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Sheikh Hasina's homecoming day observed

Sheikh Hasina's homecoming day observed

The 44th homecoming day of Bangladesh Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was observed on Friday (May 17). On May 17 in 1981, she returned to the country after a long exile. Boarding on an aircraft of the Indian Airlines, Sheikh Hasina reached the then Kurmitola Airport in Dhaka from the Indian capital of New Delhi via Kolkata at 4.30 p.m. on that day.

Marking the homecoming day of Sheikh Hasina, the ruling Awami League chalked out elaborate programmes. As part of the programmes, the party leaders greeted Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at her Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka at 9 a.m. Leaders and workers of Awami League associate and like-minded bodies also greeted her with bouquet, local media reported.

A discussion was held at Dhaka District Awami League Bhaban in the city's Tejgaon area in the afternoon with the party Presidium Member Engineer Mosharraf Hossain in the chair. Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader and other central leaders also addressed the discussion.

Marking the day, Jubo League, Chhatra League, Krishak League, Swechchhasebak League, Mohila Awami League and Jubo Mohila League and other like-minded bodies also organized different programmes. The programmes included discussion, doa and Milad Mehfil seeking sound health and long life of Sheikh Hasina, food distribution among orphans and destitute people.

Awami League's relief and social welfare subcommittee also organised food distribution programme marking the day. Foods were distributed among the orphans of Azimpur Salimullah Muslim Orphanage, Salimullah Road's orphanage in Mohammadpur, Sobhanbag Masjid adjacent orphanage and Rahim Ullah Orphanage at Beraid in Badda.

Foods were also distributed among the orphans of the orphanages adjacent to Hazrat Shahjalal Mazar (shrine) in Sylhet, Hazrat Shah Amanat Mazar and Garib Ullah Shah Mazar in Chattogram. Special Doa and prayers were also offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas marking the day. Doa was offered at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after Jummah prayers.

Christian Community held special prayer at Mirpur Baptist Church, while Buddhist Community at International Buddhist Monastery in the city's Merul Badda and Hindu Community at Dhakeshwari National Temple.

Marking the day, Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud will distribute food among the inmates of Chattogram's Kadam Mobarak Orphanage on Saturday.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed along with most of his family members on Aug 15 in 1975 and his two daughters – Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – luckily escaped the brutal assassination as they stayed abroad.

In a national council session of the Awami League on Feb 14, 15 and 16 in 1981, Sheikh Hasina was elected as party president in her absence and then she returned to the country on May 17.

A large number of people had gathered outside the Kurmitola Airport in Dhaka to receive Sheikh Hasina on that day. They had come from every corner of the country and the whole thoroughfare from the Farmgate point to Kurmitola in the city was full of jubilant crowds.

After a long hovering over the airport, an aircraft of Indian Airlines carrying Sheikh Hasina from New Delhi via Kolkata, touched the runway at 4:30 p.m. "I have returned to the country not to become a leader of the Awami League, rather to participate in the struggle for freedom by staying beside the people," said the party president in a heart touching reception awarded by nearly 1.5 million people at the airport at that time.

She added: "I want to stay beside you as your sister, as your daughter, and as a worker of Awami League, who believes in the ideals of Bangabandhu."