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August reappears as Month of Mourning

DHAKA, Aug 1, 2016 (BSS) - August reappears as the Month of Mourning amid a consolidated national unity against terrorism while the country is set to observe a month-long mourning recalling the August 15, 1975 carnage when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed along with most of his family members under a well-orchestrated plot.

A candle-lit vigil marked the start of the month-long mourning at one-minute past zero hours last night when mourners staged a street march in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi, the then residence of Bangabandhu and the scene of the black night 41 years ago.

Awami League has chalked up elaborate programme to mourn his death throughout the month of August while a blood donation campaign in the city to be staged by its front organization Krishak League today.

Bangabandhu Parishad will hold a discussion titled "Counter Revolution of August 15 and its aftermath" at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) at 10 am with organizers saying the discussion would try to focus on the rise of anti-democratic forces and subsequent militant elements.

A group of derailed military officers killed Bangabandhu along with most of his family members including his 10-year-old son Sheikh Russell in a predawn attack while the killers were rewarded by the subsequent rulers with diplomatic postings abroad and enacted an indemnity law protect the assassins from justice.

Others who were killed on that black night Bangabandhu's wife Begum Fazilanunnessa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew and eminent journalist Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, his pregnant wife Arzoo Moni and his military secretary Brigadier (posthumously major general) Jamil.

The delayed trial of the carnage began when Awami League returned to power in 1996 general elections and scrapped the infamous law while after a prolonged trial process five of the killers were hanged but six others are on the run abroad. One of the convicts died a natural death in an African country.

The month of August also witnessed a series of subsequent attacks like August 21, 2004 deadly grenade attack which incumbent prime minister and Bangbandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina narrowly survived sustaining permanent hearing impairment and the nationwide near simultaneous blasts on August 17 next year staged by Islamist militants.

The grisly grenade attack killed 24 people and wounded 500 others while the subsequent investigations found an influential quarter of the then BNP-led coalition government with Jamaat-e-Islami being a crucial partner masterminded the assault carried out Islamist militants of banned HuJI.

The August 17, 2005 countrywide blasts were staged by outlawed JMB to announce their emergence while the outfit with a reorganized structure is now believed to have staged the two back-to-back terrorist attacks July 1 and July 6.

"Bangladesh passed an era of darkness after the August 15 carnage that gave birth to undemocratic and unholy forces which dominated until 1996 general elections . . . . the recent militant attacks now once again reunited the nation against the unholy forces," Awami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif told BSS.