Friday, December 14, 2018

Mayor Annisul Huq loses battle, dies in London hospital

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-11-30 23:13:11 BdST

bdnews24
Mayor Annisul Huq (File Photo)

Mayor Annisul Huq has died at a hospital in London after losing his nearly four-month battle against a blood vessel disease of the brain.

Dhaka North City Corporation announced in a media statement that the mayor passed away at Wellington Hospital at 10:23pm BdST on Thursday.

Annisul’s wife Rubana Huq and the children were with the 65-year-old during the final moments of his life.

The statement said his body will be flown to Dhaka on Saturday morning.

He would be buried at Banani Graveyard after funeral prayers at the Army Stadium the same day, the city corporation said.

It urged the people to pray for the peace of the departed soul.

A namaz-e-janaza of the late mayor will also be held at London Central Mosque near Regent's Park after the Juma prayers on Friday.

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President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have condoled the sudden demise of the mayor.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader have also mourned him. 

Earlier on Thursday, Rubana told bdnews24.com his condition had worsened a day after he was put under intensive care at the hospital.

On Tuesday, the 65-year old was moved to the ICU after he was ‘down with infection’.

He flew to the UK for family purposes on July 29.

While going through medical tests at a hospital in London in mid-August, he lost consciousness and was taken to the ICU.

Doctors had diagnosed him with cerebral vasculitis — an inflammation of the blood vessel wall involving the brain.

From a successful businessman and a well-known TV anchor, Annisul Huq became the first mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation. The photo was taken when he was casting his vote at Banani Bidyaniketan Centre on Apr 29 2015.

From a successful businessman and a well-known TV anchor, Annisul Huq became the first mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation. The photo was taken when he was casting his vote at Banani Bidyaniketan Centre on Apr 29 2015.

Amid rumours running high, the Dhaka North City Corporation said on Oct 31 that the mayor was getting better and was moved out of the ICU.

In a statement, the mayor’s office had dismissed online media reports and speculations on the social media over his condition as ‘baseless and misleading’.

Rubana Huq later took to the internet to brush aside media reports and speculations on her husband.

Now the city corporation has confirmed the news of his death.

During the election campaign.

During the election campaign.

He was elected Dhaka North City Corporation mayor on a ruling Awami League ticket in 2015.

He had served as president of Bangladesh’s apex trade body FBCCI during the military-installed caretaker administration.

Prior to that, he also headed the trade body of apparel makers and exporters, BGMEA.

With no apparent political ties, he was a surprise pick by the Awami League.

With no apparent political ties, he was a surprise pick by the Awami League.

Born in his mother’s ancestral village of Sonapur at Sonagazi in Feni on Oct 27, 1952, Annisul Huq graduated in economics from Chittagong University.

His father Shariful Huq, hailing from Noakhali’s Companyganj, was an official of the Ansar force.

His brother General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Huq is the current chief of Bangladesh Army.

Doctors had diagnosed Annisul Huq with cerebral vasculitis — an inflammation of the blood vessel wall involving the brain.

Doctors had diagnosed Annisul Huq with cerebral vasculitis — an inflammation of the blood vessel wall involving the brain.

He founded Mohammadi Group in 1986 after a stint in television as an anchor in the 1980s and 90s.

BTV programmes Anandamela and Antarale became popular with Annisul anchoring them. He also worked in the live programme on the state-run television announcing the results of the 1991 general elections. 

Apart from being a full-time businessman, he also served as president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

As the presenter of 'Jalsa, a BTV programme, in 1995.

As the presenter of 'Jalsa, a BTV programme, in 1995.

With no apparent political ties, he was a surprise pick by the ruling party as no other Awami League leaders gunned for the Dhaka North mayor.

Annisul Huq with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File Photo.

Annisul Huq with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File Photo.

After securing the Awami League ticket for the election, he said he was not a party candidate, but it had thrown its weight behind him.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s support is with me – that is my strength,” he had said.

During the election campaign, one of his pledges was to keep his office free from political influence.

“I want to be a friend of the citizens, not the father of the city,” he had said.

In the gallery, watching Bangladesh's match against Pakistan. File Photo

In the gallery, watching Bangladesh's match against Pakistan. File Photo

Annisul's wife Rubana is Managing Director of Mohammadi Group.

Their daughter Tanisha Fariaman Huq is also a company director.

The two other directors of the group are Annisul’s son Navidul Huq and Rubana’s daughter Wamiq Umaira, who is working at the International Labour Organization. 

Annisul Huq announcing his election manifesto with his wife Rubana Huq.

Annisul Huq announcing his election manifesto with his wife Rubana Huq.

Navidul is working as Managing Director of the group’s concern Desh Energy Limited.

Annisul’s brother Iqbal Huq is a doctor living in the United States. His another brother, Helal Huq, is a US Navy captain.

Annisul drew the spotlight on him several times for his moves as mayor.

He faced the ire of transport workers when the city corporation was conducting a drive to free the street in front of the Tejgaon Truck Terminal from illegal parking and land grabbing.

At the inauguration of Dhaka Chaka

At the inauguration of Dhaka Chaka

Annisul also launched Dhaka Chaka bus service and special rickshaws for Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan areas when the government heightened security in the upscale areas following the Holey Artisan Bakery terror attack.

Many criticised him for barring other public transport services in the areas.

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He initiated a project to set up 11 U-loops on the road from Tejgaon to Gazipur to ease traffic congestion on the Airport Road.

He also took action to free the canals in Dhaka North from encroachment.

The Banani road 27 was expanded after the recovery of a part of a house, illegally built on the street, by the family of former East Pakistan governor Abdul Monem Khan, who was steadfast in his allegiance to Pakistan and had opposed the creation of Bangladesh.

Annisul Huq at Gulshan during a ‘symbolic’ cleanliness drive, a part of his electoral campaign. Photo: tanvir ahammed/ bdnews24.com

Annisul Huq at Gulshan during a ‘symbolic’ cleanliness drive, a part of his electoral campaign. Photo: tanvir ahammed/ bdnews24.com

Annisul had some other pledges to deliver on as mayor.

In his election manifesto, Annisul had promised to make Dhaka a clean, safe and ‘smart’ city.

He had emphasised six points to make the capital a ‘liveable’ city.

Those were - clean, green and environment-friendly Dhaka, safe and healthy Dhaka, traffic-congestion free Dhaka, a centre of humanity, smart and digital Dhaka, and participatory and well-governed Dhaka.