People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 12

March 13, 2012

Comrade Sukumar Barman Passes Away


Haripada Das


COMRADE Sukumar Barman, a member of the CPI(M)’s Tripura state committee, former minister in the state and general secretary of Tripura SC Coordination Committee and MLA, breathed his last at about 1 p m on March 10, in the ICU of G B Pant Government Medical College at Agartala. He was 60.


Comrade Barman was hospitalised after falling unconscious after a severe cerebral stroke on March 6 and operated upon immediately. Two eminent neuro surgeons from Kolkata were flown to Agartala by the state government while chief minister Manik Sarkar and CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar kept a close watch on his treatment. But his condition deteriorated leading to his untimely demise. He is survived by his wife Parul Bala, two sons and a daughter.


The CPI(M) state secretariat has expressed deep shock at Comrade Barman’s untimely demise. A sense of grief gripped the party leaders, members and people in general as the news of his demise spread out. 


An urgent meeting of the party’s state secretariat condoled his death and decided to keep the red flag half mast till 1 p m the next day, till his funeral at Kemtali in Sonamurra, his birth place.


Comrade Sukumar Barman was born in a very poor fisherman family of Kemtali, Sonamurra on January 1, 1952. He could not properly pursue his studies due to poverty and the family decided to send him to his uncle’s house for study purpose. Staying in his uncle’s house, he started schooling and got involved in the student movement. After passing his higher secondary examination in 1971, he joined the peasant movement in the state. He became a member of the CPI(M) in 1976. The 12th state conference of the party elected him to the state committee, of which he remained a member till his last. He made significant contribution to building up a platform of dalit community in the state under the name of Scheduled Caste Coordination Committee, of which he was the general secretary.


In 1978, he was elected Pradhan of Kemtali village in the first ever panchayat election held under secret ballot, and re-elected to the position in 1983. From 1988 onward till his death, he was a member of the Tripura Legislative Assembly from Nalchharr (SC) constituency. In 1993 he was inducted in the Left Front ministry as a minister of state. From 1998-2004 he discharged the responsibility of cabinet minister for transport and fisheries. He was also the chairman of SC Development Corporation and of Land Development Bank. There were several attempts on his life during the Congress-TUJS regime in 1988-1993.


His body was taken to the state assembly building, the Civil Secretariat building and the office of the SC Coordination Committee for the people to pay their last tributes, before it was brought to the CPI(M) state committee office where Bijan Dhar draped his body in a red flag. CPI(M) Central Committee members Khagen Das and Rama Das, state secretariat members Manik Dey, Narayan Kar and Gautam Das, Left Front leaders and leaders of the party and mass organisations paid floral tributes to Comrade Barman. Later his body was taken to Sonamurra for cremation.