Former state minister Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj has led a march to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official residence, Ganabhaban, demanding that April 10 be declared the ‘Republic Day’.
On this day in 1971, the provisional government of Bangladesh was formed in Mujibnagar with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman named as president.
The government-in-exile, which was later known as Mujibnagar Government, took oath in a quiet mango grove at Baidyanathtola in the then Meherpur of Kushtia district.
Tajuddin Ahmad, father of Sohel Taj, was its first prime minister, M Monsur Ali finance minister, Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad foreign minister and HM Qamruzzaman took oath as home, and relief and rehabilitation minister.
A day after the government was formed, Tajuddin Ahmed addressed the nation. With it, the world came to know that a government had been formed for a nation in the making.
The skilled leadership of the government-in-exile won the war within nine months, which gave birth to the new nation on Dec 16, 1971.
Sohel Taj, a former state minister for home affairs, was on Sunday accompanied by his sister Mahjabin Ahmad Mimi, two child members of the family and Tureen Afroz, a former prosecutor at the war crimes tribunal, reports bdnews24.com.
More than 100 demonstrators stood outside the Ganabhaban with banners and festoons after the march from Manik Miah Avenue in the afternoon.
The members of Tajuddin’s family and Tureen entered the Ganabhaban at that time at the invitation of Biplab Barua, special assistant to the prime minister. Biplab also received a memorandum from Sohel Taj.
“Our prime minister is the only person in Bangladesh who can fulfil the demands and we are confident she will do it,” Sohel Taj said, speaking to reporters later.
Bangabandhu, father of Hasina, was assassinated with most members of the family in the Aug 15 massacre in 1975. On November 3, the four national leaders of the wartime government were killed inside Dhaka’s Central Jail. Bangladesh observes the day as Jail Killing Day.
Sohel Taj demanded November 3 be declared a ‘National Mourning Day’ and observed by the state.
He also demanded the authorities include in textbooks the life story of the four national leaders, organisers of the Liberation War, and martyred freedom fighters.