Dhaka – Hundreds of political fellows and well wishers thronged to Dhaka’s main airport Saturday to receive the body of celebrated politician Syed Ashraful Islam, who died of cancer in Thailand on Thursday.
The Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight carrying the coffin of the Awami League veteran wrapped in Bangladesh’s national flag touched the ground at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the evening. Political colleagues received the body to be buried Sunday in Dhaka’s Banani graveyard.
Senior Awami League leaders and activists of the party were seen tearful at the airport.
The motorcade ahead of which was the siren-bellowing ambulance headed towards his Bailey Road residence where hundreds others were awaiting the arrival of the dear leader.
Ashraful Islam, the public administration affairs minister, died of lung cancer at Bumrungrad International Hospital in the Thai capital on Thursday. He was 66.
The minister was undergoing treatment at the hospital for a long time.
The body will be kept at the mortuary of Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka, from where he will be taken to the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises at 10am on Sunday for the first funeral prayers. He will be given guard of honour there.
His body will be flown to Kishoreganj, from where the veteran Awami League leader was elected member of parliament for five times. The second funeral prayers will be held at Sholakia Eidgaon ground town at 12 noon.
Then the body will be taken to Mymensingh Anjuman Eidgah ground at 2pm on Sunday. He will be laid to eternal rest at Banani graveyard in Dhaka at 4.30pm on the same day.
Syed Ashraful Islam, who left Bangladesh for the United Kingdom after his father Syed Nazrul Islam was assassinated in the jail in 1975, elected lawmaker with AL ticked in 1996 for the first time. He contested for the election on his return from UK.
Born in 1952, Ashraful Islam studied in Mymensingh. He was actively involved in student politics since his college days. He was the general secretary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League of greater Mymensingh district.
He served the country as state minister for civil aviation and tourism ministry at that time. Syed Ashraful Islam was made general secretary of the Awami League party and he served Bangladesh as Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives ministry prior to his new assignment as Public Administration Affairs Minister.
The veteran politician is survived by a daughter and host of relatives, supporters and well wishers mourn his death.
His father Syed Nazrul Islam was the acting President of Bangladesh’s Mujibnagar Government in exile in 1971 and one of the key figures of Bangladesh independence struggle.
Ashraful Islam was elected lawmaker in the just–ended Bangladesh’s parliamentary election on December 30, 2018. He could not take oath to the new parliament as he died on the day of the oath-taking ceremony.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minsiter Sheikh Hasina, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury and leaders from across the political divides mourned the death. They said Bangladesh lost an honest politician.