Kolkata: The last rites of veteran Congress leader and former union minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who died in a Delhi hospital on Monday, was done with full state honour near his ancestral house at Kaliaganj in West Dinajpur district this evening (Tuesday).
Dasmunsi (72) had breathed his last in the afternoon of 20 November after remaining in coma for more than 8 years in the Delhi hospital since he was admitted there following a massive cardiac arrest way back in 2008. His body was brought here last night and kept inside a building called Peace Heaven.
This morning, at around 8 AM, the body, wrapped in a party flag and national tricolour, was first brought to the Pradesh Congress Headquarters at Bidhan Bhavan to enable his followers to pay their last respect to the departed soul.
Among the notable persons who placed wreaths and paid their last respect were Left Front Chairman Biman Bose, State CPI(M) General Secretary Suryakanta Mishra, Raijang MP Mohammad Salim and senior RSP leader Kshiti Goswami apart from State BJP leaders Samik Bhattacharya and Jay Prakash Majumdar.
Later, the body was taken to Calcutta High Court and Dasmunshi’s south Kolkata Residence at Bhabani Road where State education minister Partho Chattopadhyay, his party colleague Saugata Roy and Congress leader Arunava Ghosh paid their last respect along with many others.
At around 4 PM, Dasmunsi’s body, accompanied by his wife Deepa Dasmunsi and son Priyadeep (Michil), was taken to his ancestral house at Kaliaganj in the West Dinajpur district, about 200 km from here, by an army helicopter.
On reaching Kaliaganj, the body of Dasmunsi was given a gun salute by the state armed police jawans at the local police ground as part of the state honour and to pay their last respect to the departed soul. later at around 5-30 p.m. his body was consigned to flames amid chanting of shlokas.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had come to Siliguri on Monday on a three day visit, expressed her deep shock at the passing away of Dasmunsi. Paying her glowing tributes to her former colleague, she said Dasmunsi’s death was a great personal loss.
Though she could not be present personally, she made all arrangements and ordered his state funeral. She also asked State tourism minister Gautam Deb to travel to Kaliaganj as the representative of her government at the funeral.
Dasmunsi had been elected from the Kaliaganj parliamentary constituency at least twice in the 1990s to become a member of the Lok Sabha for more than a decade.
Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur Bhattacharya