Comrade Mrinal Das
COMRADE Mrinal Das, a member of the CITU working committee and secretary of the West Bengal state committee of CITU, breathed his last on January 4, 2014, owing to a sudden and massive heart attack. He was 66. Comrade Mrinal Das joined the student movement in his early youth as an organiser of Bengal Provincial Students Federation (BPSF) and rose to the position of general secretary of BPSF in 1970. He was elected to the secretariat of Students Federation of India at its foundation conference and worked in that capacity as one of the frontline leaders in the student movement on an all-India plane. Subsequently he joined the trade union movement and devoted himself to organising the unorganised sector workers throughout the state and led many important struggles of the unorganised sector workers of various trades and occupations for the last three decades or more. He played an important role in organising CITU unions among railway contract workers, hawkers, headload workers, rickshaw and van drivers, municipal workers, security workers etc, which together represent a sizeable section of CITU membership in the state. He was elected as one of the secretaries of West Bengal state committee of CITU in 1986 and also a national working committee member, and continued in that position till his death. Comrade Mrinal Das had also been a member of the West Bengal state committee of CPI(M). He wrote many booklets for organisers in the unorganised sector. In a statement issued on the day, the CITU secretariat expressed shock and heartfelt grief at the demise of Comrade Mrinal Das and conveyed its condolence to the bereaved family members and comrades of the departed leader.