Nation pays homage to Bangabandhu on Homecoming Day
Bangladesh is observing the day its founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman set foot on an independent country after a nine-month bloody war.
On this day in 1972, the supreme commander of the Liberation War returned home from his captivity in a Pakistani jail.
On Jan 10, Bangabandhu returned to the country via London and New Delhi after Bangladesh emerged as a free nation by defeating the Pakistani forces.
The day has since been observed as Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tribute and placed a wreath at her father’s portrait in Dhanmondi at 7am on Wednesday. She observed a minute’s silence.
Later, along with other Awami League leaders, she paid respects to the Father of the Nation.
Hasina is scheduled to preside over a party-organised discussion at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre later in the day.
The Pakistani occupation army had arrested Bangabandhu from his Dhanmondi residence on Road No. 32 early on Mar 26, 1971, just after he proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh through a message.
The Pakistani army launched a brutal crackdown in Dhaka that night.
The nation was ultimately delivered from the Pakistani occupation after a nine-month war inspired by his brave leadership, even as the Bangabandhu remained detained in a Pakistani prison.
However, under international pressure, he was released from jail on Jan 8 in 1972 and flown to London by a PIA plane. From there he came to Dhaka by a special plane via New Delhi.
On his arrival at the airport, a delighted Bangabandhu burst into tears when he hugged his four close associates, who had led the War of Liberation in his absence.
Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life stood on the Mymensingh Road, now the Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, to catch a glimpse of Bangabandhu as an open truck carrying him moved towards the Racecourse, now Suhrawardy Udyan.
The great leader of the Bengali nation uttered with emotion at the historical Racecourse grounds: “My lifelong dream comes true. Today, Bangladesh is free and sovereign. Let no harm come to the independence that we have achieved till the last Bengali remains alive.”