The retired bureaucrat breathed his last at 5:55pm on Friday at Dhaka’s Labaid Hospital, Nripendra Chandra Debnath, the husband of a niece of Dhiraj, told bdnews24.com.
Nripendra, counsellor at Bangladesh Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, said Dhiraj was hospitalised with ‘serious’ respiratory problems on Thursday.
He was put on life support at the intensive care unit of the private hospital on Friday afternoon as his condition deteriorated.
President Iajuddin Ahmed picked Dhiraj as an adviser to his caretaker administration in October 2006.
He retired as the rural development and cooperatives secretary in 2003 after a 34-year career as public servant.
Born at Rafiqpur village in Noakhali’s Begumganj on Jan 9, 1945, Dhiraj graduated from Dhaka University in business studies in 1966 and joined Noakhali Government College as a management lecturer.
He joined the East Pakistan Civil Service in 1969 and worked as deputy magistrate and deputy collector in Pabna and Patuakhali , respectively.
After taking part in the Liberation War, he was appointed section officer of independent Bangladesh’s foreign trade department in 1972.
He served as the first administrator of Gazipur when it was a Mahakuma, a now defunct local government unit, in 1978. He also worked as additional deputy commissioner in Comilla in 1980-81.
Being promoted to deputy secretary as a member of Senior Policy Pool in 1981, he worked at the coordination section of Population Control and Family Planning Division.
Dhiraj is praised for the role he played as the director general of the Directorate General of Family Planning in 1998-99.
He has authored 12 books, including travelogue, and compilation of articles, and novels.
He was a regular column writer and wrote for bdnews24.com.
Dhiraj was also involved with several social welfare organisations.