GUWAHATI, Dec 10 - Former editor of the Dainik Asam, retired bureaucrat, writer, dramatist and documentary filmmaker Jyoti Prasad Saikia passed away at his Chandmari residence today.
The well-known personality who had been battling cancer for a long time breathed his last at his Chandmari residence around 7.55 am.
He is survived by his wife and two sons along with a host of relatives. His last rites were performed at the Navagraha crematorium here this evening.
Born to a culturally rich family of Amguri in Sivasagar district on June 8, 1945, Saikia spent his student days in Guwahati, Shillong and New Delhi.
From his early days, he used to write articles in various magazines and newspapers and was keenly interested in professional journalism. In the first phase of his career, he worked as a staff reporter of The Assam Tribune and then as a staff correspondent of The Times of India at Agartala. During his days in Cotton College, he also served as the editor of the Cottonian.
During the Bangladesh liberation war, as a journalist, Saikia played a very vital role in support of the movement.
He acted as a guide to the foreign journalists who came to Agartala during that time to cover the war and its consequences. For his contribution towards the liberation war, the Bangladesh government felicitated him with the �Friends of Liberation War Honour� in 2013.
Later, he joined as a political officer of the state government. As a public servant, he served at the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, Revenue department, Jyoti Chitraban, Home department, etc. He retired as commissioner and secretary of the state government.
Saikia was the person behind the formulation of the term �Seven Sisters�. At an early age, he served as the political adviser of then Chief Minister of Assam Sarat Chandra Singha.
As a senior official, Saikia was the first to take the initiative of designing a logo for the Directorate of Information and Public Relations of Assam.
As deputy commissioner of Nagaon district, in 1992, he tactically prevented communal violence following the tension in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition.
After he retired from government service, he joined as the editor of the Dainik Asam and served in the newspaper for around four years.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal mourned the death of Saikia and recalled his contributions towards Assam.
The Natasurya Memorial Celebration Committee also condoled the death of its adviser and recalled his contributions towards the organisation and termed his death an irreparable loss to the organisation.
The Retired Information and Public Relations Officers� Association has condoled Saikia�s demise.
Stating that Saikia had served the Information and Public Relations Department both as director and commissioner for several years, chief adviser of the association DN Chakravartty and general secretary Hiranya Bhuyan described him as a man of varied qualities and a competent officer.