National Professor, scholar and cultural personality Dr Md Rafiqul Islam passed away at a hospital in the city on Tuesday. He was 87.
The Ekushey Padak and Independence Award recipient, Professor Rafiqul, died in the city's Evercare Hospital around 2.30pm while undergoing treatment.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of Ekushey award winning personality and national professor Dr Md Rafiqul Islam.
In a condolence message, the President said the death of Professor Rafiqul Islam is an irreparable loss to country's education system.
He said, as the chairman of the National Implementation Committee for celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he played an important role in spreading Bangabandhu's principles and ideals at national and international levels.
"The country and the nation will forever remember his contribution to the promotion of the spirit of independence and Liberation War in Bangladesh," he added.
The head of state prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed his deepest sympathy to the bereaved family.
In a message of condolence, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “He will remain alive as a bright luminary in the field of Bangla literature and research.”
The Prime Minister said that Rafiqul Islam, being a participant and witness of the Language Movement and Liberation War, penned down the history of those events which are great assets for the Bangla literature.
Sheikh Hasina said Rafiqul Islam's contribution to the research on national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is exceptional.
The premier added that the literary works of the noted writer and researcher will always inspire the nation regarding the spirit of the Liberation War and patriotism.
“With his demise, I have lost my teacher and a guardian. Inspiration and guidance from my favourite teacher on nationally important matters have given me strength to go ahead,” she said.
The premier said he upheld the ideal of the Father of the Nation whole heartedly and conducted various activities with efficiency to make a success the Mujib Borsho programmes.
She prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family.
Dr Md Rafiqul Islam was the President of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee. He was also the President of Bangla Academy.