Ataus Samad passes away | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 27, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 27, 2012

Ataus Samad passes away


Veteran journalist Ataus Samad is no more.
One of the leading journalists in the country, Samad breathed his last at 9:25pm yesterday at Apollo Hospitals in Dhaka. He was 75.
The famed journalist, who was thrown into jail by the Ershad regime for his fearless reporting, had been kept on life support at the intensive care unit since Tuesday after his left leg was amputated during a surgery. Doctors removed his life support after he died. He had been admitted to the hospital on Sunday.
He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
Samad was advisory editor of the Bangla daily Amar Desh. He was also chief executive officer of the private TV channel NTV.
A lifetime member of the Jatiya Press Club, Ataus Samad also taught journalism at Dhaka University as a part-time teacher for a long period.
His first namaz-e-janaza will be held after Zohr prayers at Gulshan Azad Mosque and the second at the Press Club at 3:00pm today. He will be buried at Azimpur Graveyard in the afternoon.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her profound shock at his death, reports BSS.
The nation has lost a pioneer in journalism, Hasina said, adding that in his long journalistic career, Ataus Samad made an immense contribution to the country's democratic movement, which the country would remember forever.
Opposition leader and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a condolence message said Ataus Samad in his lifetime had untiringly striven as a "warrior of the pen" to establish the lost rights of the people.
He was conferred Ekushey Padak, the highest state honour, in 1993 for his enormous contribution to journalism.
Born on November 16, 1937 at Shaterdaria of Kishoreganj, he entered the profession of journalism in 1959.
He was the chief reporter of the Pakistan Observer (now-defunct Bangladesh Observer) from 1965 to 1969.
He served as general secretary of the East Pakistan Union of Journalists from 1969 to 1970.
Between 1982 and 1994, Ataus Samad was the BBC's special correspondent in Dhaka. He was stationed in New Delhi as special correspondent of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) for four years from 1972.
Samad was the founding editor of the Bangla Weekly Ekhon.
His fearless journalism in the 1980s during HM Ershad's military rule added a new dimension in the field of journalism in Bangladesh. He used to dispatch news for the BBC from a hide-out during Ershad's rule.
Riled by his bold reporting, the autocratic regime sent him to jail in 1987.

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