Vol. 4 Num 220 Wed. January 07, 2004  
Front Page

Sumita Devi passes away

Veteran film actress Sumita Devi yesterday expired at a private hospital at 10:00am.

Wife of noted litterateur and filmmaker Jahir Raihan, Sumita Devi, 68, was suffering from heart, kidney and liver ailments for quite some time. She also had pneumonia and died of multiple organ failure.

Sumita was first admitted to Bangladesh Medical College Hospital at Dhanmondi on October 26 last year and discharged on November 4. But she was again admitted to the same hospital on November 8, as her condition deteriorated. Ever since, she had been connected to ventilation machine at the intensive care unit (ICU) and was unconscious till her death, hospital sources said.

Born in Manikganj in 1939, Sumita acted in the first Bangladeshi film Akash ar mati' directed by Fateh Lohani and played roles in about 200 films.

Sumita -- whose actual name is Hena Bhattacharya -- left behind three sons and a daughter.

Family sources said her body was first taken to her Mohammadpur Town Hall house where the first namaj-e-janaza was offered at a local mosque in late afternoon and then sent to the mortuary at Combined Military Hospital (CMH).

Today, her body will be taken to Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) at 9:00am and to the Central Shaheed Minar at around 11:00am for commoners to pay their last homage.

After the last janaza at Dhaka University Mosque after Johr prayers, she will be buried at Intellectuals Graveyard at Mirpur in state honour, as she made contributions to the Liberation War as an artist of the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra.

Chairman of Muktijoddha Sangsad Kabir Ahmed Khan told The Daily Star that representative of the district administration would be present during the burial, while policemen would offer gun-salute and guard of honour due for a freedom fighter.

Leader of the Opposition and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at the death of Sumita Devi.

In a statement, Hasina prayed for the departed soul and condoled the bereaved family members of the deceased.