People's Democracy

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


No. 16

April 27, 2008



Comrade Purnamohan Tripura Passes Away

Haripada Das

VETERAN CPI(M) Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad leader and ex minister of the second Left Front government, Comrade Purnamohan Tripura (81) passed away at about 6.15 pm on April 15, 2008 at his residence at Maynama, Longthorai Valley sub-division of Dhalai district. He had been suffering from lung cancer and was under treatment in GB Pant Hospital, Agartala. Only on the day earlier, he left hospital for his residence where he breathed his last.

Immediately after the sad news of the demise of Comrade Tripura poured in, hundreds of grief-ridden CPI(M) leaders, workers and sympathisers including the district secretariat members Nirode Saha, Matilal Suklabaidya, Swapan Barua, Dilip Chattarjee visited his house and expressed condolence to the bereaved family members. His body was laid in state honour at his residence. The government declared closure of all government offices including the government schools in the sub-division on April 16. CPI(M) state secretary Baidyanath Majumder who happened to be in Kailashahar at that time, rushed to his house next morning to bid a see off to one of his co-warriors during his long struggling life. He also expressed condolences to the wife, three daughters, two sons and other relatives of the departed leader.

At about 10 am on April 16, funeral procession of Comrade Purnamohan Tripura began from his residence and first reached at Party divisional committee office at Manu. Comrade Baidyanath Majumder draped red flag over the body of the Purnamohan Tripura. Floral tributes were offered by many district Party leaders, workers and common people of both tribal and nontribal communities. Then, the funeral procession started for Chailengta local committee office. On about eight kilometer long way to Chailengta, the procession had to halt in many places on the demand of the people standing by the roadside to have a last glimpse of their beloved leader. His mortal remains were consigned to flames with full state honour at his own residence in presence of hundreds of Party leaders and workers. Fisheries minister Khagendra Jamatia and Gajendra Tripura, executive member, TTAADC attended the funeral of Comrade Purnamohan Tripura on behalf of the Left Front government and ADC respectively.

CPI(M) Tripura state secretariat, Longthorai Valley division secretariat, chief minister Manik Sarkar, Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad, ADC, RSP state committee in separate statements attributed him as one of the outstanding vanguard in protecting and cementing the tribal-nontribal unity and amity in the state. Comrade Purnamohan Tripura organised many glorious struggles mobilising the hungry people of remote tribal areas in famine situation during Congress regime. At a time when the remote tribal areas of Longthorai Valley sub-division was under frequent attack of the secessionist extremists, Comrade Purnamohan Tripura gave his best to combat them politically and ideologically. His simplicity, modest behavior and simple life style turned him into a true friend of all sections of the people irrespective of political differences. The life and legacy of Comrade Purnamohan Tripura will always be the ray of inspiration for the Party workers. The CPI(M) state committee announced that the red flag would be kept half-mast everywhere in the state on April 16, 2008 in honour of the late leader.

Born in 1928 in a poor peasant family at Maynama, then a most backward tribal village of Longthorai Valley sub-division, Dhalai district, Comrade Purnamohan Tripura plunged into Janashiksha movement initiated by late Comrade Dasaratha Deb during king’s regime. Subsequently, he undertook the responsibility of organising Ganamukti Parishad in the Kailashahar sub-division. (present Longthorai Valley was under Kailashahar sub-division earlier) He attained membership of undivided communist party in 1954. Since then he played a key role in organising the Party among the tribal people in remote areas of Longthorai Valley. He was detained for three years during Congress regime. At the time of split of the Party in 1964, Comrade Purnamohan Tripura took side with CPI(M). He was elected Party state committee Member in 1991. In 1972 he was first elected to the Assembly from Chawmanu(ST) constituency. He won elections consecutively for five terms from 1972 to 1993 from the same constituency. In 1986, he became a cabinet minister of the second Left Front government and proved his capability in running the administration also. Unable to cope with the unquestionable popularity, the opposition got their plan materialised to desist him from contesting election in the later part of 1997. They got him abducted by the extremists and kept him captivated in a dense forest in unknown location. After three months nine days of his captivity, he somehow managed to escape. In 1998 Assembly election, though he was able to contest the election at last, he had to face a defeat because the extremists overpowered a large portion of the constituency. He was secretary of the Longthorai Valley division committee of the Party since its inception after the bifurcation of Kailashahar divisional committee.

Since his escape from extremists’ clutches, his health started deteriorating. The Party arranged his stay at CPI(M) division committee office at Manu because of extremists threat. Considering his weakening health condition, the 18th state conference had decided to honour him as a permanent invitee to the state committee, the capacity in which he continued till his last day. A few months back he was diagnosed to be suffering from lung cancer, which forced him to succumb at last.