Bengal’s Popular Folk Singer Kalikaprasad Bhattarcharya Dies in an Accident

Burdwan/Kolkata: Popular Bengali folk music singer Kalikaprasad Bhattacharya died in a road accident at Hooghly, West Bengal on Tuesday. He was 56.

The accident took place at Gurap on Durgapur Expressway (NH2) in Hooghly district at around 9 AM.

A senior district police officer said Bhattacharya was travelling along with four members of his Bangla band, Dohar, when their SUV was hit from behind by a truck on NH 2 and fell into a shallow water body. Besides Kalika, five other band members were travelling in the car which turned turtle and fell in an adjacent ditch.

Bhattacharya was rescued from the mangled vehicle along with other occupants of the car and rushed to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where the Silchar-born singer was declared brought dead, the officer said.

Five others were undergoing treatment at the hospital and the condition of three of them was stated to be critical, the officer said. Expressing grief over Bhattacharya’s death, singer-music composer Shantanu Moitra said, “I wish this news you have given were not true.” “Kalika and I had been planning to do a collaborative music project and we were scheduled to meet very soon,” Moitra said.

Music composer Debojyoti Mishra said, “He was credited with infusing folk elements in new form in Bengali music and whenever I met him I was struck by his creative thinking.”

Actress Swastika Mukherjee and actor Parambrata Chatterjee also expressed shock over the news.

Dohar, a widely popular folk music band, was formed nearly two decades ago and Kalika was its lead singer. Dohar’s popularity grew immensely in the wake of its focus on the dwindling folk art forms of Bengal and rejuvenating them before a global audience

Bhattacharya, a resident of South Kolkata, was on way to a school function in Birbhum district when the incident occurred. Besides popularizing folk songs of rural Bengal among the present generation in the albums of his band Dohar, he had also lent his voice in films like Jaatishwar (2014), Moner Manush (2010) and Bhuban Majhi (2017). Kalika is survived by his wife Writacheta and daughter.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: March 7, 2017, 12:47 PM IST