Born In: Dinhata
Hussain Muhammad Ershad was a Bangladeshi army officer, who served as the President of Bangladesh from 1983 to 1990. After the ‘Liberation War’ of Bangladesh, he served in the ‘East Bengal Regiment’. He seized political power through a bloodless coup on March 24, 1982. He took measures to control concentration of power and corruption, not just among the masses but also within the Parliament. He contested many elections and won most of them by a clean margin. His regime is regarded as an era of military dictatorship by many. He was recognized globally by the ‘United Nations’ for his contributions to population and environmental issues. During his tenure, Ershad pursued various reforms, such as the expansion of the national highway system, privatization of nationalised industries, and devolution reforms. He was also instrumental in the formation of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
Died At Age: 89
Spouse/Ex-: Rowshan Ershad
Born Country: Bangladesh
political ideology: Political party - Jatiya Party
place of death: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Founder/Co-Founder: Jatiya Party (Ershad), Bangladesh Jatio Sramik League, Grand Alliance
education: University of Dhaka, National Defence University, Pakistan
Hussain Muhammad Ershad was born on February 1, 1930, in the Rangpur district of present day Bangladesh.
He started attending 'Carmichael College' in Rangpur and pursued his higher education from the University of Dhaka, graduating in 1950. Two years later, Ershad joined the Pakistan Army, following which he was recruited by the ‘East Bengal Regiment’ of Chittagong.
In 1966, he completed advanced military courses from the Command and Staff College, Quetta, Pakistan. After a period of three years, he was given charge of the 3rd East Bengal Regiment and then served the 7th East Bengal Regiment in 1971.
In 1971, during the ‘Liberation War’ of Bangladesh, he served as a commander in the 7th East Bengal Regiment.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, Ershad, along with other Bengali officers in West Pakistan were held as a prisoner of war. In 1973, Hussein was sent back to Bangladesh by the Pakistan Army, after India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan's President Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto signed the 'Simla Agreement'.
After his return from Pakistan, Ershad was appointed Adjutant General of the Bangladesh Army. Following the assassination of the first president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Ershad was made the Chief of the army staff in 1978 and then lieutenant-general of the army the following year by Ziaur Rahman.
On March 24, 1982, he took over the state power from Abdus Sattar. He introduced the martial law, which enabled him to remove the cabinet and parliament members, controlling corruption by arresting several former cabinet members.
On December 4, 1990, due to strong opposition and a state of emergency in the country, the Bangladeshi President resigned from his post. He was accused of corruption as well as other offences.
During 1991-96, he faced trial and was charged for corruption as well as felonious possession of arms. Hussain Muhammad Ershad contested in the parliamentary elections from prison twice in the span of six years, and won on both occasions.
On January 9, 1997, he was granted bail, and was released from prison, but only because he had shown his support towards the ‘Awami League’. The next year, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh ruled that Hussain Muhammad Ershad's arrest had been illegal.
Hussain was once again arrested in 2001, in a trial called the ‘Janata Tower Case’, on charges of using political authority to assign land. Even though he was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment, the political leader only served four months, after which he got out on bail.
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh announced on May 15, 2011, that the martial law introduced by Hussain Muhammad Ershad was illegal.
In 1956, Hussain Muhammad Ershad married Rowshan Ershad.They had two children.
In 2000, he married Bidisha Siddique. They had a son. They later divorced. Ershad had also adopted a son.
Hussain Muhammad Ershad died on July 14, 2019, at the Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka. He was 89.
Hussain Muhammad Ershad was also a talented poet with books like ‘Nobanne Shukher Ghran’ and ‘Kanak Pradip Jalo’, to his credit
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