Dhaka: The nation in the first hour tonight paid glowing tributes to the Language Movement martyrs, who laid down their lives for the mother tongue - Bangla -- on February 21, 1952.
President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina paid their homage to the martyrs of the historic Language Movement by placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar on early Sunday on the occasion of Amar Ekushey.
The president was the first to lay the wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar. Just after the president, the PM placed the wreath at the Shaheed Minar. They stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the language heroes.
Ministers, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, chiefs of three services, diplomats, senior Awami League leaders, high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
With Bangladesh, 193 countries across the globe are observing the day, as the Unesco on November 17, 1999, declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day.
On February 21, 1952, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Abdul Jabbar, Abul Barkat, Abdus Salam and a nine-year-old boy named Ohiullah embraced martyrdom when police opened fire on a protest rally demanding Bangla as the state language in front of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
A four-layer security was in place in and around the Central Shaheed Minar to avoid any unwanted situation. A total of 8,000 law enforcers in uniforms and 1,000 in plainclothes were deployed.