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Shamsur Rahman, 77; Celebrated Poet of Bangladesh

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Shamsur Rahman, 77, one of Bangladesh’s most celebrated poets, died Thursday in Dhaka of heart and kidney disease.

Rahman, who wrote more than 60 books of poetry, was born in Dhaka and graduated from Dhaka University with a degree in English.

During the 1960s, he was editor of a Bengali newspaper and was respected for his unwavering support for Bangladesh independence before and during the 1971 war with Pakistan.

A strong opponent of religious fundamentalism, Rahman was attacked in January 1999 by a group of young men trying to overthrow the country’s secular constitution and impose Sharia law. They entered Rahman’s house wielding an ax, but he escaped unharmed. His wife, however, was seriously wounded.

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Authorities caught the attackers and arrested more than three dozen members of the group.


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