Nation bids final farewell to Prof Mozzaffar
People from across the broad spectrum of society have paid their last respects to National Awami Party (Pro-Moscow) President Professor Mozzaffar Ahmad, who died at the age of 97 in a Dhaka hospital on Friday.
The mortal remains of Prof Mozzaffar, a member of the Liberation War-time government's advisory council, were taken to the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka on Saturday afternoon where followers, political leaders, cultural activists and ordinary citizens paid homage to the veteran politician.
Many politicians in Bangladesh have lamented his demise as a great loss, labelling it 'the end of an era'.
The first Namaz-e-Janaza of Prof Mozzaffar was held at the South Plaza of the parliamentary building on Saturday morning. The coffin was subsequently taken to the NAP office premises in Dhanmondi before being placed at the Central Shaheed Minar in the afternoon.
Leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League, the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal or JaSoD, Workers Party,Â Communist Party of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party paid homage to Prof Mozzaffar,Â who was the first to propose East Pakistan's autonomy in the Provincial Assembly on April, 1957.
The members of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, Jatiya Kobita Parishad, BangladeshI Itihas Sammilani Parishad and several cultural organisations also placed wreaths on his coffin.
"Professor Mozzaffar Ahmad was a national leader and a great freedom fighter. His greatest identity is that of a freedom fighter in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971," said JaSoD President Hasanul Haq Inu.
"He was a great supporter of socialism and had an immense contribution in establishing the practice of progressive politics in Bangladesh. He was a secular person and uncompromising against discrimination. That's why he is called a national leader."
Mozzaffar, as one of the key organisers of the war in 1971, led the formation of a special guerrilla force with members of NAP, Communist Party and Students' Union. The force fought the Pakistani troops in Dhaka, Narsingdi, Cumilla, Noakhali, Chattogram, Rangpur and many other places.
He had also played a big role in building world opinion in favour of Bangladesh's independence by taking part in UN General Assembly.
The government nominated the NAP chief for the highest civilian honour Swadhinata Padak or Independence Award in 2015, but he refused it.
He had rejected a cabinet position too after independence in 1971.
Prof Mozzaffar also played a big role in organising the 1952 Language Movement when he was a Dhaka University teacher. He left the job two years later and took to active politics. He won a seat in Cumilla's Debidwar in the general elections that year as a Jukta Front candidate.
His second Namaz-e-Janaza was held at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. The body will be taken to his birthplace in Cumilla later and he will be buried in the family graveyard there on Sunday.