The nation celebrates the 48th Victory Day today, paying homage to the freedom fighters who made their supreme sacrifice to free the country from the Pakistani occupation forces. Since dawn, people will throng National Memorial at Savar and other memorials across the country to pay tribute to the martyrs of 1971.
On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistani occupation forces launched a brutal onslaught and committed genocide on the innocent and unarmed Bengalis.
War for Independence was preceded by 23 years of intense political struggle for democracy, national identity and national liberation.
The commander of 93,000 marauding troops of Pakistan army, Lieutenant General AAK Niazi, surrendered at Ramna Race Course, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka.
Political parties and socio-cultural organisations have taken elaborative programmes to celebrate the day across the country.
The programmes include discussion, seminar, cultural event and placing wreaths at memorials.
Victory Day, a public holiday, is heralded by pre-dawn 31-gun salute.
President Abdul Hamid, prime minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, in separate messages, hailed the day and felicitated the nation.
Millions have sacrificed their lives for the independence. Combined efforts are imperative to make the sacrifice meaningful, said Md Abdul Hamid in his message.
He urged people to make more contributions from their respective positions in implementing the spirit of the liberation war and take the nation towards a prosperous future.
’Let us come and uphold the development and democratic spree being imbued with the spirit of the freedom struggle. Let us engage ourselves for the welfare of the country. Let this be our vow on Victory Day of 2018,’ Hasina said in her message.
Fakhrul said that conspiracy was still on although the beloved motherland was freed from enemy in 1971.
The aggressive forces are trying to take away independence and sovereignty and make Bangladesh a subservient country. He urged all to form unity to free it from the clutch of conspirators.
They all are expected to place wreaths at National Memorial at Savar.
Families of seven Bir Shresthas, wounded freedom fighters and their associations, political parties and other socio-cultural and political organisations and institutions will also place wreaths at the memorial.
Important buildings are being illuminated. The green and red national flag will be flown atop all buildings.
Special prayers will be offered at mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship, seeking divine blessings for peace and progress of the country. Improved diet would be served at orphanages, hospitals and jails across the country.
All children parks and museums will remain open to all.
Newspapers will bring out special supplements and television channels and radio stations will air special programmes.
Major political parties and social, cultural and professional organisations and educational institutions will celebrate the day through elaborate programmes.
The ruling Awami League has chalked out two-day programme to observe the day.
The programmes include hoisting national and party flags at party’s central office during sun rise, placing wreath at National Memorial at 6:30am, placing wreath at the portrait of founding president of the country Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Bhaban at 8:00am, placing wreath at Mujib’s mausoleum at Tungipara at 10:00am on the day.
On December 17, the party would hold discussion meeting at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 3:00pm, where party president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to be in the chair.
The leaders and activists of opposition BNP will place wreath at National Memorial at Savar in the morning and bring out a Victory Day procession in Dhaka on Sunday from its central office at Naya Paltan at 10:00pm.
The procession will end at Shantinagar in Dhaka under the banner of opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front.
Communist Party of Bangladesh, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal factions, Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh, Gono Forum, Bhashani Oikyajot, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy, Liberation War Museum, National Press Club, Dhaka Reporters Unity and others have taken programmes marking the day.
Sammilita Sangskritik Jote will bring out a victory rally from central Shahid Minar at 10:00am as part of their weeklong Victory Day celebrations.
The government has tightened security in the capital and across the country.
The Pakistan army and its local collaborators committed one of history’s worst genocides in Bangladesh killing countless unarmed Bengalis during in nine months of War of Independence.
Jamaat-e-Islami and a host of parties opposed independence and collaborated with the occupation army of Pakistan.