Burial Tuesday, site undecided

Humayun Ahmed will be buried on Tuesday, according to his family who could not yet decide where the writer will be laid to rest.

Sammilito Sangskritik Jote President Nasir Uddin Yusuf Bacchu said this to reporters at the Central Shaheed Minar on Monday after people from the broad spectrum of society paid their last respects to the popular fiction writer there.

He said Humayun's body will be kept at BIRDEM's mortuary for the night following the namaj-e-janaza at the National Eidgah ground. "He will be buried on Tuesday."

His family members will sit on Monday evening to decide the place for his grave," Bacchu said.

A funeral prayer was held at the National Eidgah ground at 2:30pm after his body was taken there from the Shaheed Minar.

Then Humayun's body was taken to BIRDEM to keep it there for the night. His elder son 'Nuhash' was present there at the time.

His younger brother Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, at the Shaheed Minar, urged the people of the country to pray his brother. "Please pray for him."

He also apologised to those who could not pay their last tribute to their favourite writer because of the huge gathering.

"Humayun Ahmed is my brother. But it has been proved today that he was not only mine, but also everyone's brother, and adored by them. I believe he [Humayun] has felt the respect and love of those who came here," he said addressing the people who gathered there to pay their respect.

The author of more than 300 bestsellers who won the Ekushey Padak breathed his last at a New York hospital on Jul 19 aged 64 after suffering from cancer for nine months.

A plane carrying Humayun's coffin had arrived at the Shahjalal International Airport at 8:56am from New York. A smartly turned-out contingent of police carried the coffin to the ambulance decorated with flowers.

The famous playwright's younger brother, cartoonist Ahsan Habib had earlier told reporters at the airport that they wanted to bury Humayun on Monday if everything went according to plan.

"It is our mother's wish that he be buried at Mirpur or Banani. But a final decision will be made after speaking with Shaon."

Meanwhile, Humayun's wife Meher Afroz Shaon told reporters at the Shaheed Minar, "He had told me that everybody will fight over this issue if anything happens to him. He told me, 'Don't let them make me suffer. Take me to Nuhash Palli. Leave me with my trees'."

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal had said they will make up their minds after further deliberations.

The family members including Zafar Iqbal, Ahsan Habib and Shaon also held a short meeting at a police box set up beside the Shaheed Minar to decide on the grave.

As they failed to decide, Bacchu announced the end to the tributes.

Junior LGRD Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak told reporters there, "The government will bear the burial expenses if they [family] decide to lay Humayun Ahmed to rest in any government graveyard."

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