Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina waving hand to supporters in a grand rally in city's Suhrawardy Udyan on the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Tuesday. -AA
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expre-ssed her firm optimism that Bangladesh would celebrate the golden jubilee of independence in 2021 as a prosperous and developed nation as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. "The Father of the Nation is no more amongst us. But he has given us freedom and directives to build up Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country. Every village of Bangla-desh would flourish as town and whole Bangla-desh would be a developed one country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also said that the assassination of Banga-bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 led to Bangladesh being engul-fed in a political conspiracy that halted development. She came up with the comment at a rally in Suhrawardy Udyan for commemorating the His-toric Homecoming Day of the Father of the Nation after his release from a Pakistani jail in 1972.
Earlier in the morning, the premier paid rich tributes to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at city's Dhanmondi. After laying the wreaths, she stood in solemn silence for sometime as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of independence. Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, who also heads the ruling Awami League, placed another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of the party.
Later, the leaders of AL's associate bodies, including Jubo League, Chhatra League, Sramik League, Mohila Awami League, Sechchhasebak League, Jubo Mohila League, Krishak League, Dhaka city AL and other socio-cultural organizations laid wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu. Addressing the rally in the afternoon, the prime minister said that the assassination of her father Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975 came as a shock just as Bangladesh was emerging from the shadow of the war.
Every other government that followed only sought to 'help themselves', the Awami League president continued. "None of those who came to power after 1975 wanted to allow Bangladesh to hold its head high," said Hasina. "This is because, while their bodies were in Bangladesh, their souls belonged to Pakistan." "If Bangabandhu was alive, Bangladesh would have become a developed nation in 25-30 years, and everyone could have lived in peace and harmony," she added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at the public rally premises around 3:25pm. Senior Awami League leaders including its General Secretary Obaidul Quader took the stage alongside her. Awami League activists began marching towards Suhrawardy Udyan with flags and banners from various parts of the capital for the rally in the afternoon.
Many wore green and red T-shirts and green caps. Slogans of 'Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu" could be heard from all sides of the Udyan. Strict security measures were in place near the rally stage and areas around Suhrawardy Udyan. Police have blocked roads from the Shahbagh intersection to the Matsya Bhaban intersection and from the TSC intersection to the Doyel Chattar intersection until the rally ends. Motorists have been advised to use alternate routes.
Heavy traffic was seen in Gulistan, Motijheel, Farmgate, Moghbazar and surrounding areas as police set up barricades at the GPO intersection, the National Press Club, the Kakrail Mosque intersection, the Elephant Road Bata signal intersection and Doyel Chattar. Many travelers were seen disembarking buses to set out on foot.