Today marks the 33rd anniversary of Jagannath Hall tragedy. On this day of 1985, the roof of the dilapidated building of the Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University TV room caved in leaving 39 students, guests and employees of the University dead and 300 others injured. Dhaka University authorities observe the day as mourning day in memory of the deceased.
Hundreds of students gathered in the TV room to watch the popular television serial aired at Bangladesh Television `Shuktara` on this day of 1985. Suddenly the decayed roof of the TV room collapsed on the forgathered students. 38 were killed on the spot and later this number rose to 39.
The provincial council of East Pakistan was held in the place where today`s October Smriti Bhawan is standing. This was called `council building` or assembly that time.
In 1963 the building was handed over to the Dhaka University authority. The university authorities associated the building with Jagannath Hall as the residential institution of the students.
The assembly hall jas been named as `Anudaipayan Bhaban`, after the martyred resident teacher Anudaipayan Bhattachariya. The building, which was about 150 years old, was declared risky for living earlier.
This building that was constructed in British regime was unsafe but authorities used this building as a recreation area and installed a large color television as the entertainment system for the students.
The weather conditions of that day were very bad. The depression of the Bay of Bengal triggered torrential rain throughout the country and the capital was facing a 100 kph storm with heavy rain and wind that night. This adverse weather condition weakened the structure of that ancient building.
October 15 is observed as the day of mourning by Dhaka University. To protect the memory of the October tragedy, `October Smriti Bhawan` was constructed in Jagannath Hall. We are deeply mourned today for those who lost their lives on the tragic day of October 15, 1985.