Regulators

Former I&B minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi passes away

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NEW DELHI: Former Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who took several unpopular decisions during his tenure, died after being in a coma since 2008. He was 72.

He had suffered a massive stroke in 2008 leaving him paralysed and unable to speak and lapsed into a coma during treatment. He had been critically ill over the past month, according to the Apollo hospital, and died at 12.10 pm on 20 November.

As I&B minister during the first term of the Manmohan Singh-led government from 2004-2008, Dasmunsi was instrumental in passing a law in 2007 which resulted in all broadcasters holding rights to sporting events having to forcibly share signals with Prasar Bharati. His term also saw several bans on western television networks, including a three-month ban on the Sony-owned television network AXN and Fashion TV following the broadcast of programs deemed "obscene" by him.

In 2006, Dasmunsi was the first Indian to be a match commissioner in a FIFA World Cup game between Australia and Croatia. He was heading the Indian football governing body at the time of his stroke in 2008, which led to Praful Patel taking over as president. Dasmunsi served as the president of the All India Football Federation for almost 20 years.

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