The 42nd homecoming day of Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is being observed today. 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 here from the Indian capital of New Delhi via Kolkata at 4.30pm on that day.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed along with most of his family members on August 15 in 1975 and his two daughters — Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana — luckily escaped the carnage as they stayed abroad.
In a national council session of the AL on February 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.
“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 AL president in a heart touching reception accorded 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.”
On the occasion of Sheikh Hasina’s homecoming day, various organisations, including the Awami League, have taken different programmes.
Special doa and prayers will also be offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas to mark the day.