Veteran Awami League politician Suranjit Sengupta died at the age of 71 on Feb 5.
The eloquent parliamentarian and a freedom fighter, who was a member of the first committee to formulate the Constitution, died of a low haemoglobin count.
The five-time lawmaker from Sunamganj served as the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs until he passed away.
Suranjit became a Cabinet member for the first time in 2011, but his short stint as a minister did not end well.
Within five months of obtaining the portfolio of the newly-formed railways ministry, he found himself in a soup, when his assistant personal secretary was arrested by police in possession of a huge amount of cash.
Suranjit resigned in disgrace after the incident, but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not accept it and kept him as a minister without a portfolio.
Suranjit was one of the youngest members of the East Pakistan Provincial Assembly in 1970. He has been a member of parliament for most of the four decades since Bangladesh’s independence.
He took part in the 1971 Liberation War as a sub-commander of the Sector-5.
Noted film actor Miju Ahmed died on Mar 27 at the age of 64.
Ahmed, best known for his film-roles as a villain, had also produced a number of movies under his production agency Friends Movies.
He received the National Award in 1992. The actor made his debut in 1978 and soon soared to the peak of popularity.
His blockbuster hits include Trishna (1978), Surrender (1987), Chakar (1992), Soleman Danga (1992), Tyag (1993), Bashira (1996), Ajker Shantrashi (1996), Hangor Nadi Grenade (1997), Kuli (1997), Lal Baadshah (1999), Gunda Number One (2000), Big Boss (2003), and Bhondo Ojha (2006).
Reputed musician Lucky Akhand died after a long battle with lung cancer on Apr 21. He was 60. Akhand was a rage in the 1980s, when he hit the limelight as a singer, lyricist, composer and music director all at the same time.
Eiye Neel Monihar, Amay Deko Na, Ritiniti Jani Na, Age Jodi Jantam and Sumona are some of his songs that earned him a huge fan following.
After his brother Happy Akhand, one of the pioneers of pop music in Bangladesh, died in 1987, Lucky Akhand withdrew himself from music.
Freedom fighter Ziauddin Ahmed, who headed battles in the Sundarbans during the Liberation War, died of liver ailments on Jul 28 in Singapore. He was 67.
Ziauddin was the commanding officer for the First East Bengal Regiment fighting the 1971 war against Pakistan under Sector-9.
He served as the Pirojpur municipality chairman between 1989 and 1991. Locals often referred to him as the Mukuthin Samrat, or Crownless Emperor.
The freedom fighter led the fight against Pakistani soldiers in the Sundarbans as a sub-sector commander of Sector-9.
He later started a non-political organisation for the forest’s protection.
Ziauddin had been the chairman of Dubla Fisherman Group, and worked to eliminate bandits from the Sundarbans. He was injured during a gun battle with the forest’s bandits in 2013.
He authored a book, Muktijuddhe Sundarban, to provide his narrative of the events that shaped the freedom struggle in the forest region.
‘Nayak Raj’ Razzak
Abdur Razzak, fondly known as Nayak Raj for his legendary film roles, died at the age of 75 on Aug 21. The actor had been suffering from pneumonia and old-age complications.
In his career of five decades as an artiste, Razzak starred in more than 500 films and directed 16.
Razzak’s first big break came with his role in Zahir Raihan’s Behula in 1966.
Neel Akasher Niche, Swaralipi, Jibon Theke Neya, Etotuku Asha, Rongbaz, Baadi Theke Begum, Ananta Prem, Alor Michhil, Obujh Mon, Anarkali, Chhutir Ghanta, Oshikkhito and Dui Poishar Alta are some of the films that helped him emerge as the iconic hero of his industry.
He has shared the screen with many other prominent actors, including Anwar Hossain, Bulbul Ahmed, Sohel Rana, Ilias Kanchan, Shuchanda, Shabana, Bobita, Kabori, Sujata and Shabnam.
He appeared in a number of films with actress Shabana.
He received Bangladesh’s highest civilian honour, Independence Award, in 2015 for his role in the cultural arena.
