Eminent journalist, author and lyricist Abdul Gaffar Choudhury was laid to eternal rest in the capital on Saturday following last respects paid by people from all walks of life to him.
He was buried at Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard in Mirpur in the afternoon.
The Central Shaheed Minar reverberated with the Ekushey song as a tribute to both its lyricist and the Language Movement martyrs when the body was taken there.
A guard of honour was also given to him.
Earlier, the body of Gaffar Choudhury arrived in Dhaka on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight from London where he died of a cardiac arrest on May 19.
The flight carrying his mortal remains landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 11:00am.
The coffin was draped with Bangladesh’s national flag after it was taken off the aircraft.
They also paid their respects to the writer by placing wreaths at the coffin.
“Abdul Gaffar Choudhury was a witness to history. People always waited patiently to hear from him,” said Mozammel Haque.
From the airport, his body was taken to the Central Shaheed Minar so that people could pay their last tribute.
On behalf of President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, their military secretaries Major General SM Salahuddin Islam and Brigadier General Kabir Ahmed respectively paid homage to the eminent journalist by placing wreaths at his coffin.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury also paid respects to him.
Speaking on the occasion, she said, “He (Gaffar Choudhury) highlighted the history of the Language Movement and our fight for independence to the people. He has also given us many perspectives and instructions through his writings. It won’t be easy to fill the void he has left behind.”
“As long as the spirit of February 21 is alive, the Bangalees will remember Abdul Gaffar Choudhury through his song Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February,” the Speaker added.
An Awami League delegation, led by its General Secretary Obaidul Quader, also paid their tribute to the lyricist.
Quader said, “Although Gaffar Choudhury is no longer with us, he’ll live forever through his immortal Ekushey song.”
Later, people from all walks of life and different political, social and cultural organisations paid their respects to him until 3:00pm.
Gaffar Choudhury’s son Anupam Ahmed Reza Choudhury, “My father loved Bangladesh. He knew that the people of Bangladesh loved him as well. He always told us that he wanted to be buried in this country and so we’ve brought him here.”
“Many people have come to pay their respects to him. I thank you all. I’ll also remain grateful to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the respect she has shown to my father,” he added.
Around 3:30 pm, his namaz-e-janaza was held at Dhaka University Central Mosque. Then, his body was taken to Jatiya Press Club at 4:00pm where another janaza was held.
JPC President Farida Yasmin, General Secretary Elias Khan and Joint Secretary Mainul Alam spoke before the janaza, recalling Gaffar Choudhury’s contributions to journalism and other areas.
After the janaza, JPC Managing Committee, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Ihsanul Karim and Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher, journalist leaders, including those of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) and Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB), paid homage to Gaffar Choudhury.
Representatives from the Kaler Kantho, the Daily Ittefaq, Prothom Alo, Jugantor and Samakal also paid tribute to him.
Later, the eminent journalist was laid to eternal rest at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard at 5:30pm.
The writer died of a cardiac arrest at a hospital in London on May 19 at the age of 88.
The Bangladeshi-British community and other admirers paid their last respects to Gaffar Choudhury following his first janaza held at London's Brick Lane mosque the following day.
Gaffar Choudhury was born at Ulania village in Mehendiganj of Barishal on December 12, 1934.
After passing intermediate from Dhaka College, he enrolled at Dhaka University and completed his graduation in 1958.
Gaffar Choudhury was editor-in-chief of the weekly Joybangla, the mouthpiece of the Mujibnagar government of 1971.
Prior to this, he also worked in Daily Insaf, Daily Sangbad, Monthly Saugat and Monthly Naqib. In 1956, he joined the Dainik Ittefaq, edited by Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah, as an assistant editor.
Abdul Gaffar Choudhury also worked in different positions in Daily Azad, Monthly Mohammadi, Daily Jihad, Weekly Sonar Bangla and literary magazine Meghna.