BNP leaders and activists on Thursday paid last respect to their vice chairman and freedom fighter Sadeque Hossain Khoka, who died in the USA on Monday, by placing wreaths on his coffin.
The coffin of Khoka, former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation, was taken to BNP's Nayapaltan central office at about 1:30pm, and kept on a temporary stage in front of it, enabling party leaders and activists to have a last glimpse of their late leader.
Thousands of BNP leaders and activists gathered in Nayapaltan area and bid tearful adieu to their beloved leader.In a brief address prior to a Janaza there, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, "It's a shocking day for us. We're here in front of the beloved party office of Sadeque Hossain Khoka to join his janaza.
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."
He stated, "Khoka played an outstanding role in liberating Bangladesh." Fakhrul lamented that the valiant freedom fighter could not breathe his last in his own country."Our leader Khaleda Zia also could not see him for the last time as she's staying in jail," Fakhrul added.
The BNP leader said the vacuum that created following the death of Khoka will never be filled. "When the role of Sadeque Hossain Khoka was very crucial in restoring democracy, freeing our leader (Khaleda), he left us at his bad time. We pray to Allah to grant him Jannah.
Khoka's son Ishraque Hossain said his father was loyal to his party and its chairperson Khaleda until the last day of his death. "His last world to me was not to make any compromise over bringing him back to the country. He told me don't do anything without the consent of Khaleda Zia and BNP as he didn't want anybody to call him collaborator for making any understanding with the government."
However, Ishraque said his father asked him to make efforts to take his body back to the country and bury him here.He thanked BNP leaders and activists for giving his father honor and showing their affection for him. Later, his third (second in the country) namaz-e-janaza was held there joined by thousands of party leaders and activists.
After the janaza, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir along with party senior leaders, including Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Ababs, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, on behalf of party chairperson Khaleda Zia, placed wreaths on his coffin and draped it with a party flag as a mark of respect to the late leader.
BNP's different units and associate bodies also paid tributes to Khoka by placing wreaths at his coffin.Earlier, his body was taken back home from the USA. A flight of Emirates Airline carrying his body landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 8:28am.
Khoka, a valiant freedom fighter, who had long been suffering from cancer, died at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York on Monday.His first Namaz-e-Janaza was held at Jamaica Muslim Center, New York on Monday night. A large number of expatriate Bangladeshis participated in it.
From the airport, Khoka's body was brought to South Plaza of National Parliament where his second janaza (first one in the country) was held around 11:15am.Current and former MPs, leaders of different political parties and the people from all walks of life took part in the janaza.
From the parliament compound, Khoka's body was taken to Central Shaheed Minar and it was kept from 12pm-1pm enabling people of all walks of life to pay their last respect to the valiant freedom fighter.His fourth jaza was held at Nagar Bhaban after 3:00pm.
As per his last wish, the BNP leader is scheduled to be buried at Jurain Graveyard beside the grave of his mother in the evening after his final janaza at Dhupkhola field in the capital.
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