People from all walks of life in Rangpur want former president HM Ershad to be buried in the district.
Ershad, who was born in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal in 1930, died on Sunday while undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH).
“Ershad is a son of our land. He always stood beside us as our own son all his life. He vied for national elections from here and people of Rangpur always voted him to victory. Why should he stay away from us after his death?” said Tofel Uddin, a follower of HM Ershad.
“His last address should also be Rangpur as it always was,” said the 100-year-old man, who had constantly kept tabs on Ershad’s health during the last few months.
“I always cast my vote for Ershad and everyone knows he is our Rangpur’s son. Now we have come to know that he will be buried outside Rangpur,” said rickshaw-puller Sajjad Hossain.
Local leaders and activists of Jatiya Party also want their leader be buried in Rangpur.
“Most of Ershad’s family members have been laid to rest in Rangpur. He should also be buried in Rangpur so that people of this region can pay their homage at his grave,” said Al-Amin Sumon, joint convener of Jatiya Chatra Samaj, the student wing of Jatiya Party.
“Ershad should be buried in Rangpur for his party’s better future,” said Lokman Hossain, joint general secretary of Mahanagar JP, adding that it was Rangpur’s people who had brought Ershad out of jail after he had been imprisoned following the 1990s movement.
Jatiya Party’s Presidium Member and Mayor of Rangpur City Corporation Mostafijar Rahman said Ershad had talked about building a cemetery complex for him in Rangpur and showed a design too.
“We have informed the party’s senior leaders about the matter,” he said.
Moslem Uddin, caretaker of Rangpur Pallinibash, said Ershad used to live in this residence whenever he had visited Rangpur. He chose a place here for his burial too, added Moslem.