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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

President’s wife dies: Hasina, sister, daughter attend funeral

Suvra Mukherjee's ancestral home is in Bhadrabila village in western Bangladesh's Narail district which she had visited last in March 2013.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 20, 2015 12:56:49 am
Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina. Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina flew to New Delhi on Wednesday to attend the funeral of President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife Suvra Mukherjee, with whom she had a four-decade-old association.

After Hasina’s father, Bangladesh’s first prime minister Mujibur Rehman, was assassinated in August 1975, she came to Delhi and stayed here for six years. During those six years, Bangladesh officials said, she developed close ties with the Mukherjee family. “She used to visit Suvra Mukherjee quite often. They developed a close bond since Suvra’s family was originally from Bangladesh,” a Bangladesh official said.

On Wednesday, accompanied by her sister Sheikh Rehana, daughter Saima Wazed, and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali, Hasina met Mukherjee and his family, first at Rashtrapati Bhavan, then at their Talkatora Road residence.

She then joined Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee among others for the last rites at the crematorium.

Later, she met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the meeting, Modi suggested a joint exercise by disaster management forces of countries of the region for a coordinated response to major natural calamities. Hasina is understood to have welcomed the suggestion, her Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters.

Hasina suggested that India and Bangladesh should jointly tap their combined market that will reduce the dependence on other regions, Karim said.

Fondly recalling his visit to Bangladesh in June, Modi thanked Hasina for the progress achieved in timely and peaceful implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement, said a statement issued by the PMO.

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