Agartala, February 10: Septuagerian Communist leader of Tripura and poet Anil Sarkar died at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Monday night following prolonged illness, a party leader said here Tuesday. He was 76.
A two-day state mourning has been announced in the state from Tuesday.
Sarkar is survived by a son. His wife Jyotiprava Sarkar died less than five months ago.
“Sarkar died after a few months battle in the AIIMS in New Delhi and Kolkata hospitals. His body was brought back here on Tuesday and would be kept at the party office for people’s last respect,” CPI-M Tripura state secretary Bijan Dhar told reporters.
“As a mark of respect to the departed leader — who was also the state planning board vice-chairman, the state government declared a holiday on Tuesday. Two-day state mourning has been announced from Tuesday,” an official release said.
Tuesday’s session of the ongoing budget session of the Tripura assembly was suspended as mark of respect to the veteran legislator and former minister.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat, and his wife and party’s politburo member Brinda Karat visited the AIIMS in New Delhi Monday night and paid their last respects.
Bangladesh’s civil aviation and tourism minister and Workers Party of Bangladesh’s president Rashed Khan Menon sent a condolence message to the state CPI-M office here, expressing his deep sorrow over the death of Sarkar.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, leaders of all political parties cutting across party lines expressed their deep condolences over Sarkar’s death. He was known as an unchallenged leader of scheduled castes people.
A teacher-turned-politician, Sarkar was a minister in six of the seven Left Front governments since 1978. He was elected to the state assembly a record nine times since Tripura become a full-fledged state in January 1972.
He penned 24 books mostly on literature and received many awards from different government and non-government organisations for his literary works.
Sarkar did his post-graduation in Bengali from Calcutta University, joined CPI in 1956 and became a member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist when the party was set up in 1964.
He was imprisoned by the previous Congress government in 1972. During emergency in 1975, on a number of occasions, he was confined in Agartala, Vellore (Tamil du) and Noagaon (Assam) jails.
Sarkar played a pivotal role in providing relief and shelter to lakhs of refugees sheltered in Tripura during the nine-month-long Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. IANS