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Hasina mourns Basu`s death, says immense loss for B`desh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday expressed her deep shock at the death of veteran Marxist leader and former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu, describing it as an immense loss for Bangladesh.

Updated: Jan 17, 2010, 21:32 PM IST

Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday
expressed her deep shock at the death of veteran Marxist
leader and former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu,
describing it as an immense loss for Bangladesh.

"It (death) is also an immense loss for Bangladesh as
well as myself... we have lost a tested friend and well wisher
of ours," a spokesman from the Prime Minister`s office said
quoting Hasina as saying in her instant reaction.

Hasina is now on an official tour of the western Jessore
district and is expected to return to the capital later today,
the spokesman said.

Hasina, who was Basu`s acquaintance for decades, kept a
close watch on the health condition of the leader, who had
ancestral links with Bangladesh.

In a statement issued by the Bangladesh High Commission
in New Delhi, Hasina expressed her "deep shock and profound
sorrow" at Basu`s demise describing him as one of the leading
political figures in the sub-continent and a great friend and
well wisher of Bangladesh.

She also recalled Basu`s "enormous support" to the 1971
liberation war and said his death was a great loss not only
for India but also for the region.

"On this sad occasion, we recall with deep gratitude Mr
Basu`s enormous support. I also remember his role and personal
initiative in strengthening the bilateral relations between
Bangladesh and India, particularly the efforts he made for the
conclusion of the Ganges water sharing treaty in 1996," she
said offering her heartfelt condolences.

Hasina will come to Kolkata on Tuesday morning to pay her last
respect to Jyoti Basu. Hasina will travel by a special flight to Kolkata on
Tuesday morning.

PTI