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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

AK Roy’s demise: Death of a veteran trade union leader, Communist thinker

AK Roy was 84 years old.

ranchi Updated: Jul 22, 2019 06:08 IST
Subhash Mishra & Gautam Mazumdar
Subhash Mishra & Gautam Mazumdar
Veteran trade union leader Arun Kumar Roy.
Veteran trade union leader Arun Kumar Roy.

Veteran trade union leader Arun Kumar Roy, who won from the Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat thrice and was a major propounder of the Jharkhand movement, passed away on Sunday morning due to multiple organ failure. Roy was aged 84 at the time of his death.

Roy breathed his last around 11.15 am, according to doctors at the Central Hospital in Dhanbad. He was suffering from chronic lung infection, diabetes and paralysis.

A bachelor, Roy lived a simple life. However, he was in penury after robbers looted Rs 2,600 cash from him, which was all the savings he had. He was living with S Gorai, a party worker in Noonodih, who used to take care of him. An engineer with PDIL in Sindri, Roy was dismissed from his job in 1966 when he supported the Bihar Bandh call. He was actively involved in labour movements and became a labour leader, floating the Bihar Colliery Kamgar Union (BCKU), affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

His involvement in the labour movement in Sindri and Dhanbad coal belt soon made him popular and he became the Sindri MLA for the first time on a CPI (M) ticket in 1967. He contested from the the Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat, despite being in prison, in 1977 and entered the Parliament, convincingly defeating his Congress rival. Roy represented the Dhanbad Lok Sabha three times in 1977, 1980 and 1989.

Roy will be remembered for opposing the MP salary and pension bill introduced in the Lok Sabha in 1991, that proposed a hike in salary, allowance and pension for the parliamentarians, saying it violates the purpose of serving the society after becoming people’s representatives. Though his proposal didn’t sail through and the bill was passed in both the Houses of the Parliament, Roy never took his pension. It was being deposited in the President’s fund. He had immovable property valued Rs 61,317, while contesting the last general election in 2009 and had nil liabilities and loans, as per declarations made in his nomination papers.

First Published: Jul 22, 2019 06:08 IST

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