Amid love and tears of people, Rashid Talukder, one of the most acclaimed photojournalists in the country, was laid to eternal rest with state honour at Azimpur graveyard in the city yesterday.
Silence settled over friends, colleagues, family members, and hundreds of well-wishers as he was buried around 1:30pm near the tomb of his wife who, Halima Rashid, died in 2008.
Earlier, his body was taken to the Central Shaheed Minar where he left countless footsteps to cover different national events. His coffin was kept open on a makeshift table by Sammilito Sangskritik Jote.
Wreath on behalf of prime minister was placed on the coffin. Leaders of the ruling Awami League including Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Matia Chowdhury, and Syed Ashraful Islam, and other political parties, freedom fighters, cultural activists, representatives of different socio-cultural organisations and people from all strata of the society paid their last tribute to the valiant war hero with flowers.
Photojournalists of almost all media paid a unique respect to the icon by putting their cameras in a circle around the coffin. Their faces etched with grief, all stood in silence.
A demand was voiced from the photojournalists that Rashid's photographs be collected and brought out as publication for documentation.
His coffin was taken to his Bashabo residence around 8:15am and his first namaz-e-janaza was held at a nearby mosque at 9:30am.
Rashid Talukder, whose pictures are considered to be major documents of the Liberation War, breathed his last around 6:25pm on Tuesday at a city hospital at the age of 72. He left behind his two daughters, a son, and a host of relatives and admirers to mourn his death.
Talukder underwent surgery on September 11 following a brain haemorrhage earlier that day. As his condition deteriorated on October 14, he was taken to Ibn Sina Hospital and on October 18 to Square Hospital. Since then, he had been on life support.
Around 12:05pm yesterday, his coffin was taken to Jatiya Press Club where the second namaz-e-janaza was held. Ministers, political leaders, journalists, cultural personalities, former student leaders, and representatives of different professional bodies attended the janaza.
“Please pray for my father so that he can rest in peace,” said his younger daughter Sonia Rashid before the janaza.
The coffin of Rashid was shrouded with wreaths. He was accorded a guard of honour as a mark of respect by police contingent with trumpet playing sad tunes.
“From the period of 6-point demand of 1966 to the Liberation War, in every aspect Rashid's photographs touched people's heart”, said Awami League Leader Tofail Ahmed.
Beginning his career at the daily Sangbad as a photojournalist in 1962 and spending 46 years in the profession till the end, Rashid captured numerous aspects of people and life in Bangladesh for several decades.
He is one of the photojournalists who brought the country pride by winning the prestigious 2010 Pioneer Photographer Award in All Roads Photography programme, a National Geographic project.
Rashid also received several honours at home and abroad. His iconic photograph of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivering his historic March 7 speech in 1971 was nominated for entry in the Encyclopaedia on Southeast Asia, published by Cambridge University, England.
A doa mahfil will be held at his residence on Friday after Asr prayers.
RASHID'S DEATH CONDOLED
Different political, social, and cultural organisations expressed deep condolence at the death of eminent photojournalist Rashid Talukder in separate press releases.
President and General Secretary of Bangladesher Workers Party said the outstanding contributions of Rashid Talukder in the liberation war and all democratic movements against autocracy will be remembered forever.
Leaders of Jatiya Gonotantrik League said Rashid Talukder presented the history of liberation war through his outstanding pictures. He will be remembered forever for his contribution in journalism, they added.
Bangladesh Nari Mukti Andolon, Bangladesh Jubo Maitri, Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh, Bangla Academy, and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Associations (BGMEA), and Bangladesh Mahila Parishad also expressed deep condolence at his death.
Rashid Talukder died at a city hospital on Tuesday.