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Last Rites of Matua Matriarch Binapani Devi Held With Full State Honours, Gun Salute

The funeral pyre was lit by Boro Ma's younger son Manjul Krishna Thakur.

PTI

Updated:March 7, 2019, 9:10 PM IST
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Last Rites of Matua Matriarch Binapani Devi Held With Full State Honours, Gun Salute
Matua matriarch Boro Ma Binapani Thakur died on Tuesday evening in Kolkata.
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Kolkata: The last rites of Matua community matriarch Binapani Devi, who died in a city hospital on Tuesday, was held with full state honours and gun salute in North 24 Parganas district on Thursday.

The mortal remains of Binapani Devi, popularly known as 'Boro Ma', was taken to various streets in a procession before it was consigned to flames at a crematorium in Thakurnagar.

Thakurnagar is the headquarters of the Matua Mahasangh, the central body of the scheduled caste community which is a significant political force in the state.

The last rites, attended by thousands of followers of Boro Ma, were earlier scheduled to be held on Wednesday evening.

It was rescheduled on Thursday to enable the Matua community members pay their last respect to Binapani Devi.

The funeral pyre was lit by Boro Ma's younger son Manjul Krishna Thakur.

Her elder son Kapil Krishna Thakur, who was a Trinamool Congress MP, died in 2014. Manjul Krishna Thakur was a Trinamool Congress MLA and minister but he had resigned and contested as a BJP candidate in Bongaon Lok Sabha bypoll in 2015 but was defeated by his sister-in-law and Kapil Krishna's wife Mamata Bala Thakur.

After Boro Ma's death on Tuesday at the age of 100, her body was taken in a flower-bedecked hearse from state-run SSKM Hospital to Thakurnagar the next day in presence of state minister Jyotipriyo Mallick and Mamata Bala Thakur.

Matua votes were considered a major factor in the Trinamool Congress' win in the 2011 and 2016 Assembly polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Boro Ma this February during his visit to Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district where he addressed a rally.

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.

However, many of them are claimed to have still not got Indian citizenship.

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