People from various faiths pay last tribute to Jyoti Basu


Kolkata : Communist icon Jyoti Basu, who ruled West Bengal for 23 long years, proved that he was a leader of masses cutting across all sections of society and religions as even after his death he drew members of various faiths, who came to pay their last tributes to him Tuesday.

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More than 200,000 people thronged the premises of West Bengal legislative assembly where Basu’s body lay in state between 10.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m.

Among them were members of the Sikh community who came to lay a wreath, which bore the words “Long Live Comrade Jyoti Basu”. Similarly, the All Faith Forum which has representatives from all creeds came to pay him last tribute.

Representatives from the Bengal Buddhist Association and Rama Krishna Mission were also present and conducted prayers for him on the dais, where his body was lying.

Rabi Doloi, a member of the workers’ party, came to see his leader for the last time and waited for long time for a glimpse. Similarly, a school boy came with his parents to have a last look. Asked what he knew about Basu, the boy, Sumanta Bose, said: “He was our ex-chief minister. He was a great leader I have heard.”

Many elderly men and women were seen making their way for the last look with the help of family members or friends. Among them was Pritabashan Das, 76, who cannot walk properly but came to have a last look at the late leader. He was a leader of farmers’ movement and worked with Basu closely.

These were some of the lucky ones who could make their way into the assembly premises. There were many others who could not even enter due to the huge crowd and the long winding queues.