Newspaper publisher Rantu Das dies of COVID-19

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, July 3: Printer and publisher of Asomiya Khobor, Rantu Das has breathed his last at Apollo International Hospital here on Friday morning.

Das, who was one of the directors of Frontier Publications Private Limited, also tested positive for COVID-19.

Das was 54. He leaves behind his wife, one son and one daughter with a host of relatives and well-wishers.

He was admitted to the hospital few weeks back with various ailments. According to the doctors he died of heart-failure but later tested positive for COVID-19.

Das was a reputed businessman and associated with the newspaper since its inception.

Das became the first victim media person of novel corona virus infection in Northeast. Days back, another printer-publisher of Hindi newspaper Nishpaksha Samachar Jyoti, Prahlad Kumar Agarwal tested positive for COVID-19.

There are reports that around ten media persons working in the city lately turned positive for novel corona virus infection.

Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses shock at the demise of Rantu Das and said, “We reiterate our demand for mass COVID-19 screening of all media employees by the respective managements as early as possible,”

JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria said that state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma should support the initiative as an honour to scribes, who are playing the role COVID-19 warriors with discriminating necessary information in the time of a pandemic.

The nation lost three scribes to COVID-19 complications till date.  Hyderabad based journalist Manoj Kumar, who worked for a popular Telugu news channel, Agra based journalist Pankaj Kulashrestha and Kolkata based photojournalist Ronny Roy earlier succumbed to COVID-19 infections, they added.

Guwahati Press Club (GPC) president Manoj Kumar Nath and general secretary Sanjay Rai condoled the death of Das and expressed their deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.

Journalists Association of Assam (JAA) and National Union of Journalists, India (NUJI) mourned the death Das.

In a condolence message, JAA president DN Chakravartty, general secretary Dalim and NUJI national vice president Bhupen Goswami said his death is an irreparable loss to the state’s society of Assamese journalism.

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