February 5, 2017 - 6:16pm
Veteran Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta has passed away at Labaid Hospital in Dhaka. He was 71.
People from of different communities have paid tribute to veteran Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta at Dhakeshwari Temple in Dhaka.
The body of the former minister was taken to the temple around 11:30am on Sunday.
He died at Labaid Hospital around 4:24am on Sunday, his Personal Secretary Kamrul Islam siad.
While talking to the media, Awami League’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader said that the seven-time MP was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of the hospital on February 3.
He was placed on life support early Sunday.
The Sunamganj 2 lawmaker was a member of the party’s Advisory Council and chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law Ministry.
His body will be taken to National Parliament at 3pm. His body will be taken to Sylhet around 9am on Monday.
Later, the body would be taken to his ancestral home in Dirai upazila of Sumanganj around 3pm for cremation.
Born on May 5, 1945, Suranjit actively took part in the 1971 Liberation War. He completed Masters from Dhaka University and later passed in LLB from Dhaka Central Law College.
He started his political career with left parties. In 1967, when the National Awami Party split, he joined the faction led by Prof Mozaffar Ahmed. He was elected as a lawmaker in the 1970 elections.
Suranjit was a key member of the committees that prepared the country’s constitution and the International Crimes Tribunal Act of 1973 during the rule of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He joined the Awami League in 1990s and soon became an influential leader.
He had always been vocal against Jamaat-e-Islami and religion-based politics, and spoke for the rights of the Hindus and other religious minority groups.
Suranjit escaped death several times as Islamist militants launched bomb attacks on him before and after the death of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria in a grenade attack in 2005.
He reportedly sided with the AL leaders who favoured reformation within the party during the army-backed caretaker government, and was dropped from the Presidium when party chief Sheikh Hasina assumed office in January 2009.
As a member of the parliament, Suranjit was vocal against both mismanagement and corruption of the government, and violent politics of BNP-Jamaat alliance. He was co-chair of the special parliamentary committee on constitutional amendment in 2011.
Suranjit was made railways minister when the ministry was established in December 2011. He took a number of steps to revive the sector including freeing its land from illegal occupation, improving service and stopping corruption.
But he came under severe criticism in April 2012 after his APS Omar Faruque Talukder was caught with Tk70 lakh along with then railway’s east zone general manager Yusuf Ali Mridha and railway’s then security commandant (Dhaka division) Enamul Haque at the Pilkhana.
They were reportedly going to Suranjit’s Jigatola residence on a microbus owned by Faruque. The APS, Mridha and Enamul were suspended.
The money was allegedly taken from candidates in exchange for promises to recruit people to the Bangladesh Railway.
He later resigned from the post, but the government made him a minister without portfolio. After an investigation, the Anti-Corruption Commission declared him innocent.
Faruque was given five years in jail in a corruption case on January 22 this year. On the other hand, Mridha’s name did not appear in charge sheets in the cases over irregularities in recruitment.