Former military dictator-turned-president General Hussain Muhammad Ershad was buried with the state honour at his Rangpur residence under army supervision on Tuesday as per the demand of people of the district.
As soon as Ershad’s body was taken to Rangpur by an Air Force helicopter on Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people led by Rangpur city mayor Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa started demanding that Jatiya Party chairman to be buried at his Rangpur residence Pallinibash, our correspondent in Rangpur reported.
Mostafizar, also a JP presidium member, from a press conference on Monday expressed determination to bury Ershad in Rangpur ‘even sacrificing their lives’, if necessary.
They said that they would not allow Ershad’s body to be taken to Dhaka again to be buried at Military Graveyard in Banani in the capital as per decision of JP central committee following Ershad’s wish.
The leader of the opposition of the present 11th parliament, Ershad was elected from Rangpur 3 constituency.
Showing respect to the emotion and love of the people of Rangpur, Ershad’s widow Rawshan Ershad in a written statement gave consent.
She also expressed her gratitude to the people of Rangpur for their deepest love for Ershad.
She also expressed her desire to be buried beside her husband.
The decision was welcomed by Ershad’s followers and supporters.
After getting family consent, the government and army started taking preparation for his burial.
As per the schedule, Ershad’s fourth namaj-e-janaza was held at Rangpur Eidgah at 2:40pm with participation of hundreds of people after the zuhr prayers.
Rangpur divisional commissioner, officials of district administration were also present.
A contingent of Rangpur Metropolitan Police gave a guard of honour and played bugle before his last janaza.
Later, his body was taken to his house at Darshana in the Rangpur city.
Bangladesh army’s 66 infantry division observed all formalities to give state honour to Ershad as a former president and army chief.
Islamic rituals were followed in the burial ceremony.
Liberation war affairs minister AKM Muzammel Huq placed flower wreath on behalf of the government.
GOC of 66 infantry division, Major General Mohammad Nazrul Islam placed a wreath on behalf of the Bangladesh army.
JP acting chairman GM Quader, secretary general Mashiur Rahman Ranga, and Ershad’s son Rahgir Al Mahi Shad Ershad spoke in the janaza.
Ranga addressed Quader as JP chairman even though the party had not yet officially made such decision.
Ershad died on Sunday morning at the Dhaka Combined Military Hospital at the age of 89 following serious health complications.
His first namaz-e-janaza was held at the Dhaka Cantonment central mosque on the same day.
On Monday two more janazas were held at Jatiya Sangsad and Baitul Mukarram National Mosque where leaders of different parties such as Bangladesh Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal attended.
Ambassadors of different foreign missions including USA, UK, Germany, Russia, China and India wrote on the condolence book opened by the party at Ershad’s Banani office.
His qul khwani will be held today at Gulshan’s Azad mosque.
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