE Dhaka Chapter to new heights and become enablers as an organization,” said Fayaz Taher, new TiE Dhaka Chapter President.
Fayaz is a serial entrepreneur, investor, mentor and a startup and community advocate from Bangladesh.
He is also a director of Fortuna Group working on real estate and manufacturing sector and co-founded the leading digital agency, Magnito Digital, and an education platform called Upskill in Bangladesh.
TiE Global is a nonprofit organization devoted to entrepreneurs in all industries, at all stages, from incubation throughout the entrepreneurial lifecycle.
With a global reach and a local focus, the heart of TiE efforts lies in its five foundational programmes – Mentoring, Networking, Education, Funding, and Incubation. TiE have 61 chapters and more than 15,000 charter members across the globe.
TiE Dhaka Chapter announced the appointment of new Board Members for 2020-2022 recently, said a media release on Friday.
There was a handover and introduction ceremony where, Mahavir Sharma, Chairman TiE Global Board of trustees, and founding Dhaka Chapter Presidents Shameem Ahsan, Sonia Bashir Kabir, and immediate past President Rubaba Dowla were present.
Past Board members Syed Almas Kabir, Hamidul Misbah, Tareq Bhuiyan Jun, Tahsin Aman, Qantara Khan and Mantasha Ahmed also participated in the digital programme held on zoom.
Rubaba Dowla, immediate past President said, “I am delighted to have Fayaz Taher as the new TiE Dhaka Chapter President and welcome the new board members for 2020-22. I am sure under his leadership and guidance TiE Dhaka will strive to much greater heights and bring more opportunities for the startup community. My sincere gratitude to the former TiE Dhaka Board members and our Charter members for their continuous support!”