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POPULAR BENGALI folk singer Kalikaprasad Bhattacharya on Tuesday died in a road accident in Burdwan district. He was 46. Police said Kalikaprasad was travelling along with four members of his band, Dohar, when the front right tyre of their SUV burst on the Durgapur Expressway and the car hit a roadside fence. Following this, it fell into a 15-feet ditch at Gurap area of Hooghly district.
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Kalikaprasad was rescued from the mangled vehicle along with other occupants of the car — Niladri Roy, Sudipto Chakraborty, Rajib Das, Arnab Ray and Sandipan Pal — and rushed to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where the Silchar-born singer was declared brought dead on arrival. “Four others are undergoing treatment at the hospital and the condition of one of them was stated to be critical,” a police officer said, adding that the band members were on way to Suri in Birbhum to take part in a programme. “We will register a case once we receive a complaint,” Hooghly SP Sukesh Jain said.
Kalikaprasad’s body was brought from Burdwan to Nabanna, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid her last respects. “Shocked at the tragic demise of Kalikaprasad Bhattacharya of Dohar. It’s a big loss to Bengali music industry and also a personal loss. His songs had inspired us during Singur-Nandigram movement. He was a close friend,” she tweeted.
The body was also taken to the singer’s house in Santoshpur and then to Rabindra Sadan, where thousands bid farewell to him. Later, he was cremated with full state honours.
Besides popularising folk songs of rural Bengal among the present generation in the albums of Dohar — which he founded in 1999 — Kalikaprasad had also lent his voice in films like Jaatishwar (2014), Moner Manush (2010) and Bhuban Majhi (2017).