Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday mourned the demise of noted singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika, who was emotionally attached with the state in its cultural evolution, with Chief Minister Nabam Tuki describing him as a “great friend and guide”.

Tuki, in a message, said the news has come as a dampener and he is devoid of words to express the loss. “We have lost an icon of the region and a great friend, philosopher and guide of Arunachal Pradesh.”

Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS) also expressed shock on the demise of Hazarika who had composed many songs reflecting the true natural beauty of the hill state.

With his death, Arunachal has lost one of its greatest admirers, APLS President Sahitya Akademy awardee Y.D. Thongchi and general secretary Tokong Pertin said.

Hazarika had produced, directed, and composed the music for the state’s first Hindi feature film in colour ‘Meri Maa Mera Dharam’ in 1977.

He also directed a colour documentary for the Arunachal Pradesh government on tribal folk songs and dances entitled ’For Whom The Sun Shines’ in 1974.

In 1977, the state government had awarded him a gold medal for his outstanding contribution towards tribal welfare, and uplift of tribal culture through cinema and music.

His songs like the ‘Siangor Galong’ (1961) and ‘Tirap Himantor’ (1966) created an emotional bridge between the tribes of Arunachal and the people of Assam.