Emotions gripped thousands of mourners in Dhaka on Monday as they offered funeral prayers for slain army officers brutally killed during the two-day mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) soldiers.
A 21-gun salute was given as the army trucks carried 50 bodies of mutiny victims,including Maj Gen Shakil and his wife Begum Nazneen Shakil,wrapped in Bangladesh’s flag to the National Parade Square in Dhaka.
President Zillur Rahman,council of ministers,chiefs of three services,politicians,lawmakers and a large number of military officials and civilians attended the namaz-e-janaza (funeral prayers).
Islamic clerics recited the verses from the Holy Koran as part of the religious ritual which is to be followed by their burial at the Banani Graveyard.
As the clerics recited the verses,the mourners stood in solemn silence in several rows.
Tears were seen in the eyes of mourners as a military officer read out the names of the assassinated officers.
At least 135 military officers,including BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed,were brutally killed by the rebel soldiers.
Soon after the prayers seeking eternal blessings for departed souls,President Rahman offered wreaths in front of the coffins while air force jets offered flying salutes.
The funeral prayers came as searches were underway for some 70 missing army officers who were serving in the paramilitary force during the mutiny.
“During the 1971 Liberation War,we lost 51 officers in nine months and the mutiny claimed 135 in few hours,” Bangladesh’s first army chief Maj Gen (retd.) M Shafiullah said.
Earlier on Friday,the namaz-e-janaza of seven BDR officers killed in the same incident was held at the Army Central Mosque in the Dhaka Cantonment.