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Maoist gets state funeral in Bangladesh

world Updated: Oct 11, 2009 15:47 IST

A Maoist shot dead by Bangladeshi police was cremated with state honours for his role as a freedom fighter in the 1971 war for independence.

Nirapada Bairagi, a 57 year-old resident of Sajiara and tailor by profession was a freedom fighter who had fought during the war against Pakistan in 1971.

But, he later joined the banned ultra-left New Biplobi Communist Party and was wanted by the police in eight cases related to murder, abduction, robbery among others, according to the New Age newspaper.

Nirapada was cremated with state honours, on Saturday as he was gazetted as a freedom fighter and enjoyed government allowances entitled to freedom fighters, a senior official said.

The Khulna deputy commissioner, NM Zeaul Alam, said Nirapada was given state honours before his funeral although other formalities, including the sounding of the bugle, could not be done as the funeral was held early in the day.

The Dumuria police officer-in-charge, Faujul Kabir, said Nirapada, an operative of the ultra-left outfit New Biplabi Communist Party, was killed in a 'gunfight' between the his associates and the lawmen early on Friday in a police raid.

Nirapada's son Amit Kumar Bairagi said his father was innocent and was accused only in a case of abduction and had obtained bail.

"How could a man who had never been in hiding be an extremist at the age of 57 ?" Amid said. "The police report was concocted," he was quoted by the paper.