Popular Bengali folk music singer Kalika Prasad Bhattacharya on Tuesday died in a road accident at Palsit in West Bengal's Burdwan district. He was 56.
A senior district police officer said Bhattacharya was travelling along with four members of his band Dohar when their SUV was hit from behind by a truck on NH-2 and fell into a shallow waterbody.
Bhattacharya was rescued from the mangled vehicle along with other occupants of the car and rushed to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where the Silchar-born singer was declared brought dead, the officer said.
Four others were undergoing treatment at the hospital and the condition of three of them was stated to be critical, the officer said.
Besides popularising folk songs of rural Bengal among the present generation through the albums of his band Dohar, he had also lent his voice in films like Jaatishwar (2014), Moner Manush (2010) and Bhuban Majhi (2017)
Senior West Bengal politicians paid their respects to the deceased. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee referred to Bhattacharjee’s demise as a "personal loss:, while CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty tweeted that he was was "deeply saddened" by his demise.
Kalikaprasad's demise is a personal loss. He was a close friend. Condolences to his family and fans 2/2— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) March 7, 2017
Deeply saddened by the unfortunate demise of Kalikaprasad Bhattacharjee, singer,researcher & a legendary exponent of Bengal's folk heritage.— Dr.Sujan Chakraborty (@Sujan_Speak) March 7, 2017
Expressing grief over Bhattacharya's death, Bollywood music director Shantanu Moitra said, "I wish this news you have given were not true."
"Kalika and I had been planning to do a collaborative music project and we were scheduled to meet very soon," Moitra said.
Music composer Debojyoti Mishra said:
He was credited with infusing folk elements in a new form in Bengali music and whenever I met him I was struck by his creative thinking
Bhattacharya, a resident of South Kolkata, was on his way to a school function in Birbhum district when the incident occurred around 9:30 am.