Bangladesh begins 3-day state mourning at president`s death

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 17:34

Dhaka: The body of Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman, who died at a hospital in Singapore was brought to Dhaka on Thursday, as the country began observing a three-day state mourning for the veteran leader.

Rahman, 85, died yesterday at a Singapore hospital where he was being treated for kidney and respiratory problems.

A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines brought his body home at the VVIP terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around noon and Acting President and Parliamentary Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the coffin.

Emotional scenes were witnessed as the late leader`s only son Nazmul Hassan Papan, two daughters Tania Bakht and Anima Rahman cried and embraced each other when their father`s coffin was brought out of the aircraft.

A military truck, draped in national flag, carried the coffin, escorted by a ceremonial motorcade straight to the Presidential Palace, Bangabhaban.

Several people along lined up along the roads waiving black flags as a mark of respect.
A tri-service honour guard was offered as the coffin reached the presidential palace lawn when the acting president, prime minister, chief justice Mozamel Haque and three armed forces chiefs offered wreaths.

Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia offered wreaths at Bangabhaban where relatives, politicians and civil and military officials gathered to have the last glimpse of late Zillur Rahman.

Meanwhile, the cabinet in an emergency meeting approved a revised burial plan for the late leader following discussions with family members.

Under the revised plan, after an overnight stay at a mortuary the body would be brought to his hometown in Bhairab tomorrow morning where his first funeral prayers would be held.

After this the body will be flown back to Dhaka for burial after Friday prayers.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 17:33

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