Former president Ershad passes away
Former President and main opposition Jatiya Party chief Hussain Muhammad Ershad passed away this morning at Dhaka’s Combined Military Hospital (CMH) at the age 89, the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) announced here.
Ershad breathed his last at 7.45 am at the intensive care unit of the facility where he was kept on life support for the last nine days when he was exposed to gradual organ failures.
“Previously he tried to respond opening his eyes, but on Saturday he could not blink his eyes,” Ershad’s younger brother and Jatiya Party leader GM Quader told newsmen yesterday.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury mourned Ershad’s death and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.
A former army chief Ershad took over the state power in a bloodless coup in 1982 and subsequently ran the country for eight years until he was forced to quit in a pro-democracy mass upsurge in 1990.
Despite being imprisoned subsequently on several charges, Ershad, however, retained his stake in politics and elected to parliament several times, once contesting from the prison even.
The family and Jatiya Party sources said Ershad’s first namaj-e-janaza would be held after Johr prayers at Dhaka Cantonment’s Central Mosque and then would be flown to his ancestral home district in Rangpur to be brought back to Dhaka for burial at the Banani army graveyard.
They, however, could not ascertain the timing of the burial yet.
Ershad was born in 1930 in Dinhata, a subdivision of Coochbehar district of present-day India’s West Bengal during the then British rule to Mokbul Hossain and Mazida Khatun.
His parents migrated from Dinhata to Bangladesh (the then East Pakistan) in 1948 a year after the India-Pakistan partition.
He was one of nine siblings including GM Quader and Mozammel Hossain Lalu.
Ershad studied in Carmichael College in Rangpur, and later graduated from the Dhaka University in 1950 ahead of making his debut in his military career joining the then Pakistani army in 1952.
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