As elsewhere in the country, National Mourning Day was observed with due respect in Gopalganj’s Tungipara, the birthplace of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in a melancholic atmosphere.
Thousands of grief-stricken people from all over the country started to throng Tungipara since early morning. The premises of Bangabandhu’s tomb became covered with flowers as they paid glowing tributes to the architect of Bangladesh by placing floral wreaths at the tomb.
Numerous arches covered with black fabric were built on a road, stretching over 116km from Kathalbari Ilias Ahmed ghat in Madaripur to Tungipara, marking the day.
Meanwhile, milad mahfils were held and special prayers offered at different mosques, temples and pagodas in the district for departed souls of the martyrs, including Bangabandhu, who lost their lives in the killing spree of a group of disgruntled army personnel on August 15, 1975.
Prime minister’s tributes
Bangabandhu’s daughter and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at Tungipara at 10:05am. She paid tributes to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his tomb and stood for moments in silence, while a smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces gave a guard of honour to his portrait.
The premier accompanied by her younger sister Sheikh Rehana offered a special prayer for their father Bangabandhu, mother Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib and other martyrs of the August 15 massacre.
Hasina left for Dhaka around 12pm by a helicopter.
Later, leaders of Awami League and its associate bodies, House Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah paid rich homage to him and offered prayers. General Secretary Obaidul Qauder and chiefs of the armed forces were also present there.
Food distributed among the poor
Food items were distributed among poor and destitute people in each of Gopalganj’s 68 unions after milads at different places. Political, social, cultural and trade organisations of the district took part in the food distribution programmes.
Mourning at educational institutions
Educational institutions at all five upalzilas of Gopalganj observed the day with due respect. Drawing and easy writing competitions, discussions and milads were held at the institutions.