Born on January 19, 1936 at Bagbari in Bogra, Ziaur Rahman had become the country’s 7th president and formed Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). After the country’s independence, Zia had become Bangladesh’s Army Chief and later President.
He rose to power on November 7, 1975 following the coup of mid-August and the counter-coup of November 3.
In April 1977, he took over as president from Justice ASM Sayem, who had been installed in office by General Khaled Musharraf on November 6, 1975 but was kept on by the new military leadership.
Ziaur Rahman had arranged presidential elections in June 1978 in which he defeated General MAG Osmany, the candidate of the combined opposition.
In the same year, he founded the BNP. On his watch, general elections in early 1979 gave his new party a majority in parliament.
Zia was assassinated by a group of disgruntled army officers at Chittagong Circuit House on the night of May 30, 1981. Since then, BNP is headed by his wife Khaleda Zia.
BNP and its associate bodies have chalked up various programmes to mark the day with due respect.
BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, the widow of the party founder, along with party leaders and activists will place wreaths on Zia’s mazar. The programmes include hoisting of the party flag on its offices, placing of wreaths and prayer session at the graveside of Ziaur Rahman.