The information about Arun’s death reached CM Nitish Kumar during the cabinet meeting he was holding. The entire cabinet observed one-minute silence in the honour of Arun. The CM announced that his funeral will take place with full state honours.
Arun was reported to have developed complications on April 15 and was under treatment first at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Patna and then at a noted private hospital where he breathed his last.
A 1985-batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, Arun is probably the first chief secretary ranked official in the country who has succumbed to the Covid-19 infection. CM Nitish had made him chief secretary on February 28 this year. He was to retire from service on August 31.
In Bihar itself, Arun is the fourth IAS officer who has fallen to the Covid-19 infection. The three other IAS officers were panchayati raj director Vijay Ranjan, additional secretary in the health department Ravi Shankar Choudhary and industries director Pankaj Kumar Singh.
Before becoming the development commissioner, Arun had headed as principal secretary the science and technology, building construction, road construction and water resources, among other departments.
Nitish described Arun as a very able, affable, efficient and knowledgeable official. Whatever post he held, he performed with excellence, the CM said, adding that he was deeply aggrieved by his death. He also prayed that his family would be able to bear the loss with strength.
Among others, former CMs Rabri Devi and Jitan Ram Manjhi, state assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha, leader of opposition in the assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag Paswan also mourned Arun.
While Tarkishore said in his tweet that the state had lost an able administrator, the Speaker described Arun’s death untimely and very shocking. Tejashwi said he and his party were deeply aggrieved and would stand by the family of the deceased in their most grief-ridden hour.