Popular Bengali folk singer dies in car accident

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Kolkata, March 7 (IANS) Bengali folk singer Kalikaprasad Bhattacharjee died in a accident in West Bengal’s Hooghly district on Tuesday after his car apparently lost control and fell off the highway, police said.

“Bhattacharjee died in a car accident on the Durgapur Expressway near Hoogly’s Gurap on Tuesday morning. The car crashed with the roadside railing and fell 20 feet into marshy low land. One of the SUV’s wheels also came off during the accident. We are investigating,” police said.

Four other members of his popular Bengali folk band ‘Dohar’ and the driver were also injured. They were admitted in two different hospitals in critical condition.

They were on their way to perform in a cultural programme in Birbhum district when the accident happened.

The singer was taken out from inside the smashed car along with his band mates and the driver and taken to Bardhaman Medical College and hospital where doctors declared him dead.

“Six men including Kalikaprasad Bhattacharjee was brought to the hospital today. We have released one of them after primary treatment while two others have been referred to Bangur Institute of Neurosciences. The driver and one more band member are still admitted to the hospital,” said a hospital source.

Bhattacharjee, 45, is survived by his wife and a daughter.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief at the singer’s demise terming it as a “personal loss”.

“Shocked at the tragic demise of Kalikaprasad Bhattacharjee of Dohar. His passing is a big loss to Bengali music. Kalikaprasad’s demise is a personal loss. He was a close friend. Condolences to his family and fans,” Banerjee wrote on Twitter.

Bhattacharjee’s body reached Kolkata on Tuesday afternoon and was brought to state secretariat Nabanna where Banerjee paid her last respects. Later, the cortege was taken to the state auditorium Rabindra Sadan where cultural personalities, ministers, music lovers and a large number of commoners paid their tributes.

“Kalika was a great singer and a wonderful person.He worked really hard to bring the folk songs to the forefront. it is a great loss for us,” said eminent Bengali singer Haimanti Sukla.

–IANS

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