A large number of people participated in a namaz-e-janaza of Arafat Rahman Koko at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka this afternoon.
Leaders and activists of BNP, its political allies and people from different walks of life took part in the janaza that started at 5:12pm.
Our correspondents covering the event said around one square kilometer area around the mosque was covered with the people taking part in the janaza.
Prior to the janaza, Khaleda’s younger brother Shameem Iskander urged the people to pardon Koko if any of them would have been hurt by him.
He also asked them to communicate with the family later if they have any financial or any other pending dealings with Koko.
After the janaza, Khaleda’s younger son, who died at his rented residence in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, will be buried at the Banani civil graveyard in Dhaka.
After Bangladesh Army denied its portion of the Banani graveyard for Koko’s burial, family and relatives decided to bury late president Ziaur Rahman’s son at the civil graveyard.
“Procedures are underway to bury Koko at the Banani civil graveyard,” Maj Gen Fazle Elahi Akbor, defense affairs adviser to the BNP chief, told The Daily Star around 2:30pm.
Koko’s body was flown in from Malaysia at 11:40pm and was taken straight to the Gulshan office of his mother for the last tributes of his mothers, friends, well-wishers and others.
The motorcade of Koko’s body left Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport through hangar gate 8 around 12:18pm. The body was carried in an ambulance.
Koko’s uncle and Khaleda’s younger brother Shameem Iskander brought the body back. Koko’s wife and two daughters also accompanied the body.
A five-man delegation of the BNP – its standing committee members Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Vice Chairman Abdullah Al Noman, and central leaders Giasuddin Quader Chowdhury and Kamal Ibne Yousuf – received the body at the airport.
Thousands of party leaders gathered at the Gulshan office of Khaleda Zia to pay their last respect for Koko, who never got directly involved into BNP’s party politics.
Koko, who had been living in Malaysia on parole, died of heart failure at Kuala Lumpur around 1:30pm Saturday. He complained of chest pain around noon and died at his rented house there.