Shillong: The Meghalaya government has announced that it will observe a three-day state mourning as a mark of respect for Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy who breathed his last in Gurugram on Sunday. He was 64.
The state funeral for the former chief minister will take place at Sohra on July 31 and the burial will be held at Shella, his home constituency, a government notification said.
All state government offices throughout the state shall observe three days’ state mourning with effect from July 29 to 31. During this period, the national flag will be flown at half-mast on government buildings throughout the state and there will be no official entertainment during this time, the notification added.
All government institutes, schools, offices and courts will remain closed on July 31.
According to reports, Roy was undergoing treatment at the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram for some stomach-related problem since July 18. He breathed his last around 3.15 pm on Sunday.
As one of the longest-serving legislators in the state, Roy served in multiple roles including that of chief minister for a short period between 2008 and 2009.
At the time of his death, Roy was the president of United Democratic Party, which is a key member of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance in the state. He was representing Shella constituency at the time of his death.
Calling Roy’s death a huge loss for the state, chief minister Conrad K Sangma said, “In this moment of grief and mourning, I on behalf of myself, the Government and the people of Meghalaya, convey our sincere and deepest condolences to all members of the bereaved family, friends and his close associates and pray that God Almighty grant them the strength and solace to be able to bear this irreparable loss.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too condoled Roy’s death. Taking to twitter, he said, “Anguished by the demise of Dr. Donkupar Roy, Speaker of the Meghalaya Assembly and former CM of the state. Passionate about Meghalaya’s progress, he served the state with great diligence and helped transform many lives. Condolences to his family and supporters: PM @narendramodi.”
National People’s Party’s national general secretary James K Sangma offered condolences saying that the state “will always remember him as a warm, humble and wonderful human being. He will also always remain in our hearts, a true statesman and a man of great integrity. Meghalaya has lost one of its most prodigious son who always put duties towards the state and it’s people ahead of himself”.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal too condoled the leader’s demise. He said that the untimely death of Donkupar Roy is a huge loss to Northeast in general and Meghalaya in particular.
“He was better known for his value-based politics and he was loved by all and sundry. Late Donkupar Roy’s dedication for public service was noteworthy and as a politician he was outstanding and worked for the empowerment of all sections of the people,” Sonowal added.
Roy was elected for the first time in 1988 as an independent MLA from Shella Assembly constituency in East Khasi Hills district. He continued to win from the seat for seven consecutive terms until the 2018 elections.