Agartala, April 7 (IANS): Ramprasad Datta, researcher, historian and founder custodian of Northeast India's oldest archive, died here on Thursday. He was 85.
Datta, a columnist who wrote 17 books on the history of Northeast India, breathed his last at the Gobinda Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital here, his associate and writer Debabrata Debroy told reporters.
Datta suffered from old age ailments and diabetes.
Recipient of many awards, including the Tripura government founded 'Rabindra Puraskar', Datta came to the state from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, in August 1947. He set up an archive and research institute in his name the next year, said Debroy.
The Press Council of India felicitated Datta for his role in founding the treasured archive, the first of its kind in northeast India.
Datta, popularly known as Paltu Daa, was widely respected.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, in Kerala for election campaign, expressed his grief over the death. "With the death of this legendary researcher, we have lost a living encyclopaedia," he said.
Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chaudhury, his Cabinet colleagues, intellectuals and people from all walks of life held a condolence rally.