Jnanpith laureate Indira Goswami, one of the first peacemakers between the Centre and Ulfa, passed away at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital on Tuesday at 7.45am. She was 69.
The eminent Assamese writer was suffering from lung infection and had been unwell for a long time. After a cerebral stroke in February, Goswami was taken to a hospital in New Delhi, but brought back here in July and was undergoing treatment.
Popularly known by her nom de plume Mamoni Raisom Goswami, the author of best-selling novels and short stories received the Jnanpith Award, the country's highest literary award, in 2000. Goswami had won the Sahiyta Akademi Award in 1982 for her novel Mamore Dhora Taruwal.
In 2008, she became the first recipient of the Principal Prince Claus Award (named in honour of Prince Claus of The Netherlands) from India. She donated the R60 lakh prize money to the state government for construction of a hospital in her ancestral village Amranga in Kamrup district.
As a peacemaker, Goswami's efforts had made the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) form a people's representative group in September 2005.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi said, "Mamoni Raisom Goswami was always against violence. She had faith in peace… Today, whatever we have achieved in the peace process, to bring Ulfa to the negotiation table, she has enough contribution."
The Assam government announced three-day state mourning and state holiday on Wednesday for her cremation.
The Ulfa also condoled Goswami's death.