Dhaka, December 16: The 46th Victory Day was celebrated by paying homage to the martyrs for their supreme sacrifices for freeing the country from the misrule and occupation of Pakistani rulers.
Forty-five years back, the country was liberated on the December 16, 1971 after around nine months of liberation war under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the supreme sacrifice of three million people, and the honour of nearly half a million women.
On this day in 1971, the commander of Pakistan occupation army, General AAK Niazi, and his 93,000 soldiers surrendered to the allied forces of freedom fighters and Indian army at Ramna Race Course, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka following a miserable defeat in the war of independence that broke out in March 25.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the Day.
Different socio-political, educational and cultural institutions and organisations chalked out a series of programmes to celebrate the nation’s glorious victory over the Pakistani occupation force. National dailies brought out special supplements.
The government took elaborate programmes to celebrate the Day at the national level.
The day started with 31 gun salutes.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreath at the National Memorial at Savar in the morning.
Later, the family members of Bir Shreshathas, freedom fighters, former Indian army officers involved in the Liberation War, foreign diplomats, different political and social organisations and people from all walks of life paid tributes to martyrs.
Marking the day, a colorful parade is being be held at National Parade Square in the Old Airport area with the participation of armed forces.
The President took salute as chief guest at the parade. The Prime Minister was present on the occasion.
The day was a public holiday. The national flag was hoisted atop government, semi- government and private offices as well as offices of autonomous bodies across the country.
Important buildings and establishments were illuminated at night. Important roads and road islands have been decorated with miniature national flags and colourful festoons.
The state-owned and private televisions and radios broadcast special programmes highlighting the Liberation War.
Different organizations including Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh Shishu Academy organised discussions and displayed Liberation War related documentary films while the postal department released commemorative stamps on the day.
Special prayers were offered in mosques and other places of worship seeking salvation of the souls of martyrs of the Liberation War, and peace, progress and prosperity of the country.
Improved diets were served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
Destitute children were allowed to visit children’s parks and other recreational centres across the country free-of-cost.
Bangladesh missions abroad observed the day through different programmes.