The nation is observing the National Mourning Day on Friday marking the 39th anniversary of assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On this day in 1975, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated by a group of disgruntled army officers.
Bangabandhu's wife Fazilatunnessa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell and daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal were also killed in the bloodbath, one of the most heinous in the world's history.
Sixteen more people, all close to Bangabandhu, were shot dead.
Bangabandhu's daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived as they were in Germany at that time.
The government and many political, socio-economic and cultural organisations have chalked out programmes to mark the 39th death anniversary of Bangabandhu and the National Mourning Day.
The day is a public holiday. The government, the ruling Awami League and different socio-cultural, political and professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day with due solemnity.
On the day, the national flag will fly at half-mast at all government, semi-government and autonomous bodies, educational institutions, private buildings and Bangladesh missions abroad.
The President and the Prime Minister placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the morning. The Armed Forces presented a guard of honour on the occasion.
The Prime Minister also placed wreaths on the graves of the members of Bangabandhu’s family and other martyrs at Banani graveyard at 7:30 am.
PM placed wreath at the grave of Bangabandhu in Tungipara of Gopalganj at around 10am.
A milad mahfil will be held at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban at 5 pm to mark the day.
Mohila Awami League will organize a milad mahfil on the occasion at Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi after Asr prayers. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the milad.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages commemorating the National Mourning Day.
In his message, the President said the brutality (that marked the 15th August in 1975) is rare in the history of the Bangali nation as well as of the mankind. The aims of the killers were not only to kill Bangabandhu but also to annihilate the ideals of the war of liberation and reinstate the defeated forces.
"The assassins though killed the Father of the Nation, yet they could not wipe out the principle and belief of Bangabandhu. I am confident that the name of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will remain ever shining in the minds of millions of Bangali so long as the country and its people will live," he added.
In her message, the Prime Minister said the killers were able to kill Bangabandhu, but they could not kill his dreams and ideals. The ideals of long struggle of sacrifice of Bangabandhu are implanted in the hearts of the Bangali nation.
"Let us engage ourselves to materialise his dream of building a Golden Bangladesh turning into strength the grief of the great loss of the Father of the Nation. We must win the struggle to establish an economically solvent democratic and non-communal Bangladesh which will be totally free from hunger, illiteracy and poverty," she added.
On Saturday, Awami League will hold a discussion at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital at 4pm. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the chief guest at the event.
State-run Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of the slain leader. Newspapers will bring out supplements on the occasion.
During its previous tenure, the Awami League government, on August 8, 1996, declared August 15 as the National Mourning Day and a public holiday, but its successor, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led coalition government, scrapped the decision on August 2, 2002.
The High Court on July 27, 2008 declared the BNP-led government's decision illegal.
Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam in a statement urged the party leaders, activists, supporters, well-wishers and leaders of its front organizations to observe the day in a befitting manner.