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Ganabhaban to host Ratna's wedding Wednesday..

The bride will hardly have any family around at Ganabhaban on Wednesday when she gets married. 

Sakina Aktar Ratna lost almost her entire family to the deadly fire that broke out at her five-storey apartment's ground floor on Thursday in Nimtali of Old Dhaka. 

Her younger sister, Runa Aktar, was set to be engaged that evening and guests had already come to the party when the fire broke out. 

In a unique first, the prime minister's official residence is set to host the wedding of Ratna with Mohammed Saiduzzaman Suman. 

Hearing of the sisters' plight, prime minister Sheikh Hasina announced that she would herself take over the responsibility of their mother who died in the blaze. 

True to her word, she called the two would-be couples, Ratna and her fiance Suman, Runa and her fiance Jamil Uddin, and their surviving family members to her official residence on Monday evening and initiated marriage talks. 

Ratna was set to be married to Suman on June 22. 

Hasina held talks with the remaining members of Ratna's family and proposed the date herself. 

bdnews24.com social affairs editor Baby Moudud, who was present there, confirmed the news. 

Earlier in the day, the prime minister called the two by her side and consoled them. She also urged them to stay with her at her official residence and they were still at Ganabhaban around 9:30pm. 

The two siblings could not hold back their tears when the prime minister embraced them. 

She consoled them and said that she would take on all the responsibilities of their parents on herself. 

Runa and Ratna's brother Faisal, their grandmother Roushan Ara Begum, Jamil Uddin, who was supposed to get engaged with Runa on Thursday, and Suman were present. 

The prime minister announced that the two sisters, their husbands-to-be and their brother would receive cheques of Tk 1 lakh each. 

Currently the two sisters have been kept under government supervision with the assistance centre of women affairs directorate. 

It was decided that the government would provide financial assistance to the surviving families of all those who had died in the Nimtali fire and under a building in Begunbari which toppled off its base two days earlier. 

State minister for law Qamrul Islam, home state minister Shamsul Hoque Tuku, local member of parliament Mostofa Jalal Mohiuddin were also present among others. 

On the night of the fire, Runa's engagement ceremony was underway. 

A little while before the fire broke out, Runa, along with her sister Ratna, had gone to a beauty salon. 

Jamil also survived as he had not reached the party. 

However, 21 other members of the two families perished. 

Source: bdnews24.com
Date: 08/06/2010

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