The namaz-e-janaza of former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation and BNP vice-chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka was held at the South Plaza of National Parliament on Thursday.
Current and former MPs, leaders of different political parties and the people from all walks of life took part in the janaza held around 11:15 am.
Talking to reporters before the janaza, senior Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed recalled the contributions of Khoka to the country’s Liberation War.
He said Khoka was a nice and modest person. “We all have flaws in our lives, but Sadeque Hossain Khoka was an amicable person and a gentleman.”
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said Khoka was an acceptable politician to all. “He initiated the work on building a modern Dhaka. We pray to Allah for salvation of his departed soul.”
On behalf of family, Khoka’s son Ishraque Hossain said the participation of leaders and activists of all parties in the janaza has demonstrated that he his father was an acceptable leader to all.
“My father died with pain as he couldn’t breathe his last in the country’s soil. He (Khoka) returned home with travel documents. He applied for the renewal of his passport in 2017, but he didn’t get it,” he said.
Ishraque, however, thanked the government for extending cooperation to them in taking Khoka’s body back home.
After the janaza, Jatiya Party Secretary General Moshiur Rahman Ranga, on behalf of the leader of the opposition in parliament, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam, LDP president Oli Ahmed and BNP leaders Moudud Ahmed and the party’s current and ex-MPs paid homage to Khoka by placing wreaths at his coffin.
Former President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, AL leaders Tofail Ahmed, BNP leaders Moudud Ahmed, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, LDP President Oli Ahmed, Jatiya Party leaders Kazi Firoz Rashid, Moshiur Rahman Rang, Fakhrul Imam, Krishak Sramik Janata League President Abdul Quader Siddique, and former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, among others, attended the janaza.
From the parliament compound, Khoka’s body was taken to Central Shaheed Minar and it was kept from 12 pm-1 pm enabling people of all walks of life to pay their last respect to the valiant freedom fighter.
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 8:28 am.
The family members of the BNP leader, including his wife Ismat Ara, also returned home in the same flight.
BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas and Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku received the body at the airport on behalf of the party.
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.
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.
Before the burial, more janazas – one in front of BNP central office after Zohr prayers, another at Nagar Bhaban at 3 pm and yet another at Dhupkhola field after Asr prayers – will be held in the capital.
After his Janza at Nagar Bhaban, Khoka’s body will be taken to his Gopibagh residence.
Khoka, also a former minister and MP, is survived by his wife Ismat Ara, daughter Sarika Sadeque, sons Ishraque and Isfaque Hossain.
He went to the USA in 2014 for treatment.