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Former Tripura minister dies of head injury

By Staff
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    Agartala, Mar 6 (UNI) Former Tripura Health Minister and veteran Communist leader of Tripura Bibekananda Bhowmik, died here this morning following a fatal head injury.

    Bhowmik was 78. He was a bachelor and has three brothers.

    He was admitted to a hospital with a critical head injury yesterday after being attacked by his nephew on way to the CPI(M) local party office in Dhaleswar area of Agartala.

    Police arrested the accused Usha Roychoudhury, who is said to be mentally challenged. East Agartala police has launched investigation into the incident.

    However, the Left Front smelt a political conspiracy in it.

    Front spokesperson Goutam Das claimed that the accused had joined Congress recently and it was a political attack on the eve of counting.

    Bhowmik was elected to Tripura assembly as an independent candidate in 1978 and had become health minister and later assumed the charge of the Chairman of Board of Tripura Khadi and Village Industries.

    The veteran leader was one of the first contestants whose fate was decided through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in 1983, for the first time in the country.

    EVM was extensively used during late eighties in Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh following its experimental use in Banamalipur constituency of Agartala in 1983 assembly elections where Bhowmik and former chief minister of the state Sukhamoy Sengupta were in fray.

    Director General of Police K T D Singh who was Superintendent of Police (SP) during 1983 election told UNI here that both Bhowmik and Sengupta had been contesting against each other as CPM and Congress nominees respectively in third election to Tripura assembly.

    Chief Minister of the state Sengupta defeated Bhowmik, sitting minister of the first left front ministry led by Nripen Chakraborty.

    Sengupta died a few years ago after a prolonged illness.

    Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Left Front Chairman Baidyanath Majumdar have condoled the demise of Bhowmik saying the state lost a great leader.

    Senior Congress leader Tapas De said Bhowmik was an honest politician and regretted that Left Front never gave him the importance he deserved.

    UNI BB MSJ YA RN1615

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