Aizawl, Jan 20: Mizoram prominent journalist and 7 times president of Mizoram Journalist Association (MJA) Robert Lal Chhuana died of cardiac disease at his residence in Siphhir on Wednesday.
Robert who started vernacular paper ‘Hruaina Eng’ in 1973 and later local daily ‘Romei’ had been suffering from Alzheimer and cardiac disease for 4 years. He was admitted to Synod Hospital, Durtlang on 26 December last year and kept in ICU and later he was referred to Aizawl Civil Hospital on 29 December. He was discharged from the hospital on January 15 to undergo treatment at home. Robert, who was proclaimed to be the first prominent journalist, however, felt sudden fatigue on Wednesday morning after coming back from bathroom and died at the age of 76.
He was survived by his wife and four children.
Robert was one of the senior most journalist in Mizoram and become the president of MJA for 7 terms. He entered politics and fought assembly election in 1978 from Congress ticket. Robert held several important posts including ADCC Vice President in Congress during his prime time. Apart from journalism and politics, he was a well known figure in Mizo society. He was elected vice president of Thingdawl Village council in 1982 and during 2002-2004 he was the vice president of Sihphir Vengthar village council. Robert also served as an interpreter at the time of signing Mizo accord during 1986-1987 when the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Mizoram.
Robert visited different parts of India at the behest of Mizoram government and accompanied former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at SAARC summit in Pakistan in 2003. He also represented MJA in several nationwide journalist conferences. He was declared as the first prominent journalist of Mizoram by former Mizoram Governor Lt.Gen.(Rtd.) MM Lakhera during the 35th MJA General Conference held in 2008.
Meanwhile, Mizoram Journalist Association and the youth wing of Congress party condoled the untimely death of Robert and conveyed deepest condolences to the bereaved family.