The government suspended scheduled programs regarding paying homage to the 1971 Liberation War martyrs at the National Memorial at Savar
The nation on Thursday observed Independence Day on a very limited scale and especially on virtual media as the government has suspended all scheduled programs in the wake of the deadly novel coronavirus.
On this day in 1971, the country's nine-month-long struggle for independence commenced, culminating in victory on December 16. The national holiday on the day is generally celebrated effusively by people all over the country. However, this year, an uncharacteristic silence has fallen over the nation, with Independence Day coming within the ambit of the government-ordered 10-day closure to combat coronavirus.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages extending their heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to Bengalis both at home and abroad, reports BSS.
The government suspended scheduled programs regarding paying homage to the 1971 Liberation War martyrs at the National Memorial at Savar.
Traditionally on the day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina place wreaths early in the morning at the National Memorial as a mark of profound respect for the martyrs of the war.
But this year, the government declared a 10-day general holiday from Thursday to April 4, suspending operations of public transport, trains, vessels and domestic flights till April 4 to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed over 20,000 lives across the world.
One minute’s silence was observed on the occasion.
The national flag was hoisted atop all government offices, schools, colleges, universities and other private organizations across the country. Besides, special food was provided to patients undergoing treatment at all hospitals across the country, as well as among prisoners in the country’s jails.
Under the initiative of the Islamic Foundation, a doa and munajat was offered after Johr prayers to mark the day at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) also observed the day through some programs, including a hoisting of national flags at all units of the border force, offering doa and munajat and providing special food among members of BGB at lunch. Besides, the BGB Headquarters at Pilkhana and key buildings were illuminated.
Independence Day was observed at different Bangladesh missions abroad and district and upazila levels across the country on a limited scale.
The day was a public holiday.
National dailies published special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels aired special programs highlighting the significance of the day.
But different political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organizations suspended all programs in order to avoid public gatherings and maintain social distancing following the directives issued by the government as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).
Every year, March 26 rekindles memories of history’s blackest episode that heralded the beginning of a nine-month ordeal for the nation on the night of March 25, 1971. The nation achieved its long-cherished independence on December 16 of the same year.