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Acting president, PM pay tribute to martyrs on 43rd Bangladesh Independence Day

Dhaka, Mar.26 (ANI): Bangladesh’s Acting President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed on Tuesday led the nation in paying rich tributes to martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 War of Liberation against Pakistan.

Acting president Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed floral wreaths at the National Martyrs Memorial in Savar on the occasion of the nation’s 43rd Independence Day.

The floral wreaths were placed at the base of the memorial at around 5:57 a.m.

After placing the wreaths, both leaders stood in solemn silence as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the Liberation War.

The Last Post was played and a smartly turned out tri-services contingent of the army, navy and air force presented the state salute on the occasion.

Bangladesh Supreme Court Chief Justice M. Muzammel Hossain, Deputy Leader of Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, ministers, advisers to the prime minister, state ministers, chiefs of the three services, diplomats, high civil and military officials, freedom fighters, other dignitaries and senior leaders of the Awami League were present on the occasion.

Later, Acting President Abdul Hamid signed the visitor’s book at the memorial.

Prime Minister Hasina also paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi area.

After placing the wreath, Hasina, Mujibur Rehman’s daughter, stood in solemn silence as a mark of respect to Bangabandhu’s memory.

Flanked by central leaders of the Awami League Party, Hasina, also placed another wreath before the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party.

Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, cabinet ministers and senior Awami League leaders including Syed Ashraful Islam, Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, Amir Hossain Amu, Suranjit Sengupta, Matia Chowdhury and Abdul Latif Siddiqui were also present on the occasion.

Later, leaders of different associate bodies of the Awami League and other organisations paid homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait.

Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history’s blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night following March 25, 1971 in achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year.

March 26,1971 is the day Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formally declared independence and urged the Bengali nation to liberate the country from the clutches of the Pakistan Army.

Unarmed Bangladeshis started an extensive bush war against the occupation forces.

After the nine-month war and the loss of three million lives, a new nation of Bangaldesh was created on December 16, 1971.

Every year, this day is heralded with a 31-gun salute at dawn.

The national flag has been hoisted atop government and private buildings, while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places will be illuminated on the auspicious occasion in the evening.

Road islands and dividers have been decorated with flags and colourful festoons welcoming the Independence Day.

On Monday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the people of Bangladesh to remain alert about some parties who are carrying out evil activities to create unrest in the lives of people to thwart the trial of the war criminals.

She said addressing a function that included the distribution of ‘Swadhinata Padak (Independence Aaward) 2013′, at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.

Hasina said that the country would have to be freed from stigma and disgrace through holding the trial of the war criminals in a bid to build a pleasant future for the next generation where they would to enjoy the fruits of the country’s independence and also groom them as worthy citizens.

She said: “It (holding trial of war criminals) was our pledge before the nation and also the new generation. Surely, it has to be fulfilled so we could march ahead on the path of development after freeing the nation from the stigma.”

“We want to turn Bangladesh as the most peaceful country in South Asia,” she added.

Eight personalities, including acting President Adv Abdul Hamid, late freedom fighter M A Hannan and late composer Satya Saha, were among the recipients of ‘Swadhinata Padak 2013′ for their contributions to the nation.

The Prime Minister handed over an 18 carat 50-gram gold medal, citation and cheque of Taka 2 lakh to each award recipients.

Rashida Hamid, the wife of Abdul Hamid, received the award on behalf of the acting President.

The function observed one minute silence paying homage to late President Zillur Rahman.

The Chief Justice, Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, judges of the Supreme Court, parliament members, distinguished citizens, diplomats and high civil and military officials attended the function.

The day is a public holiday. (ANI)