Veteran journalist and litterateur Rahat Khan passed away at his Eskaton residence in the city last night. He was 79.
He breathed his last at 8:30pm, family sources said.
He had been suffering from diabetes and various old-age complications.
Aparna Khan, wife of Rahat Khan, wrote a brief status on her Facebook page around 9:00pm, “Rahat Khan no more”.
He was admitted to intensive care unit of Birdem General Hospital on July 20. He had fallen down while descending from his bed the previous day and was injured. Quoting his family sources, newspapers reported that on July 29, doctors from Birdem suggested that he be kept under home care. He was bedridden since.
Last night, his body was kept at the mortuary of Birdem General Hospital. His namaz-e- janaja is scheduled to be held at 11:00am today on the National Press Club premises. He will then be buried at Mirpur Martyred Intellectual Graveyard.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Rahat Khan. In a condolence message, the prime minister prayed for eternal peace of his departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family.
Born on December 19, 1940, in Kishoreganj, Rahat Khan wrote his first story as a student of class three. He completed a degree in economics and philosophy at Ananda Mohan College. He did his MA from the Department of Bangla Language and Literature at Dhaka University in 1961. For the next eight years, he taught Bangla at various colleges, including Jagannath College in Dhaka.
In 1969, Rahat Khan joined Bangla daily Ittefaq as assistant editor. He spent over four decades at the newspaper, eventually becoming its editor. In 1972, he published his first collection of short stories, Onischito Lokaloy (Uncertain Human Habitation).
The following year, he received the Bangla Academy Literary Award for his short stories.
He produced further volumes: Ontohin Jatra (The Eternal Journey), Bhalo Monder Taka (Money for Good and Evil), and in 1983, Apel Songbad (News of the Apple). In the early 1980s, he published his debut novel, Omol Dhobol Chakri (Milk-White Service). He continued writing novels into the 1990s.
After leaving Ittefaq, he was the advisory editor of Dainik Bartoman. He also served as the chairman of the board of directors of the national news agency, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).