Humayun’s body due today
Public viewing at Central Shaheed MinarStaff Correspondent
The family and friends of Humanyun Ahmed, who died from cancer in a New York hospital late Thursday night, along with the coffin left New York about midnight past Saturday in an Emirates flight that is scheduled to reach Shahjalal International Airport about 8:40am today.
The foreign secretary, Mijarul Quayes, is expected to receive the coffin at the airport on behalf of the government, Abdul Momen, Bangladesh’s permanent representative to the United Nations said.
The body is likely to be taken Humayun’s house at Dhanmondi, Dakhin Hawa, from the airport for his mother Ayesha Fayz’s viewing and then to the Central Shaheed Minar. The body will be kept there between 11:00am and 2:00pm for public viewing.
His second namaz-e-janaza is likely to take place in the National Eidgah at 2:30pm, Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu, president of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, said.
The first namaz-e-janaza was held at the Jamaica Muslim Centre in New York on Friday.
Humayun’s family was yet to decide where he would be buried although cultural activists said that they wanted him to be buried in Nuhash Palli. Humayun’s maternal uncle Mahabunnabi Sheikh, however, said that they might not bury him in Nuhash Palli.
He said the family had three places in mind for Humayun’s burial — Dhaka University campus, the Banani graveyard and the Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard at Mirpur.
Humayun’s younger brother Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, who arrived Dhaka on Sunday, said that the place for the burial would be decided by the family after the arrival of Humayun’s wife Meher Afroz Shaon.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police, meanwhile, has made some city streets off-limits to motor vehicles for public viewing at the Central Shaheed Minar as tens of thousands are expected to pay their tribute to the writer today.
The police in a release said that vehicle movement through the Doyel Square, Shibbari crossing, Jagannath Hall crossing and the road in front of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital emergency ward would remain suspended from 11:00am till 2:30pm.
Mourners have been requested to go to the Central Shaheed Minar through the Doyel Squaer and leave by the road through Jagannath Hall crossing or the Shibbari crossing after paying their tribute to the literary figure.
Mourners have been suggested to park their vehicles in either of the areas — from Bakshibazar to the TSC in Dhaka University, from Doyel Square to the entrance to the Shahidullah Hall, from Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s outpatient department to the emergency ward entrance to the hospital and inside the Curzon Hall.
The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has asked the government to organise a state farewell for Humayun.
‘He was of neither the Awami League nor the BNP or any other party. He was popular with the 16 crore people,’ the opposition chief whip, Zainul Abdin Farroque, said.
‘We urge the government to hold a ceremony under the state supervision or leave the matter of the burial to his family,’ he said.
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