Abdul Jabbar, a singer of iconic Bangla songs that inspired freedom fighters
during the nation’s struggle for freedom, passed away on Aug 30 at the age of
79, leaving behind his five-decade legacy.
veteran of Bangladesh’s music scene had suffered kidney failures and also had
heart and prostrate ailments.
was one of the artistes of the 1971 war-time radio station: Swadhin Bangla
radio station, with help from defected Bengalee officers of the Pakistan army,
played a vital role in the war, broadcasting the Proclamation of Independence.
his songs made to the top 20 all-time Bangla songs in 2006 survey by the BBC
Bangla — ‘Tumi Ki Dekhechho Kobhu Jiboner Porajoy’, ‘Salam Salam Hazar Salam’
and ‘Joy Bangla, Banglar Joy’.
Nov 7, 1938 in Kushtia, Jabbar had a penchant for music from early childhood
inspired by his mother.
independent Bangladesh, his singing career evolved around the movie industry.
He shot to fame with the song ‘O Re Neel Daria’ of the 1978 move ‘Shareng Bou’.
five-decade career of playback singing, he started working on his only album
‘Kothay Amar Neel Daria’ in 2008, which was released this year.
contribution to the Bangladeshi music, he was awarded the ‘Ekushey Padak’ in
1980 and the ‘Swadhinata Padak’ in 1996 — the highest civilian awards by
Naturalist Dwijen Sharma died at the age of 88 on Sept 15.
Sharma, who dedicated his life to trees, went on to write more than a dozen books on the role of nature in human life. He received the Bangla Academy award in 1987 and the Ekushey Padak in 2015.
He had borrowed poetic expressions from Jibanananda Das, Jasimuddin and folklores such as the Mymensingh Gitika to describe plants, flowers and fruits.
One of his famous books is Shyamoli Nishorgo.
A leading advocate for nature-friendly cities, he worked tirelessly to create and nurture green patches within capital Dhaka.
BNP Standing Committee member and former minister MK Anwar died of old-age complications on Oct 23. He was 84.
Mohammad Khorshed Anwar, known as MK Anwar, was born in 1933 in Comilla.
He joined the then Pakistan Civil Service and served the Bangladesh administration after independence.
Anwar served as the finance secretary and the cabinet secretary before retiring in 1990.
He then joined the BNP and was elected a lawmaker from Comilla’s Homna five times.
Anwar served as the agriculture minister in the BNP chief Khaleda Zia administration between 2001 and 2006.
Abdur Rahman Biswas
Abdur Rahman Biswas, who served as Bangladesh’s president during the BNP’s tenure in the 90s, died at the age of 91 on Nov 3.
Soon after being elected an MP in 1991, he became the Speaker of parliament. He became Bangladesh’s 16th President the same year.
His term as president ended months after the Awami League came to power in 1996. Rahman had been out of the spotlight since then.
His political career began when he joined the Muslim League during Ayub Khan’s regime. He was elected member of the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly in 1962 and again in 1965.
During the 1971 Liberation War, he pledged allegiance to Pakistan, according to the Banglapedia.
Local freedom fighters say he was the Barisal head of Peace Committee, a thuggish platform formed by the Pakistan army to crush Bengali rebellion in 1971.
After Bangladesh’s independence, Rahman became the chairman of Barisal Municipality in 1977 during Ziaur Rahman’s tenure.
He was elected MP in the 1979 general election and served as a minister in the Zia regime.
AFM Mahbubul Haque
Convener of the Socialist Party of Bangladesh and freedom fighter AFM Mahbubul Haque died in Canada on Nov 10 at the age of 69.
He had been critically ill after suffering brain haemorrhage on Sept 26.
Mahbubul had been living in Canada with his family for more than 10 years. He served as an instructor at Bangladesh Liberation Force (Mujib Bahini) during the 1971 Liberation War.
Eminent folk singer, composer and flautist Bari Siddiqui died on Nov 24. He was 63.
The musician died of kidney complications.
Siddiqui’s musical talent became widely recognised in the 1990s when he performed as a playback singer in late director and writer Humayun Ahmed’s films.
