Saifur dies in car crash | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, September 05, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, September 05, 2009

Saifur dies in car crash


Former finance minister M Saifur Rahman died in a road accident on Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Ashuganj yesterday.
A founding member of BNP, he was returning to the capital from his ancestral home in Moulvibazar when his sport-utility vehicle veered off the road and fell into a ditch at Khairala at 2:30pm.
Locals said the driver lost control trying to avoid running over a stray cow.
Rapid Action Battalion personnel rushed Saifur, 77, to the Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital. But doctors there declared him dead.
Dr Tofael Ahmed of the hospital said the BNP leader had already died from being under water for too long.
Saifur's Personal Secretary AGM Shamsul Haque and aides Sajib and Sharif were also aboard the four-wheel drive.
They and the driver survived the fall but sustained injuries, and were admitted to the Sadar hospital.
A patrol team of Rab-9 reached the scene shortly after the accident. They had to pull Saifur and his companions from the wreckage five feet under water.
"He [Saifur] had his seat belt buckled tightly. It took 10-12 minutes to get him out of the water by breaking the door and cutting him free," local Awami League lawmaker Lutful Hai Sachchu told reporters at the hospital.
Saifur went to Sylhet Friday evening. There he visited the shrines of Hazrat Shah Jalal(R) and Shah Paran(R) and met the local BNP leaders and workers. In the evening, he left for Moulvibazar.
In reaction to the sudden death of its doyen, BNP has postponed all its programmes including a parliamentary party meeting that was to decide whether to join the upcoming session of the House.
Besides, it has announced three days of mourning.
Apart from leaders and workers of BNP and front organisations, people from all walks of life thronged Saifur's Gulshan residence to pay respects to the man much revered for his ability to fix economy.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, among others, visited the bereaved family in the evening.
As Khaleda stepped inside the house at around 8:45pm, Saifur's family gathered around her, leading to scenes of intense emotion.
The others who went there to offer their condolences include Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Tofail Ahmed, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku and Major Gen (retd) Subid Ali Bhuiyan of AL, Industries Minister and Samyabadi Dal President Dilip Barua, Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haque Inu, Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, Bangladesh Jatiya Party Chairman Andaleev Rahman and FBCCI President Annisul Haq.
In Brahmanbaria, thousands of people including local top brass of different political parties massed at the hospital on hearing the news.
Saifur's body lay in state at local Mukto Mancha for some time. It was brought to the capital at 8:00pm.
Our Moulvibazar correspondent adds: On request for one more day's stay, Saifur told his relatives he was sick and must be in Dhaka by the evening. He sought doa from all before leaving the house.
Earlier, he offered prayers at the grave of his wife Durre Samad Rahman, who died in 2006 after suffering long from cancer.
As he was not feeling well, he did not fast yesterday. He had fried egg and bread for breakfast, said Minu, Saifur's sister-in-law.
FUNERAL
Saifur will be buried tomorrow at Baharmardan, reports UNB.
His first namaj-e-janaza will be held at Gulshan Azad Mosque at 11:00am today. It will be followed by one at BNP central office at 12:30pm and another at Parliament plaza after Zohr prayers.
Janazas will be held also at Shahi Eidgah Maidan in Sylhet at 1:00pm tomorrow and at Moulvibazar Government High School ground before burial.

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