Staff Correspondent ;
Dhaka – Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee has died at the age of 84, his family said on Monday.
Mukherjee, who had tested positive for novel coronavirus, breathed his last at a Delhi hospital as he had been in coma after a brain surgery earlier this month.
His son Abhijit Mukherjee in a tweet announced the demise of the eldest statesman on India in the afternoon.
“With a Heavy Heart, this is to inform you that my father Shri Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital and prayers, duas and prarthanas from people throughout India! I thank all of You,” Abhijit said in the post on the micro-blogging site.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to pay tribute, saying he was blessed to have Pranab Mukherjee’s guidance since he took office.
Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed shock at the demise of the Indian politician, who was always considered a true friend of Bangladesh.
In his message Modi said: “India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society.”
“I was new to Delhi in 2014. From Day 1, I was blessed to have the guidance, support and blessings of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I will always cherish my interactions with him. Condolences to his family, friends, admirers and supporters across India. Om Shanti,” wrote Modi in a tweet.
Earlier in the morning the army hospital in Delhi had reported a decline in the former President’s condition. He had gone into septic shock due to his lung infection, the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital had said.
Mukherjee was admitted to hospital on August 10. He had surgery the same day for the removal of a clot in the brain. He had tested positive for COVID-19 in hospital.
“On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID-19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19,” he had posted.