Vol. 5 Num 91 Wed. August 25, 2004  
Front Page

End of a fight
Ivy dies from her wounds after 58 hours

Veteran Awami League leader Ivy Rahman died early yesterday after fighting for her life for three days since she was grievously injured in Saturday's grenade attack on the AL rally.

The death of Ivy, who was a witness to the nation's turbulent history since the Pakistan days, put an end to a checkered political career. A deep sense of grief descended on her political colleagues and the people in general.

The women's affairs secretary of Awami League (AL), who had both her legs blown off in the grenade attack on Bangabandhu Avenue, died soon after midnight yesterday at the intensive care unit of the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka.

CMH doctors informed Ivy's family of her death at 2:30am over telephone. Former AL general secretary Zillur Rahman, Ivy's husband, was informed of his wife's death at around five o'clock in the morning, family sources said.

She will be buried at Banani graveyard today after namaz-e-janaza after Asr prayers.

As the news of Ivy's death spread, thousands of people and politicians crowded Ivy Concord Tower, residence of the dead leader in Gulshan, since morning.

She had been in coma ever since she sustained injury. Multiple grenade explosions close to the leader blew up both her legs, which were later amputated.

After a brief stay at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the critically injured leader was shifted to the CMH. She was given 22 bags of blood during a number of surgeries that followed the amputation.

According to Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR), the 60-year-old politician's liver and kidneys failed to function normally on Monday while other organs also gradually gave up.

Top AL leaders including Abdul Jalil, Tofail Ahmed, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Rahmatullah, Asaduzzaman Noor and HBM Iqbal arrived at Ivy's residence to console Zillur Rahman, now almost bed-ridden with low blood pressure since yesterday morning.

Zillur became speechless and appeared briefly before the press outside his bedroom. Both his daughters -- Tania and Moina -- and only son Nazmul Hasan were with him since early morning.

Jalil and other leaders held an informal press briefing to say when and where Ivy will be buried.

"According to the family decision, Ivy Rahman's body would be taken to Baitul Mukarram National Mosque tomorrow (Wednesday) for namaz-e-janaja after Asr payers. Gayabana janaja will be held across the country," Jalil announced.

Jalil also said that according to the party decision, today's hartal has been shortened to 1:00pm.

Ivy's body will remain at the CMH mortuary and a military ambulance will carry it straight to the mosque, said an AL leader.

An AL leader said the CMH authorities have been asked to hand over the body without performing postmortem.

Ivy Rahman: Profile

Ivy Rahman, maiden named Jebun Nahar Ivy, was born on July 7, 1944 in 'Baro Barií in Bhairab, Kishoreganj. She was the fifth among eight sons and three daughters of eminent principal of Dhaka College late Jalal Uddin Ahmed. Her elder sister Shamsur Nahar Siddique is the mother-in-law of Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina.

Ivy became widely known as Ivy Rahman since her marriage with frontline AL leader and former local government, rural development and co-operatives minister Zillur Rahman on June 27, 1958.

A graduate from Dhaka University, Ivy in her student life was an active worker of AL's students' wing Bangladesh Chhatra League and took part in numerous political movements under the leadership of Banghabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

As a member of Mukul Fouz and Girls Guide, Ivy was also earnestly involved in social work, and strongly believed in and fought for establishing women's rights.

Ivy, popularly known as Ivy Apa, was the founding organising secretary of AL's women's wing, Mohila Awami League, established by Bangabandhu in 1969.

As a freedom fighter she took training in guerrilla warfare in 1971 and had numerous contributions in the war against the Pakistani occupation forces.

During the uprising against the autocracy of Ershad, she was one of the strong voices the nation heard demanding democracy in the country.

She was elected women affairs secretary of AL Central Working Committee in 1978 and two years later she became the president of Mohila AL. She had served in those positions until 2002.

After the amendment of AL's manifesto by its council in 2002, Ivy resigned from the post of Mohila AL and was elected women affairs secretary of AL's central body.

From 1996 to 2001, Ivy served as the chair of Jatiya Mohila Sangstha and Bangladesh Jatiya Mohila Samabaya Samity. She was the president of Mohila Samity and general secretary of Bangladesh Andhakalyan Samity until her death early yesterday, three days since she had been fatally wounded in Saturday's grenade attack on AL rally.

She was 60.

She left behind her 95-year-old mother Hasina Begum, husband, a son, two daughters, and a host of friends, relations and admirers to mourn her death.

Awami League Women's Affairs Secretary Ivy Rahman, inset, passed away early yesterday, three days into fatal injuries in Saturday's grenade attacks on an AL rally. Bottom, Tania, Ivy's eldest daughter, at their Gulshan home, tries to console her father Zillur Rahman while herself trying to accept the news of her mother's death. PHOTO: STAR