Language Movement organiser and writer Halima Khatun died in the capital’s United Hospital at about 2:00pm on Tuesday. She was 86.
Halima Khatun was suffering from anemia, cardiac and kidney complexities for many days.
She was admitted at Gonoshastha Nagar Hospital on Thursday, but was later transferred to United Hospital as her condition deteriorated.
Halima’s body will be kept in a hearse in her granddaughter Antara Arifa Propa’s Dhanmondi resident and will be kept at the Central Shahid Minar for public viewing from 11:00am today, said Antara Arifa.
She also said that they had a plan to bury her at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals’ graveyard, but the decision was not confirmed until Tuesday evening.
Halima Khatun was born on August 25 in 1933 in Bagerhat. She retired as a professor of the Institute Education and Research of Dhaka University in 1997.
She graduated from the English department of Dhaka University and did her master’s in Bangla from Rajshahai University.
Later, Halima completed her PhD on primary education from University of Colorado, USA.
Halima was one of the participants of Language Movement in 1952. She was entrusted with the task of bringing the students out of the Muslim Girls’ School and the Banglabazar Girls’ School to the Aamtala of the university.
Breaking Section 144 and avoiding police barricade, she is the first one to go to the streets during the curfew, assembled at Amtola on Dhaka University campus and joined the movement with other activists, including Dr Sufia Khatun, Rawshan Ara Bachchu, Sufia Ibrahim, Fazilatunnessa, Rani Bhattachariya, Pratibha Mutsuddi, Sofia Khan, Zulekha, Nuri, Sara Taifur, Sufia Ahmed and Safia Khatun.
When they chanted slogans and marched forward pushing obstacles, police arrested some of them.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor expressed condolence at the death of Halima Khatun. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy also honoured her for contributions to language movement.
In a statement, Workers’ Party of Bangladesh president Rashed Khan Menon, also social welfare minister, and general secretary Fazle Hossain Badsha, also an MP, expressed their condolence at the death of Halima Khatun.