People from all walks of life have paid their final tribute to leading musician and freedom fighter Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul.
Bulbul suffered a heart attack at his Aftabnagar home in the capital on Tuesday and was taken to Aysha Memorial Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
His loved ones, colleagues and well-wishers congregated at Dhaka’s Central Shaheed Minar Wednesday to bid the artist an emotional farewell.
Bulbul will be fondly remembered for composing timeless tunes such as ’Shob Kota Janala Khule Dao Na’, ’O Majhi Nao Chhaira De’ and ’Sundor Suborno Tarunno Labonyo’ in a career spanning four decades. He also created background scores for hundreds of movies.
His body was taken to the Central Shaheed Minar for a tribute ceremony around 11 am Wednesday from the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
A police team gave a guard of honour to Bulbul, who had enlisted as a freedom fighter in the War of Independence at the tender age of 15.
Iftekharul Alam, the assistant military secretary to the president, then paid homage to noted music composer on behalf of President Abdul Hamid.
A delegation of the ruling Awami League headed by the party’s Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam also attended the ceremony.
Leading figures in the film and music fraternity paid their respect to Bulbul by laying wreaths over his coffin.
Bulbul had testified as a witness for the prosecution at the International Crimes Tribunal against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam in October 2012.
Following his testimony against the Jamaat kingpin, Bulbul’s younger brother Miraz Ahmed was found dead near Khilkhet-Kuril Flyover in March of 2013. Police later said he was gagged to death.
In an interview with bdnews24.com, Bulbul had said he never believed he would have to lose his brother “as a result of his testimony”.
“That is where I’m hurt. I’m hurt that I never got justice for my brother’s death. I testified for the tribunal because the government asked me to. This is where I’m hurting … this I have to say.”
After the tribute ceremony at the Shaheed Minar, the first Namaz-e-Janaza of the musician-freedom fighter was held at Dhaka University Central Mosque.
A second Namaz-e-Janaza was later held at his long-time workplace the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (FDC), where colleagues paid tribute to him one last time by placing wreaths over his coffin.
Bulbul will be laid to rest at the Shahid Buddhijibi Graveyard in Mirpur later on Wednesday.