Vol. 5 Num 599 Fri. February 03, 2006  
Front Page

Mizan Chy passes away

Veteran politician, former prime minister and a leading organiser of the Liberation War Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury breathed his last at city's Birdem Hospital in the early hours yesterday.

The 80-year politician, popularly known as Mizan Chowdhury, had been suffering from various old age complications.

He left behind his wife, four sons, four daughters, a number of grandchildren and a host of relatives, friends and followers to mourn his death.

President Iajuddin Ahmed, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina and top leaders of different political parties expressed deep shock at the death of Mizan Chowdhury, saying that the nation suffered an irreparable loss at his death.

Leaders of the Awami League (AL) and different political parties thronged the hospital and the house of the deceased to pay their last tributes to the veteran politician whose political career spanned nearly 61years.

Opposition Leader and AL President Sheikh Hasina visited the house of Mizan Chowdhury, placed floral wreath at his coffin, prayed for the salvation of the departed soul and expressed deep sympathy for the bereaved family members.

Senior AL leaders Abdul Jalil, Obaidul Quader, Syed Abul Hossain, Major (rtd) Rafiqul Islam, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury Liton, accompanied the opposition leader.

Law Minister Moudud Ahmed and Jatiya Party (Ershad) leaders Kazi Zafar Ahmed and Shah Moazzem Hossain, Jatiya Party (Manju) Secretary General Sheikh Shahidul Islam and Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiqui also visited Mizan Chowdhury's house and placed wreaths at his coffin.

The first namaz-e-janaza of late Chowdhury was held at Gulshan Azad Mosque.

His body was later taken to the Central Shaheed Minar where people from all walks of life paid homage to him.

Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta), Supreme Court Bar Association, Dhaka Bar Association, Awami Ainjibi Parishad, Muktijoddha Sangsad Central Command and different socio-cultural organisations paid tribute to the former prime minister.

Afterwards, the body was taken to the central office of the AL on Bangabandhu Avenue where 14-party opposition combine, 11-party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, 5-left leaning party, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Gono Forum, Samyabadi Dal, Ganotantri Party and different political parties showed respect to the veteran politician.

After Asr prayers, a second namaz-e-janaza was held at the main gate of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque attended by senior leaders of different political parties.

On behalf of the prime minister, Forest and Environment Minister Torikul Islam placed floral wreath at the coffin of the veteran politician before the janaza.

After the janaza, the coffin was taken to Birdem hospital.

The body will be taken to the leader's village homes Shahrasti and Hajiganj in Chandpur today where janazas will take place. After another janaza at Chandpur Government College ground, he will be buried at his family graveyard with state honour.

A close associate of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mizan Chowdhury was born on October 19, 1928 in Chandpur.

His long vibrant political life started in 1945 when he was elected Comilla unit vice president of Nikhil Bharat Muslim Chhatra League (All India Muslim Students League).

In 1950, he became the general secretary of Feni College Students' Union and played active role in the 1952 Language Movement.

In 1962 he was elected an independent member of the then Pakistan National Assembly. The same year he joined the Awami League (AL). He was also elected to the Pakistan National Assembly for next two consecutive terms in 1965 and 1970.

In 1966, Mizan Chowdhury was elected as the organising secretary of the AL.

He discharged the responsibility of acting general secretary of the party in 1966-67 after the arrest of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tajuddin Ahmed and other top party leaders.

In 1967, he was also arrested.

Mizan Chowdhury served as information minister in the Bangabandhu's cabinet in 1973. He led a faction of the AL, after Banbandhu's killing in 1975.

In 1984, he joined the Jana Dal and later Jatiya Party of HM Ershad and became the prime minister in 1986.

He was elected to the Jatiya Sangsad in 1973, 1979, 1986, 1988 and 1991.

Mizan Chowdhury joined the AL again on August 27, 2001. He was a member of the party's advisory committee till his death.

President Iajuddin Ahmed in a condolence message recalled the contribution of Mizan Chowdhury in democratic movement for giving parliamentary democracy an institutional shape.

The president also noted the significant role played by Chowdhury in parliamentary politics and said, "his death caused an irrecoverable loss to maintaining political restraint and respect towards the opinions of others."

In a condolence message, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia recalled Chowdhury's valuable contributions towards promoting democracy and said a big vacuum has been created in the country's political arena with the demise of an experienced leader like him. Khaleda Zia prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed her sympathy to the bereaved family.

Opposition Leader Sheikh Hasina in a condolence message said, "The nation will remember him for his outstanding role in stimulating the nation for the freedom under the leadership of Bangabandhu."

Hasina recalled that Mizan Chowdhury, led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, had played a glorious role in each of a series of movements starting from the '52 Language Movement for securing the rights of the Bangalees.

Namaz-e-janaza for former prime minister and Awami League presidium member Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury was held at the Baitul Mukarram north gate in the city yesterday. PHOTO: STAR