Guwahati(Assam) : July 3:Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expressed shock at the demise of Rantu Das, printer-publisher of the Assamese daily Asomiya Khabar and the director of frontier publications today.
He breathed his last this morning at a city-based hospital.
Das, 54, 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 businessman of repute and he was associated with the newspaper since its inception. He left behind his wife, a son, a daughter, and a host of relatives and well-wishers.
Das becomes the first printer-publisher victim of novel coronavirus infection in northeast India. Days back, another printer-publisher of Hindi newspaper Nishpaksha Samachar Jyoti, Prahlad Kumar Agarwal tested positive for Covid-19. Unconfirmed reports claim that around ten media persons working in the city of Guwahati lately turned positive for novel coronavirus infection.
“We reiterate our demand for mass Covid-19 screening of all media employees by the respective managements as early as possible,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that State health minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma should support the initiative as an honour to the scribes who are playing the role of Covid-19 warriors by imparting necessary information in the time of a pandemic.
India as a nation lost three scribes to Covid-19 complications till date. Hyderabad based journalist Manoj Kumar, Agra based journalist Pankaj Kulashrestha, and Kolkata based photojournalist Ronny Roy earlier succumbed to Covid-19 infections.