Agartala: Veteran leader and Tripura CPIM secretary Gautam Das passed away in Kolkata at a private hospital on Thursday morning, the party said.

Das had tested positive for Coronavirus after which he was admitted at a hospital in Agartala. He was shifted to a Kolkata hospital after his health deteriorated.

He was 70 years old and is survived by his wife Tapati Sen, daughter Swagata Das and other family members.

Das had joined the CPI-M in 1968 and was elected to the Tripura State Committee in 1986, to the State Secretariat in 1994 and as its Secretary in 2018. 

“He was elected to the Central Committee at the 21st Congress of the party in 2015. In the past three years, he worked steadfastly to steer the party facing the reign of terror,” the party said in a press statement.

Right from his school days, Das was active in politics as part of the student movement in the state. In college he joined the party’s weekly Desharkatha. When Desharkatha became a daily in 1979, he became its founding editor, a responsibility he discharged with distinction until 2015, when he took up more organisational responsibilities. He was also instrumental in developing Desherkatha as a full-fledged newspaper. 

Das was also one of the founding members of the Agartala Press Club. He was also very active in cultural movement and was founder secretary of Tripura Sanskriti Samanway Kendra.

The party’s press statement said the CPIM politbureau expresses its deep shock and grief at the sudden death of Gautam Das, member of its Central Committee and Secretary of the Tripura State Committee of the Party. 

With family roots in Chittagong, Das had great attachment to Bangladesh. This helped him maintain cordial relations with the political parties in the neighbouring country on behalf of the party.

Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb conveyed his condolences over the demise of Das and wrote, “I am deeply mourned at demise of CPM state secretary Goutam Das. I pray for the departed soul to rest in peace. I pray to God to give strength to the bereaved family to endure the pain.”

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