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August reappears as month of mourning for the nation

August reappears as month of mourning for the nation

August reappeared as the month of mourning commemorating the Aug 15, 1975 carnage when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated along with most of his family members under a well-orchestrated plot.

A candlelight procession marked the start of the month-long mourning programme at one-minute past zero hours Monday (Aug 1) when mourners staged a street march with candles in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi, the then residence of Bangabandhu and the scene of the black night 47 years ago.

Bangladesh Chhatra League and Awami Swechchhasebak League leaders and workers brought out the candlelight procession while Mohila Awami League also staged candlelight vigil joined by Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr Dipu Moni. Leaders and workers of Awami League and its associate bodies also attended the programme.

Chhatra League also staged a candlelight vigil on Dhaka University campus which was joined by the university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhteruzzaman.

Awami League drew elaborate programme to observe the martyrdom anniversary of the country's founding father's death throughout the month of August. Krishak League arranged a voluntary blood and plasma donation programme on Bangabandhu Bhaban premises in the morning, local media reported.

A group of derailed military officers killed Bangabandhu along with most of his family members including his 10-year-old son Sheikh Russell in a predawn attack while the killers were rewarded by the subsequent rulers with diplomatic postings abroad and enacted an indemnity law to protect the assassins from the justice.

Others who were killed on that black night were – Bangabandhu's wife Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons – Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew and eminent journalist Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni and his pregnant wife Arzoo Moni and Bangabandhu's military secretary Brigadier (posthumously major general) Jamil.

The delayed trial of the carnage began when Awami League returned to power in 1996 general elections and scrapped the infamous indemnity act while after a prolonged trial process, five of the killers were hanged on Jan 27, 2010.

They were Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed.

Another death row convict sacked military captain Abdul Majed was arrested in the wee hours of Apr 7, 2020 from Gabtoli area, after decades of remaining absconding. He was executed at Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj at 12:01 a.m. on Apr 12, 2020.

The other convicted killers are sacked Lt Col Khandaker Abdur Rashid, SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Risaldar Moslehuddin remained at large.

One of the convicts Aziz Pasha died a natural death in Zimbabwe in June, 2001.

The month of August also witnessed a series of subsequent attacks like Aug 21, 2004 deadly grenade attack which incumbent Prime Minister and Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina narrowly survived sustaining permanent hearing impairment and the nationwide series bombings on Aug 17 next year staged by militants.

The grisly grenade attack killed 24 people and wounded over 500 others while the subsequent investigations found an influential quarter of the then BNP-led coalition government with Jamaat being a crucial partner masterminded the assault carried out by militants of banned HuJI.

The Aug 17, 2005 countrywide blasts were staged by the outlawed JMB to announce their emergence while the outfit with a reorganized structure naming neo-JMB called by law enforcers is now believed to have staged the two back-to-back terrorist attacks on Jul 1 and Jul 6 in 2016.

Bangladesh passed an era of darkness after the Aug 15 carnage that gave birth to undemocratic and unholy forces which dominated until 1996 general elections.