DHAKA, April 16 (BSS) - The nation observes historic Mujibnagar Day tomorrow in a befitting manner commemorating the formation of the provisional government of independent Bangladesh in exile during the War of Liberation in 1971.
On this day in 1971, the provisional Bangladesh government in exile named 'Mujibnagar Government' was formed with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the President, Syed Nazul Islam as the vice president, Tajuddin Ahmed, Prime Minister, Khondokar Mostaque Ahmed, Foreign Minister, M Mansur Ali, Finance Minister and AHM Quamaruzzaman as Home and relief Minister. This core cabinet steer the liberation war to the victory on December 16 that year.
In the absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was arrested following declaration of country's independence on the night of March 25 and put in a jail in the then West Pakistan, Syed Nazrul Islam was chosen as the acting president of the provisional Bangladesh government.
Following Pakistan army's dastardly attack on unarmed sleeping Bangalees in the night of March 25-26 in 1971, senior leaders of Awami League assembled at the mango grove at Baidyanathtala under Meherpur sub-division in Kushtia on April 17 to form the provisional government of independent Bangladesh.
General MAG Osmani was made the Commander-in-Chief of the Mukti Bahini while Major General Abdur Rob was appointed as the chief of staff by the interim government.
Baidyanathtala was later renamed as Mujibnagar and so Bangladesh Government in exile was known as the Mujibnagar Government. The tiny mango grove- covered village witnessed the ceremonial formation of the provisional government of Bangladesh and millions of freedom loving people listened to the announcement of the formation of the government over radio.
The Mujibnagar Government led the war of liberation in 1971 and freed the country from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces on December 16 the same year fighting a nine- month-old war.
Marking the day the national flag will be hoisted at the Memorial Monument at Mujibnagar immediately after sunrise tomorrow.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths at the monument in the morning while a contingent of freedom fighters will give her a guard of honour.
On the eve of the historic day, President Md Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent separate messages to the people of the country.
They said the Mujibnagar Government after its formation played a very vital and determining role in the Liberation War.
The contribution of the Mujibnagar Government will remain everlasting in the history of the country's War of Liberation, they said.
The President and the Prime Minister also recalled with deep gratitude the memory of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and four national leaders and prayed for eternal peace of their departed souls.
Different political parties, socio-cultural-professional bodies and government and non-government organisations have also chalked out elaborate programmes in observance of the day.
Bangladesh missions abroad will also stage relevant programmes to mark the day.
The ruling Awami League has chalked out a two-day long programme to mark the historic Mujibnagar Day.
As part of the programme, the national and party flags will be hoisted at Bangabandhu Bhaban and party offices across the country at 6 am tomorrow.
Party leaders and workers will place wreaths at the portrait of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Bhaban at 7 am. Party's rank-and-file will also place wreaths at the graves of the national leaders Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed and Captain M Mansur Ali at Banani and at the grave of AHM Quamaruzzaman at 7:30am in Rajshahi.
The programme at Mujibnagar includes: hoisting of national flag at 6:30 am, placing wreath at Mujibnagar Memorial at 11 am and holding of discussion meeting followed by a cultural function at Sheikh Hasina Mancha at 11.30 am.
Earlier, a committee, headed by the senior member of Awami League presidium Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, was formed to celebrate the day.
The other members of the committee include, Awami League presidium member Kazi Zafar Ullah, Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, Abdul Latif Siddiqui, General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif and organising secretary BM Mozammel Haque MP. Awami League will also organise a discussion meeting at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city on April 19 to mark the day.
Awami League president and Prime Minister Sheikh Haisna will be present as the chief guest at the discussion meeting to be chaired by Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury.
In a statement today, Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam called upon all to make the programme a success.