The third death anniversary of former Awami League General Secretary and Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam will be observed today.
On January 3, 2019, Syed Ashraf died at the age of 67 while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. He had long been suffering from lung cancer.
Syed Ashraf was the eldest son of Syed Nazrul Islam, acting president of the 1971 Mujibnagar Government and one of the key organisers of the country’s independence struggle.
Born in Mymensingh, 1952, Syed Ashraful Islam had been involved in active politics since his student life. He served as the president of greater Mymensingh district unit Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and assistant publicity secretary of central BCL after the country’s independence.
Ashraf took part in the Liberation War after taking the training in Dehradun in India.
Following the assassination of his father Syed Nazrul Islam and three national leaders inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975, Syed Ashraf went to London and organised the Bangladesh Awami League in the UK.
He returned home in 1996 and was elected Member of Parliament from Kishoreganj-1 constituency on AL ticket. He was later made state minister for civil aviation and tourism and elected the MP from the same seat in 2001 elections.
He was made the party’s General Secretary in 2009 and served for two consecutive terms till 2016.
Syed Ashraf was made LGRD and cooperatives minister after Awami League formed the government through the elections held on December 29, 2008. He was given the charge of the same ministry after the party won the January 5 polls in 2014.
Syed Ashraf was, however, removed from the ministry on July 9, 2015 and made the minister without portfolio.
A week later, he was made public administration minister.