Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to attend Suvra Mukherjee's funeral
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the last rites of President Pranab Mukherjee's wife Suvra Mukherjee on Wednesday.
New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the last rites of President Pranab Mukherjee's wife Suvra Mukherjee on Wednesday.
Hasina's press secretary Ihsanul Karim said the Prime Minister will be accompanied by Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali, Hasinas younger sister Sheikh Rehana and daughter Saima Wazed to the funeral of Suvra who had close personal ties with Hasina and Rehana.
The Bangladesh Premier would leave Dhaka in the morning and return in the afternoon, Karim said.
Hasina developed personal relations with Suvra and rest of the Mukherjee family during her life in exile in Delhi soon after the August 15, 1975 coup that saw the killing of Bangladesh's independence architect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members. Hasina and Rehana escaped the mayhem because they were abroad at that time.
India had provided asylum to Hasina and Rehana for nearly six years post-coup.
First Lady Suvra Mukherjee, President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife of 58 years, was 74.
She hailed from Jessore, now in Bangladesh, and had migrated to Kolkata at the age of 10 years.
According to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the last rites will be held at 13, Talkatora Road, the residence of Suvra's son, Abhijit Mukherjee.
The cremation ceremony will be held at the Lodhi Road Crematorium at 10.00 am on Wednesday.
Born on September 17, 1940, Suvra, a graduate, was an ardent fan of India's national poet Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
She was a vocalist of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the poet's dance-dramas for long years not only in different parts of India, but also in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Married to Pranab Mukherjee on July 13, 1957, Suvra Mukherjee was an accomplished Rabindra Sangeet exponent. The couple have two sons and a daughter. Her son Abhijeet Mukherjee is a Congress MP from Jangipur, West Bengal, while daughter Sharmistha is an accomplished dancer and has joined the Congress party. Another son is Indrajit Mukherjee.
During his state visit to Bangladesh in March 2013, President Mukherjee paid his first visit to his “sosur bari”, or in-laws' house, where the couple were given the traditional welcome accorded to newly-weds, complete with conch-shells being blown and 'uloo dhoni' and 'mangal deep' aarti.
The grand family welcome at Bhadrabila village, some 9 km from Narail town, probably made up for the physical stress she had to endure, being wheel-chair bound throughout the trip.
She is not known to have accompanied her husband on a foreign tour after that.
Her ancestors had migrated to India in early 1950s after the 1947 partition.