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Dhaka Tribune

Islampur witnesses few attendees at Independence Day event

  • Speakers delivered their speeches in an empty field
  • Local freedom fighters expressed concern
  • Ramadan as a factor affecting attendance
Update : 27 Mar 2024, 10:50 PM

Despite the solemn observance of Independence and National Day in Islampur upazila of Jamalpur, the main event on the national occasion lacked an audience. 

Speakers delivered their speeches in an empty field, raising concerns among local freedom fighters.

Local freedom fighters expressed their dismay over the absence of attendees. However, program organizers defended the turnout, citing Ramadan as a factor affecting attendance.

According to local sources, the day commenced with the firing of 31 guns as part of the grand Independence and National Day celebrations organized by the upazila administration on Tuesday. 

Various political organizations, government officials, and employees of government, semi-government, and autonomous institutions participated in the event.

The proceedings, chaired by Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Sirajul Islam, commenced at 8am. However, the chief guest of the event, Minister of Religious Affairs and Member of Parliament for Jamalpur-2 Islampur Constituency Md Faridul Haque Khan Dulal was absent.

Special guests, including Upazila Parishad Chairman Advocate SM Jamal Abdun Naser Babul and former commander of Upazila Muktijoddha Sangsad Manikul Islam Manik, addressed the audience, before a largely empty ground.

Former chairman of Palbandha Union Parishad and freedom fighter Shahdat Hossain Swadhin remarked on the failure of the organizers of the event to effectively communicate the significance of Independence Day to the public, resulting in poor attendance.

General Secretary of Gaibandha Union Awami League and freedom fighter Rafiqul Islam expressed his disappointment over the low turnout, emphasizing the importance of proper invitation dissemination.

Responding to queries regarding the sparse attendance, former commander of the upazila Freedom Fighters Sangsad Manikul Islam Manik attributed the lack of public participation to corruption within the ruling party and administration.

Headmaster of Islampur High School Md Mahbub Alam said: “We were given an invitation letter from the administration to take the students of our school to the Independence Day ceremony. However, the decision was later cancelled due to the possibility of the children falling sick due to fasting.”

In response to inquiries about the lack of attendees, Upazila Parishad Chairman Advocate SM Jamal Abdun Naser Babul cited Ramadan and the shortened program as reasons for the sparse crowd. 

He clarified that the event was primarily attended by officials and members of the upazila administration, police administration, Ansar and fire service.

UNO Md Sirajul Islam asserted that adequate invitations were issued for the Independence Day ceremony and noted the satisfactory turnout considering the month of Ramadan.

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