Tezpur/Guwahati, Aug. 25: Seven persons, including singer Ramen Mahanta, his son (a child artiste) and a TV producer, died in a road accident near Tezpur this morning.
Apart from the 42-year-old Mahanta, his wife Baby, 10-year-old son Anupam, who had acquired fame as a child artiste in TV serials, and television producer Dilip Mishra died in the accident. Two of the other victims, Mishra’s brother-in-law Sonti Sarma and his wife Meghali, were supposed to alight at Biswanath Chariali.
The rest were headed for Guwahati for the shooting of a TV serial, Anjali.
A singer of repute, Mahanta sang frequently for All India Radio and Doordarshan. He was a regular feature at functions in Assam, specially on the bihutolis. Mahanta specialised in singing the compositions of Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla and Bishnu Prasad Rabha.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi led the state in condoling Mahanta’s death. He said the state had lost a “star” in the field of art and culture.
The Sonitpur units of the Asam Sahitya Sabha and the All Assam Students Union issued similar statements.
Police said all seven persons were travelling in an Indica car when the mishap occurred around 7 am at Depota, 13 km from Tezpur.
The driver of the car, Rana Barman, died on way to Kanaklata Civil Hospital in Tezpur. He had lost control of the car while negotiating a sharp curve on the road and rammed into a tree.
Such was the impact of the collision that the car hurled into a 10-feet-deep ditch. Five of the occupants died on the spot. The other two died on way to hospital.
The police said the car was overcrowded and the driver probably had problems negotiating the curve, leading to the mishap.
As news of the accident spread, a pall of gloom descended on Tezpur town. A funeral procession was taken from the civil hospital to the crematorium, where the Mahanta family and the driver were cremated.
The bodies were draped in the AASU flag during their final journey. The bodies of the other victims were taken to their native place in Nalbari district.