Zainul Haque Sikder, a renowned freedom fighter and Chairman of Sikder Group of Companies, one of the country’s largest industrial conglomerates, has passed away today (Wednesday) (Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilahi Rajiun).
He breathed his last around 12:30pm at a hospital in Dubai where he was undergoing treatment, family sources said. He was 91.
An entrepreneur of the post-independence Bangladesh, Zainul Haque Sikder was born on August 12 in 1930 in Assam in undivided India and migrated to present-day Bangladesh with his family during the partition in 1947.
He was one of those who contribute greatly to the development and progress of Bangladesh. He established a large number business ventures in the fields of education, health, housing and tourism and employed about 20,000 people in the last seven decades.
Apart from establishing business entities, Zainul Haque Sikder developed numerous entrepreneurs. He extended helping hand to many leading entrepreneurs of the country during their initial days of establishing businesses.
He is well-known as a philanthropist too. Besides founding schools, colleges and hospitals, he extended support to efforts for poverty reduction and welfare of the underprivileged and marginal people of society.
Zainul Haque Sikder had been with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as one of his close and trustworthy associates since 1945.
He arranged a Qulkhawani for Bangabandhu and his family members on August 19 in 1975, four days after their brutal murder, at Rayerbazar in the capital. For that he had to face harassment and intimidation of the military intelligence and languish in jail.
Zainul Haque Sikder left the comfort of sleeping on the cot and started sleeping on the floor out of the love for his beloved ‘Mujib Bhai’ after the death of Bangabandhu and continued the practice until the trial of the brutal murder began.