Veteran journalist and cultural activist Kamal Lohani who had contracted coronavirus died at Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Hospital in the city on Saturday. He was 86.

He breathed his last at 10: 10 am at the hospital, said Sagar Lohani, son of Kamal Lohani.

Kamal Lohani was hospitalised with lung and kidney complications but was later diagnosed with coronavirus infection.

Kamal Lohani, who received Ekushey Padak in 2015, served as the Director General of Shilpakala Academy from April 2009 to April 2011.

Born on June 26, 1934, Kamal Lohani grew up witnessing India's independence movement, the partition and the 1952 Language Movement.

Kamal Lohani performed as the head of news of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

Lohani got his first job as a journalist in the Daily Millat in 1955. Later in 1962, he joined Chhayanaut, a cultural organisation, as its secretary.

Condolences pour in for Kamal Lohani

Meanwhile President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at the death of eminent journalist and cultural personality Kamal Lohani.

In a condolence message, the President said, "Apart from journalism, Kamal Lohani made great contributions to our great language movement, liberation struggle and the Liberation War."

The country has lost a great journalist and cultural figure at his death and it is an irreparable loss to the cultural arena of the country, he added.

The President also prayed for salvation of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the country lost a progressive personality and a great fighter of secular spirit at the death of journalist, eminent cultural personality and valiant freedom fighter Kamal Lohani.

"We have lost a progressive personality and a great fighter of secular spirit," she said while expressing profound shock and sorrow at the death of Kamal Lohani.

In a condolence message, the Prime Minister said that Kamal Lohani played pioneering role in the Language Movement, and the struggle for independence.

He was the leading personality in establishing ideals of independence, spirit of secularism and flourishing local culture as a man of ideals and talent.

She prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury, Planning Minister M A Mannan, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder,Fisheries and Livestock Minister S M Rezaul Karim, Deputy Leader of Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, among others, expressed deep shock at Kamal Lohani's death.

Besides, Jatiya Press Club also expressed deep shock at his death.

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