Former Dhaka mayor and valiant freedom fighter Sadeque Hossain Khoka was laid to rest at Jurain Graveyard in Dhaka with state honours on Thursday evening.
Sadeque Hossain, a vice-chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was buried beside the graves of his parents at about 7:00pm after six funeral prayers – the first one in New York on Tuesday and five others in Dhaka on Thursday – where thousands of people of all walks of life and leaders of almost all the political parties participated and paid tribute to him.
A 17-member team of police led by Dhaka district assistant commissioner Abdul Awal gave him state honours and a group of freedom fighters led by Abdullah Al Noman gave the last salute to the freedom fighter as his body was lowered in the grave.
A former minister, Sadeque Hossain died of cancer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York on Monday at the age of 67.
His body was taken back home from the US by a flight of Emirates Airline that landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 8:30am.
Before burial, the last funeral prayers were held at Dhupkhola playground after asr prayers where thousands of people participated. The coffin was taken to his Gopibagh home for a while for the members of the family.
At Nagar Bhaban, now office of the Dhaka South City Corporation, where Sadeque worked as the mayor of undivided Dhaka for 10 years since 2002, also hosted a funeral prayer. DSCC mayor Sayeed Khokon there said Sadque Hossain worked for all the city dwellers, without considering their political identity.
A funeral prayers was also held at Brothers’ Union Club ground in the afternoon.
Leaders and activists of BNP wearing black badges poured in front of the party office to attend a funeral prayer arranged there. Traffic movement on the roads around the party office became standstill because of the crowd.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir before the mourners said, ‘It is a shocking day for us. We’re here to join namaj-e-janaza of Sadeque Hossain Khoka. He had been out of the country for five years as he was subjected to the government’s vengeance. The government implicated him in false cases and convicted him.’
After the janaza, Mirza Fakhrul along with party senior leaders, on behalf of party chairperson Khaleda Zia, placed wreaths on Sadeque’s coffin and draped it with a party flag.
Leaders of different political parties, civic organisations and individuals filed past the coffin of Sadeque Hossain at Central Shaheed Minar to pay last tributes.
Freedom fighters, leaders of Communist Party of Bangladesh, Left Democratic Alliance, Socialist Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal – JSD, Revolutionary Workers’ Party, Bangladesh Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Ganasamhati Andolan, Nagarik Oikya, Naya Ganatantrik Party, Gono Forum, Bangladesh National Awami Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mahajote, Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee and different thana units of BNP and its fronts paid tribute to him there.
Awami League lawmaker Golam Dastagir Gazi, Gonosasthya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury and DUCSU vice-president Nurul Haq Nur also placed wreaths at his coffin there.
The coffin, covered with national flag, was kept at the Central Shaheed Minar from 12:00pm to 1:00pm.
Sadeque’s son Ishraque Hossain at Shaheed Minar said his father was a victim of political vengeance.
Mentioning Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina and imprisoned BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia as two guardians of the country, he said the two leaders should meet to solve the country’s ongoing crisis and bring an end to the culture of political vengeance.
CPB president Mujahidul Islam Selim said the countrymen would remember Sadeque as a valiant freedom fighter.
Zafrullah Chowdhury said the government did not give due honour to Sadeque Hossain. ‘They did not give him passport though he appealed on expiry of its validity.’
Earlier, his second namaj-e-janaza was held on the South Plaza of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban where senior politicians including former president and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, Awami League advisory committee member Tofail Ahmed, Workers’ Party president Rashed Khan Menon, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Kader Siddique, LDP president Oli Ahmed participated.
International Farakka Committee chairman Atiqur Rahman Salu in a statement expressed grief and deep shock at the death of Sadeque Hossain.
Sadeque and his wife went to the US for treatment in May 2014.
Born in Dhaka on May 12, 1952, Sadeque joined the war of independence at the age of 19 when he was a student of Dhaka University from where he did his MA in Psychology.
He joined politics through Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani-led NAP and later joined BNP and became a prominent leader.
He was elected MP in 1991, 1996 and 2001 from the Sutrapur-Kotwali constituency.
He was made the state minister for youth and sports in 1991.
After BNP’s victory in 2001 elections, Sadeque was made the minister for fisheries and livestock.
In 2002, he was elected mayor Dhaka, much before the historic city was divided into Dhaka North City and Dhaka South City.
News Courtesy: www.newagebd.net