Dhaka celebrates Independence Day, but no parade

March 26th, 2009 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, March 26 (IANS) Thousands thronged the Martyrs’ Memorial on Bangladesh’s 38th Independence Day Thursday but, for the first time, there was no ceremonial parade because of security concerns.
Security apprehensions have heightened since the Feb 25-26 mutiny at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Pilkhana headquarters here during which about 80 people were killed.

While Dhaka observed a holiday, people from all walks of life visited the Jatiya Smitishoudho (National Memorial) in Savar, 15 km from here, to pay tributes to those who laid down their lives for the freedom of the country, The Daily Star said.

The political divide was evident from the I-Day messages.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the people “to remain alert against the concerted ill activities of the anti-liberation, communal, autocratic and identified reactionary forces”.

Her government has initiated the process to try those who collaborated with the erstwhile East Pakistan regime during the freedom movement, killing thousands of unarmed civilians.

However, former prime minister Khaleda Zia said that “a deep conspiracy to make the country dysfunctional and dependent is now clear”.

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