Death from cancer

Last updated: 10 October 2017 From the section Muhammad Ataul Ghani (M. A. G.) Osmani (Bangabir)

On 15 August 1977 General Osmani established 'The Osmany Memorial Trust' for the children of the freedom fighters, children of the soldiers of the East Bengal Regiment, boys and especially for the girls of the greater Sylhet district so that they can be supported by scholarships to pursue studies including the medical science.

In 1983, aged 65, General Osmani was diagnosed with cancer at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka. He was immediately flown to London for treatment, at the Government's expense and was attended to by specialists at St Bartholomew's Hospital.

Most of his time in the UK was spent staying at the family home of his nephew and niece, Mashahid Ali and Sabequa Chowdhury. Both were beloved to him - the late Mashahid (Shahee) had helped Osmani in his later years by funding the establishment of his political party, the Jatiya Janata Party, following Osmani 's exit from the Mujib government. Sabequa spent formative years of her childhood in Osmani's home in Sylhet, and Osmani gifted his allocated plot in Dhaka to her in the early 1970s. Osmani's days would pass with an almost endless stream of visitors, well wishers and acolytes calling on him to wish him well, to ask his guidance, or just to see him.


Though Osmani was responding favorably to the cancer treatment, in early February he deteriorated unexpectedly. The hospital diagnosed that he had been given the wrong type of blood at the CMH and that this was now infected. His demise followed immediately after, in bed on 16 February 1984 in London, aged 66.

Throughout these months of treatment and convalescence, the famous fire in his eyes and the quiver in his bristly moustache stayed with him until the very end.

Wikipedia - M. A. G. Osmani

My last meeting with Osmani was in the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) where he was undergoing treatment. He looked very pale and weak. He told me that he had almost completed his memoirs. I was very happy to learn this because it would reveal many untold stories of his life in the army as well as in politics. Unfortunately, for reasons not known to us this never saw the light of the day. People who know General Osmani miss him. I miss him more than most.

A. M. M. Shawkat Ali

Burial at Shahjalal Darga Sharif in Sylhet next to his mum's grave

Following his sudden death, Osmani's body was flown to Bangladesh. The cavalcade of cars to Heathrow was provided with a special police escort which, with full diplomatic protocol, sped the entourage through the streets of London, stopping the traffic along the route. On 20 February 1984, four days after his death, Osmani was buried in Shahjalal Darga Sharif in Sylhet with full military honours. His grave lies adjacent to his mother's as per his last wish.