DHAKA, July 14, 2019 (BSS) – 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.