Sadeque Hossain Khoka passes away
Sadeque Hossain Khoka, former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation and BNP vice-chairman, died on Monday in the USA. He was 67.
Khoka, also a former minister, breathed his last at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York around 1:50pm (BST), said BNP chairperson’s media wing member Sayrul Kabir Khan quoting his son Ishraque Hossaain.
On his Facebook page, Ishraque also said, “On 4th November 2019, my father former Mayor of Dhaka Sadeque Hossain Khoka passed away at New York time 2:50 am and Bangladesh time 1:50 pm in New York City. I will announce further information on behalf of my family [Sic].”
The valiant freedom fighter had been undergoing treatment at the same hospital since 18 October for cancer and some other diseases.
“Initially, his condition was stable, but it continued to worsen since Tuesday last,” Ishraque told UNB on Saturday.
He also said doctors stopped giving his father treatment for cancer a few days back as he was not in a condition to receive it.”
Khoka went to the USA along with his wife Ishrat Hossain in 2014 for treatment while the validity of their passports expired in 2017.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday urged the government to take necessary steps so their party leader and freedom fighter Sadeque Hossain Khoka can return home from the USA as he wished to be buried in Bangladesh.
Later, state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh Mission in New York is ready to issue ‘travel permit’ if the family of Khoka applies for that.
Meanwhile, BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir expressed deep shock at his death.
Jatiya Party chairman GM Quader, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Quader Siddique also expressed profound shock at his death.
Born in 12 May 1952 in Dhaka, Khoka was a guerilla freedom fighter during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
He stepped into politics through joining Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani’s National Awami Party (NAP).
Later, he joined BNP, and was made party’s Dhaka city unit president.
Khoka was first elected MP in 1991 from Sutrapur-Kotwali seat and subsequently made state minister for Youth and Sports. He was also elected MP in 1996.
In 2001 national election, Khoka was also elected MP from the same seat in 2001 and given the charge of the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock.
Later, he contested Dhaka City Corporation election in 2002 and was elected mayor. He held the post for nearly nine years.
Khoka was arrested days before the 5 January national election in 2014.
Released on bail from jail, he was admitted to Birdem Hospital in the capital, but doctors could not exactly detect his health problem.
Later, he went to the USA on 14 May 2014 and has been receiving treatment there since then.