Renowned Bengali and former Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Tuesday, February 18. He was 61.
The veteran Bengali actor is survived by his wife and a daughter, who he had gone to visit in the western metropolis. Pal breathed his last around 4 am in a hospital near Juhu. He complained of chest pain at the Mumbai airport during his return to Kolkata following which he was rushed to a hospital.
Describing Tapas Pal's death as "untimely", Bengali actor Ranjit Mallick said, "I am yet to come to terms with the news. Yes, he was not keeping well for some time."
Tapas Pal's political career
Pal was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Krishnanagar constituency back in 2009 and 2014. Prior to that, he became a member of the West Bengal Assembly two times in 2001 and 2006 by winning from Alipore constituency.
In his career spanning over three decades, Tapas Pal etched a permanent place in the heart of Bengali cine lovers with his memorable and soulful portrayal of lead roles in blockbusters like Dadar Kirti (1980), Saheb (1981), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Gurudakshina (1987) and Anurager Choyan (1986).
Rape threat controversy
The last few years of his life saw Pal land in infamous controversies.
Back in 2014, a video of his speech warning Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) men to be "beware" of him as he won't spare them "and destroy your entire clan" and "unleash my boys to rape your women" became viral, causing widespread outrage across India.
He was also arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 30, 2016, in connection with the multi-crore rupee Rose Valley Chit Fund scam, and got bail after remaining over 1 year in incarceration.
Tapas Pal's colleague and Trinamool MP Derek O'Brien took to Twitter saying, "Tapas Pal. 1958-2020, today. King of Bangla cinema. Former Trinamool MP and MLA. Travel well, my friend."
"Sad news of the demise of Mr. #TapasPaul, a popular actor of Bengali films and former TMC MP. I pray to God to grant the departed soul a place at my feet and the family to bear this profound grief. Humble tribute!" Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.
(With agency inputs)