Thursday, March 2, 2017 02:00:57 AM
Staff Reporter :
The ruling Awami League will observe the historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu SheikhMujibur Rahman in capital Dhaka and elsewhere across the country in a befitting manner today.
On this day in 1972, Bangabandhu returned to the sacred soil of independent Bangladesh via London and New Delhi after 290 days captivity in Pakistan jail.
Bangabandhu was subjected to inhuman torture in the Pakistan jail where he had been counting moments for the execution of his death sentence that was pronounced in a farcical trial. Under his undaunted leadership, the Bangalee nation earned the ultimate victory through the nine-month long war. The defeated Pakistani rulers were finally compelled to release Bangabandhu from jail. The victory of the Bangalees attained its fulfillment with his release.
Pakistan army arrested Bangabandhu from his Dhanmondi residence on the night of March 25, 1971 and sent him to a West Pakistani jail the following day.
"I was a prisoner in the condemned cell awaiting hanging. From the day I went into jail, I didn't know whether I was to live or not. I was mentally ready to die. But I knew Bangladesh would be liberated," Bangabandhu spoke emotionally of his ordeal in Pakistani prison in a news conference at Claridge's, London's most elegant hotel.
On the Pakistani army's slaughter of Bangalees, "Mujib declared: "If Hitler could have been alive today, he would be ashamed."
Earlier on March 26 in 1971, Bangabandhu proclaimed independence of Bangladesh and urged people from all walks of life to participate wholeheartedly in the nation's War of Liberation.
Though the final victory was achieved defeating Pakistani occupation forces on December 16 in 1971, the nation's expectations were fulfilled and the people got the real taste of victory with the Homecoming of Bangabandhu on January 10 in 1972.
On reaching Dhaka (Tejgaon) Airport in the afternoon on January 10, Bangabandhu was greeted by tens of thousands of jubilant people who had been eagerly waiting to see their beloved leader since the final victory on December 16 in 1971.
From Airport Bangabandhu was moved to the Race-Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) where he addressed a spontaneous reception accorded to him by the cheerful countrymen believed to be one million. He recalled with respect the contribution of all during the war and urged the people to rebuild the war-ravaged country.
Bangabandhu took oath of office as the country's Prime Minister on January 12, 1972.
To mark the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu with due respect, the ruling Awami League, its associate bodies, other political parties and socio-cultural-professional organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes.
The ruling AL is set to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city at 2:30pm today. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the rally as the chief guest while eminent intellectuals and national leaders are expected to speak on the occasion.
The other programmes of the day will start with hoisting the national and party flags at the AL central office, Bangabandhu Bhaban, and the party offices across the country at 6:30am.
A delegation of senior AL leaders is expected to lay wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Bhaban at 7 in the morning on the same day.
Meanwhile, a thick security blanket has been thrown around the capital with a long number of security personnel keeping a tight vigil to fend off any subversive act ahead of and during the observation of Homecoming Day.
Intelligence sources said additional policemen in uniform have been deployed in the capital to maintain law and order from yesterday night.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police has taken extraordinary security measures apprehending that vested quarters may conduct subversive acts in the capital in order to thwart any unpleasant incident in the capital. Check-posts have been set up at a number of city points alongside strict surveillance by plainclothes police.
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