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Matua matriarch Binapani Devi passes away at 100, last rites to be held in West Bengal today

File photo of Binapani Devi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 06, 2019, 12.52 PM (IST)

The last rites of Matua community matriarch Binapani Devi, popularly known as ‘Boro Ma’, will be held on Wednesday at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district, where her body would shortly arrive from Kolkata. Boro Ma, 100, passed away at a state-run hospital here on Tuesday evening after a prolonged illness. 

The body was taken in a flower-bedecked hearse from S S K M Hospital in presence of West Bengal minister Jyotipriyo Mallick and Trinamool Congress MP Mamata Bala Thakur, a family member of Boro Ma. Thakurnagar is the headquarters of the Matua Mahasangh, an organisation of the community.

Many members of the scheduled caste community visited the hospital throughout the night to pay their last respects to Boro Ma, who breathed her last at 8.52 pm, after being on ventilator support at the hospital since Sunday. Her body is expected to reach Thakurnagar by 11 am, as thousands of followers await to catch the last glimpse of their beloved Boro Ma.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Tuesday condoled the death of Binapani Devi, considered a significant political force in the state. Modi had met Boro Ma this February during his visit to Thakurnagar, where he had addressed a rally.

Banerjee has announced that Boro Ma will be accorded a state funeral with a gun salute. The Matuas originally hail from erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and began migrating to West Bengal at the beginning of the 1950s, mostly due to religious persecution. With an estimated population of 30 lakh in the state, Matuas can influence results in at least five Lok Sabha seats in North and South 24 Parganas districts.

Story highlights

The last rites of Matua community matriarch Binapani Devi, popularly known as 'Boro Ma', will be held on Wednesday at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district, where her body would shortly arrive from Kolkata. Thakurnagar is the headquarters of the Matua Mahasangh, an organisation of the community.