The nation is set to observe the National Mourning Day on Saturday, marking the 45th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On this day in 1975, the nation’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members were assassinated by a cabal of military men.
Eighteen members of his family, including Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons – Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russel, two daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were, among others, were killed on that fateful night.
Bangabandhu's Military Secretary Brigadier General Jamil was also killed. Several members of a family in the capital's Mohammadpur area were killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
His two daughters – Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana – luckily survived the massacre as they were abroad at that time.
Like previous years, the government, Awami League and different politicaln and socio-cultural organisations, educational institutions and professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes to pay the respects to the greatest son of the soil.
However, all programmes will be held maintaining social distancing in the wake of the global pandemic coronavirus.
The national flag will be hoisted half-mast atop the buildings of all government, semi-government, autonomous, educational institutions and private offices on the day.
Wreaths will be placed at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the city and a munajat will be offered there at 6.30 am on August 15.
Wreaths will also be placed at the graves of Bangabandhu’s martyred family members and other martyrs of August 15, 1975 at Banani Graveyard in the city and offering fateha and munajat will be held there at 7.30 am on the day.
Wreaths will too be laid at the Mazar of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj district around 10 am. Fateha will be offered and a special doa will be held there maintaining social distancing.
Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as other television channels and radio stations will air special programmes while newspapers will publish special supplements on the occasion.
Bangladesh missions abroad will also hoist the national flag half-mast and organise discussions marking the day.