A virtual sea of humanity had flooded the entire stretch of road space of more than three kilometres between Ripon Street crossing and the Sealdah-Moulali area by the time the cortege carrying the last remains of Comrade Anil Biswas came out of the Alimuddin Street and turned off into the A J C Bose Road. 

Several lakhs of people from every occupation slowly walked behind the Red-draped vehicles that were in the van.  There was discipline all around as the marchers slow-stepped away towards the N R S Hospital where comrade Anil Biswas’s body was to be handed over for medical research.

Party volunteers, none below the rank of district committee members, 62 strong, carried Red flags that unfurled in the March wind as the procession went ahead.  Comrade Anil Biswas was 62 when he had passed away.

Polit Bureau, central committee, and state secretariat members of the Party were followed by members of the Bengal state committee, and by lakhs of people, wielding banners and placards that said ‘Long live Comrade Anil Biswas!’ 

A short way into the walk, strains of Internatioanle were heard from different segments of the processions, and it soon became a unified harmonious sound emanating from the march itself—all the way to the gates of the hospital.

The marchers dispersed as the vehicle with Comrade Anil Biswas’s last remains went inside the hospital gates amidst tumultuous slogans — leaving behind among his comrades not a void but a rich heritage of Communist struggle.

Earlier, as Comrade Anil Biswas last remains lay in state at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan, people thronged from seven in the morning till the last march commenced more than nine hours later.

Among those who paid their last respects to the departed CPI (M) leader were Prakash Karat, Jyoti Basu, S R Pillai, R Umanath, Sitaram Yechury, Biman Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Baidyanath Majumdar, B V Raghavulu, K Varadarajan, Brinda Karat, Chittabrata Majumdar, Samar Mukherjee, Benoy Konar, Mohd Amin, Nirupam Sen, Surjya Kanta Mishra, Shyamal Chakraborty, T K Rengarajan, Hemen Das, Janardan Pati, Ganesh Sankar Vidyarthi and others. 

Also paying his last respects to Comrade Anil Biswas was Haidar Rono of the Workers’ Party of Bangladesh.  Polit Bureau member of the CPI (M), Pinarai Vijayan sent his condolence message, as did Central Committee member, Yusuf Tarigami.

General Secretary, CPI, A B Bardhan, General Secretary Forward Bloc, Debabrata Biswas, Debabrata Bandyopadhyay of the RSP, and the entire leadership of every constituent of the Bengal Left Front were present at Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan paying their homage to comrade Anil Biswas.

The Bengal opposition was represented at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan by Somen Mitra and Subrata Mukherjee of the Pradesh Congress, by Pravash Ghosh of the SUCI, and by Tapan Sikdar of the BJP.

Veteran intellectual Dr Pratap Chandra Chunder despite failing health came to pay his last respects to Comrade Anil Biswas.  A large number of literatures, intellectuals, artists, and sportspersons too were present to pay their homage to the departed CPI (M) leader

Members of the Bengal state committee paid their last respects to Comrade Anil Biswas as did the leadership of the mass organisations. 

Party members from districts far and near came in their lakhs to pay homage to the departed leader.  Supporters, sympathisers, and fiends of the Party came in huge swathes of humanity all day long.  The Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan had seldom seen such a vast assemblage of people throughout a day.

Condolence messages were received from the President of India, the Prime Minister of India

In the evening, addressing the Kolkata media, CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat said that Comrade Anil Biswas was one of the leading lights of the second generation of Communist leadership in the country flowing the founding of the CPI (M).  His demise was a loss to the Communist and Left movement in the country.

Prakash Karat said that Comrade Anil Biswas led from the front in the realm of political-ideological struggle.  He was not merely a key leader in Bengal; he was also involved in making important contributions to the formulation of Party strategy. 

Comrade Anil Biswas was importantly involved among others in the formulation of the revised Party Programme, Prakash Karat pointed out.

Comrade Anil Biswas’s loss would be keenly felt by the Bengal unit of the Parry said Prakash Karat who went on to point out that thanks to the way Comrade Anil Biswas had helped the Party to develop here, the Bengal unit of the CPI (M) would be equal to the task of facing the challenges of both the Assembly elections and the imperatives of development of the Communist and the Left movement.

Prakash Karat said that the state committee of the Bengal unit of the CPI (M) would meet in the morning of 31 March with the single agendum of electing the new secretary.


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