Hassan Shahriar, a veteran journalist and former Jatiya Press Club (JPC) president, passed away at a city hospital on Saturday. He was 76.
Shahriar, also a two-term international president of Commonwealth Journalists' Association (CJA), breathed his last at Impulse Hospital around 11:45am while undergoing treatment there, JPC joint secretary Mainul Alam told UNB.
He said the senior journalist was admitted to the hospital around 1:30 am on Friday with various symptoms of coronavirus, including fever, cough and breathing problem.
Mainual said Shahriar underwent Covid-19 test a week back but the result came out negative. “Later, he was admitted to the hospital with 80% damaged lungs and serious breathing problems.”
His first namaj-e-janaza was held on the Jatiya Press Club premises after Asr prayers, which was participated by his former colleagues, editors, many senior and junior journalists, friends, family members and well-wishers.
After the janaza, leaders of the JPC, CJA, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) and some other organisations, and media outlets paid homage to the journalists by placing wreaths on his coffin.
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On behalf of the Indian High Commission, its press officer Shantanu Mukherjee paid tributes to Hassan Shahriar by laying a wreath on his coffin.
His second janaza was held in front of his residential apartment at the city’s Topkhana Road after Magrib prayers.
Later, he was buried at the Rayer Bazar Graveyard in the capital.
Born on 25 April, 1946 in Sunamganj, Shahriar joined the Daily Ittefaq in the 60s and later worked for a number of international media outlets.
He retired from the Daily Ittefaq as its Executive Editor in 2008 after serving the newspaper for a long time in different capacities.
Shahriar, a confirmed bachelor, was the first editor of the Daily Sun and Chief Editor of Chittagong-based Daily People's View.
Shahriar also worked as Bangladesh correspondent of international news magazine Newsweek, Khaleej Times, India's Daily Deccan Herald, The Indian Express and The Asian Age, Pakistan's Morning News, Dawn and Evening Star.
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He was the first journalist from Asia-Pacific to be elected as President of the Toronto-based Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) in 2003. He was also the International President Emeritus of the CJA in 2012.
Journalist Shahriar was awarded the prestigious Harry Brittan Fellowship by the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) in 1978.
He was elected President of the Jatiya Press Club management committee for the 1993-94 tenure. Shahriar was also the incumbent president of Media Club Limited.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of Shahriar.
In a condolence message, he recalled the contributions of Shahriar to the field of journalism.
The President prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also expressed deep shock and sorrow at his death.
In a condolence message, Sheikh Hasina said the role of Hassan Shahriar in Bangladesh’s journalism will ever be remembered.
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She prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and many other ministers and politicians also condoled the death of Shahriar.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also mourned the death of the noted journalist.
JPC President Farida Yasmin and General Secretary Ilias Khan also expressed deep shock at the death of Shahriar.
In a joint condolence message, they said, “The death of noted journalist Hasan Shahriar has caused an irreparable loss to the journalism profession. He was a guardian in Bangladesh's journalist community.”
The JPC leaders also expressed deep sympathy for the bereaved family members.
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) also mourned the death of the veteran journalist.
In a condolence message, DCAB President Pantho Rahaman and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members and sought eternal peace for the departed soul of the veteran journalist.