Former minister Sahara Khatun dies in Bangkok

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:35, Jul 10,2020 | Updated: 00:26, Jul 11,2020


Sahara Khatun

Ruling Awami League presidium member and former home minister Sahara Khatun died at a Bangkok hospital in Thailand on Thursday night. She was 77.

Dhaka-18 lawmaker Sahara’s personal assistant Mujibur Rahman told New Age that she breathed her last at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok at about 11:25pm Bangladesh time.

AL office secretary Biplob Barua said that she would be buried at Banani graveyard on Saturday following a namaz-e-janaza there at 11:00am after the arrival of her body from Bangkok. On July 6, Sahara left Dhaka for better treatment in Thailand after the lawmaker had been released from United Hospital in Dhaka.

On June 2, she was admitted to the hospital with allergy, fever and old-age complications and later was shifted to ICU on June 19 after her condition deteriorated.

During the Army-backed caretaker government, Sahara proved her as a loyal activist of the then jailed Awami League president Sheikh Hasina. She represented Hasina in court during the period.

She was made the home minister in 2009 and later served as the posts and telecommunications minister.

Sahara faced criticisms for the failure to arrest the killers of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi after vowing to solve the mystery within 48 hours.

Sahara was born on Mar 1, 1943, in Dhaka to Abdul Aziz Master and Turjan Nesa.

After passing LLB, she joined the legal profession in 1981 as a junior to late president Zillur Rahman.

The founding president of now-defunct Bangladesh Awami Ainjibi Parishad, she had worked as the chairperson of Bangladesh Bar Council’s finance committee.

The Awami League fielded her as the candidate for Dhaka-5 against Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia in the 1991 election. She lost the election and the party chose not to nominate her in the polls of 1996 and 2001. Sahara got Awami League seat after winning the party ticket back in 2008 parliamentary elections.

President Md Abdul Hamid, prime minister and AL president Sheikh Hasina, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader, speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and ministers and political associates of Sahara expressed their deep shock at the death.

In his message, the president said that the death of Sahara Khatun is really an irreparable loss to the national politics of Bangladesh as she was a tested leader of the Awami League at its tough time.

In her condolence message, the prime minister said Sahara Khatun dedicated her life for reestablishing democracy and people’s rights as a combatant of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibiur Rahman’s principle.

‘The country and nation have lost a competent and honest woman leader while personally I have lost a tested and trusted co-fighter’, Sheikh Hasina said.

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