Rafiq Azad, one of the most prolific and versatile poets of the country, has passed away at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on Saturday. He was 73.
BSMMU Vice Chancellor Dr Kamrul Hasan Khan told the Dhaka Tribune that the poet breathed his last at 2:13pm while undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the hospital.
He said: "The poet was suffering from diabetes as well as kidney and lung complications for a long time. We had tried our best to treat him."
Rafiq Azad's son Abboy Azad said: "We have no regrets. My father was a fighter by born."
The poet's wife Dr Dilara Hafiz sought forgiveness from all on behalf of her deceased husband and her family.
"He was not a certified freedom fighter. But I am proud that I am the widow of a freedom fighter."
Eminent cultural personality Nasir Uddin Yousuf Bachchu announced that the body of poet Rafiq Azad will be kept at Central Shaheed Minar from 10am to 12pm on March 14 for people to pay homage.
Later, the poet's body will be taken to Bangla Academy for poets and writers to pay respects. The namaz-e-janaza of the freedom fighter will be held at Dhaka University Central Mosque. He will be buried at Mirpur Shaheed Buddhijibi Graveyard on the same day.
Earlier on January 15, the poet was shifted to the hospital from Anwar Khan Medical College Hospital in Dhanmondi of the capital for better treatment.
The poet was kept under the supervision of Professor Dr Harisul Haque.
Earlier, Rafiq Azad, also a revered freedom fighter, was admitted to Anwar Khan Medical College Hospital following a brain haemorrhage. The poet fell from a chair he was sitting on.
The poet was immediately taken to Birdem Hospital, but unavailability of bed at the hospital compelled his family to transfer him to Anwar Khan Medical College Hospital.
Rafiq Azad was suffering from diabetes as well as kidney and lung complications for a long time.
He was born on January 20, 1943, in the remote area of Guni under Tangail district.
He was one of the leading young poets in the post-liberation period. Since then, he began experimentation on language and poetic form, where surrealistic approach was conspicuous.
With his first poetry book published in 1973, Rafiq Azad has 45 books to his credit, including an autobiography.
His notable works include Prokriti O Premer Kabita, Asombhaber Paye, Sahasra Sundar, Haturier Nichae Jibon, Porikirno Panchala Amer Swadesh, Khub Beshi Durea Noy, Khamakaro Bahoman Hay Udar Omiyo Batas, Apar Arannya, Karo Ashroo Paat, Moulobir Mon Bholo Noy and Pagoler Thekay Premikar Chithi.
Rafiq Azad received Ekushey Padak in 2013 and Bangla Academy Award in 1984 for his outstanding contribution to the realm of poetry.