Zia's son buried in Bangladesh amid political turmoil

Dhaka: Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia's self-exiled son, who died in Malaysia last week, was buried here today amid an escalation of political turmoil that has claimed 37 lives.Arafat Rahman Koko was buried at the
zia s son buried in bangladesh amid political...
PTI 27 Jan 2015, 08:16 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia's self-exiled son, who died in Malaysia last week, was buried here today amid an escalation of political turmoil that has claimed 37 lives.

Arafat Rahman Koko was buried at the Banani graveyard after the ‘Namaz-e-Janaza' or the funeral prayers that were attended by thousands of people.

Zia gave her younger son an emotional send off touching his face in the coffin.

The funeral prayer was held at the Baitul Mokarram National Mosque.

Earlier, senior leaders of former premier Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) received the body of Koko who died aged 45 on Saturday following a cardiac arrest.  Koko's wife and two daughters arrived with the body on board a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur.  Koko's body was driven straight to her mother's Gulshan office from where she is spearheading a fierce campaign against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.  A large crowd had gathered in front of Zia's office awaiting the body.

The death of Zia's son came amid a BNP-enforced nationwide blockade which entered its 22nd day today.Sporadic violence was reported and two more people died overnight to take the death toll in the violence to 37 with nearly half of them killed in arson attacks on buses and other public transport vehicles.

The latest victims were truck drivers who succumbed to their burn wounds early this morning at two state-run hospitals in the capital and northwestern Rangpur, days after arsonists attacked their vehicles with petrol bombs.

At least 37 people have been killed in violence during anti-government protests that took place following BNP's call for a nationwide non-stop blockade from January 6 after authorities barred its chief Zia from joining a protest rally to mark the first anniversary of the last year's divisive January 5 polls.

Senior BNP leaders, on condition of anonymity, said they plan to request Zia to invite Hasina to attend Koko's ‘Qulkhwani'—the Quran recitation and prayers for the deceased—later this week.

Political divisions have sharply increased as manifested in the controversy that emerged last week when Hasina, who had gone to offer condolences on the sudden death of Zia's youngest son, was turned away from the gates of her arch-rival, in an apparent snub.“We will request madam (Zia) to invite the Prime Minister (Hasina) to attend the Qulkhwani but the decision will be taken by her,” a BNP leader was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune.

 
   
 

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