Many of Siddiqui’s film songs—mostly folk-based and spiritual—are popular among music lovers.
Siddiqui touched the hearts of millions after his song Amar Gaye Joto Dukkho Shoy was broadcast on BTV.
Siddiqui’s songs from box office hit Srabon Megher Din became widely popular in 1999. The singer took part in the World Flute Summit held in Geneva the same year.
Siddiqui is also proud holder of a dozen albums.
Dhaka North Mayor Annisul Huq died at a London hospital on Nov 30 after losing his nearly four-month battle against a blood vessel disease of the brain.
He was elected in 2015 polls and backed by the ruling Awami League.
He had served as president of Bangladesh’s apex trade body FBCCI during the military-installed caretaker administration.
Prior to that, he also headed the trade body of apparel makers and exporters, BGMEA.
He founded Mohammadi Group in 1986 after a stint in television as an anchor in the 1980s and 90s.
BTV shows Anandamela and Antarale became popular with Annisul anchoring them. He also anchored in the live telecast on the state-run television announcing the results of the 1991 general elections.
Apart from being a full-time businessman, he also served as president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
With no apparent political ties, he was a surprise pick by the ruling party as no other Awami League leaders gunned for the Dhaka North mayor.
ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury
Chittagong Metropolitan Awami League President and former mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury died on Dec 15, bringing the curtain down on a glittering political career spanning over five decades.
A freedom fighter, Chowdhury was elected three times to the mayor’s office, serving the Chittagong City Corporation for 16 years.
During the 1971 Liberation War, he formed the Joy Bangla Bahini and was arrested by the Pakistani forces.
He, however, was released from jail when he managed to convince the army that he was mentally instable.
After he was released, Chowdhury crossed the border into India and was appointed as the commander of a freedom fighters’ squad in the training camp in Uttar Pradesh’s Tandua.
Following the 1975 assassination of Bangabandhu, he formed an armed resistance, but went to India later after he was prosecuted for treason and returned in 1978, according to his autobiography.
Chowdhury served as president of the Awami League’s student, youth and labour affiliates in Chittagong.
He contested twice from a Chittagong constituency in the 1986 and 1991 general elections but was never elected to parliament.
Muhammed Sayedul Hoque
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Muhammed Sayedul Hoque passed away on Dec 16. The 71-year-old was suffering from a prostate gland infection.
He joined Bangabandhu’s six-point movement in 1966 and in 1968 was elected as vice president of the student council at the Brahmanbaria Government College.
Hoque was elected to the Brahmanbaria-1 seat five times as a member of the Awami League. The veteran AL leader was appointed to the cabinet under the Sheikh Hasina administration in 2014.
He was elected to the constituency in 1973 during the first parliamentary polls. He was again elected in the 1996, 2001, 2008 and 2014 elections.
Hoque was appointed as fisheries and livestock minister on Jan 12, 2014.
During his tenure, Bangladesh became the fourth largest producer of fish and goat products. The ministry also highlighted his role in increasing the hilsa stock.
Hoque faced criticism last year after attacks on the Hindu community in his constituency of Nasirnagar.
Gaibandha-1 MP Golam Mostafa breathed his last on Dec 19.
He succumbed to the injuries he suffered in a Tangail road accident in November. He was 66.
Mostafa had been the general secretary of the Sundarganj Awami League for 32 years and received the party’s backing for the bypolls scheduled after the murder of former Sundarganj MP Manjurul Islam Liton on Dec 31, 2016.
On Mar 22 this year, Mostafa beat a Jatiya Party candidate for the seat.
Begum Mumtaz Hossain
Playwright-writer Begum Mumtaz Hossain passed away on Dec 29 at the age of 77.
Hossain came to the limelight by penning popular TV drama series of the 80s, ‘Shakal-Shandhya’ and ‘Shuktara’.
She is a sister of seasoned filmmaker late Alamgir Kabir and mother of noted filmmaker, painter late Khalid Mahmood Mithu.
The Begum Rokeya Award-winner served as the principal at the Udayan Higher Secondary School in Dhaka. She also took an active role during the Liberation War.