New Delhi [India], July 14 (ANI): Former Bangladesh President Hussain Muhammad Ershad passed away on Sunday, aged 89, after weeks in a Dhaka hospital.
Jatiya Party (JP) member and Ershad's relative Khaled Akhter told Prothom Alo that the former leader passed away around 7:45 am (local time).
JP acting chairman GM Quader said that Ershad, who was on life support at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka since last month, suffered from multiple organ failure.
"Physicians had long been trying to make his kidney and liver functions normal, but there was no desired improvement in this regard," he added.
Ershad was born in Cooch Behar of the then British India on February 1, 1930. He completed his graduation from Dhaka University in 1950 and then joined the Pakistani Army.
He returned to Bangladesh after the liberation war and was appointed as adjutant general of Bangladesh Army by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1973.
After the assassination of President Ziaur Rahman on May 30, 1981, Ershad usurped state power as the Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) by removing the elected government of President Abdus Sattar through a bloodless coup in April 1982, and three days later he installed Justice Abul Fazl Mohammad Ahsanuddin Chowdhury as the President.
Later, Ershad assumed the country's Presidency in December 1983, The Daily Star reported.
During his regime, he suspended the country's constitution and parliament, and also repressed his political opponents. According to critics, Ershad used religion to gain petty political interest through wooing country's majority Muslims by making Islam the state religion in 1988.
But a mass upsurge forced Ershad to resign on December 6, 1990, that was further followed by his imprisonment in 1991.
Ershad was released on bail on January 9, 1997. Later in 2006, he formed a grand alliance with Sheikh Hasina's Awami League and took part in the 2008 general elections of the country.
The former president will be buried at Army Graveyard in Dhaka on Tuesday, Khandaker Delwar Jalali, Ershad's deputy press secretary, confirmed to Dhaka Tribune.
India also remembered the former Bangla president for his contribution to the special bilateral relationship with India and for his public service to Bangladesh.
"Deeply saddened by the demise of H.E. Hussain Muhammad Ershad, former President of Bangladesh today. He will long be remembered for his contribution to the special bilateral relationship with India and for his public service to Bangladesh," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson wrote on Twitter. (ANI)