Guwahati, July 3: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed shock at the demise of Rantu Das, printer-publisher of an Assamese newspaper, who breathed his last this morning at a city-based hospital. The Director of Frontier Publications Private Limited, which publishes popular daily newspaper Asomiya Khabar, also tested positive for Covid-19.
Das becomes the first victim of novel corona virus 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 10 media persons working in the city lately turned positive for novel corona virus infection.
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 reputed businessman and associated with the newspaper since its inception. He left behind his wife, one son and one daughter with a host of relatives and well-wishers.
“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 scribes, who are playing the role Covid-19 warriors with discriminating necessary information in the time of a pandemic.
It may be mentioned that India lost 3 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. (Page News Service)