West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar paid homage to legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee on Sunday who died in a city hospital after a prolonged battle for his life.
Banerjee said Chatterjee was a "fighter" who will be celebrated for his works and his death has delivered an irreparable blow to the film fraternity of the country, while Governor Dhankhar said Chatterjee's death has left a deep void.
Banerjee, who rushed to the private hospital where the thespian was admitted and died on Sunday, said it is a sad day for Bengal and his fans across the globe.
The chief minister said Chatterjee was a fighter at the core of his heart and took part in several mass movements..
Banerjee said, "I had spoken to him (Soumitra Chatterjee) over phone when he was admitted on October 6 after testing positive for COVID-19. He was very confident. Although he has passed away COVID-19 could not defeat him as he had already recovered from the deadly disease," Banerjee told
Chatterjee's daughter Poulomi Basu, who was present there, thanked the actor's followers and fans for their support for the last 40 days when he was in hospital.
"'Feluda' (the role that Chatterjee played in two mystery films by Satyajit Ray) is no more. 'Apu' (of Ray's immortal 'Apur Sansar') said goodbye,she said in a statement
In a series of tweets, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah offered their condolence over the death of veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, saying Indian cinema lost one of its legends.
Chatterjee's health condition was "extremely critical" and he was "not responding at all" to treatment, critical care expert and head of the medical board Arindam Kar had said earlier in the day.
He passed away at 12.15 p.m. His health condition was "extremely deteriorated" since Friday.
The Dadasaheb Phalke awardee was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Belle Vue Hospital for almost 40 days and his consciousness level went down significantly since Friday.
The condition of the veteran actor had remained a matter of concern owing to co-morbidities and advanced age. His key problem was Covid-19 encephalopathy, doctors said.
Chatterjee tested positive for coronavirus on October 5 and got admitted to the hospital the very next morning.
He was shooting for a documentary titled "Abhijan" directed by actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay. Last time he attended the shooting floor at Bharatlaxmi Studio was on October 1. The next shooting schedule was fixed on October 7.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)