Kanpur: Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, who was part of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, died on Monday following a brief illness. Sahgal (97) breathed her last at a private hospital at 11.20am, her daughter and noted CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali said.

File photo of Captain Lakshmi Sahgal

She was very active during the Independence movement and had commanded the ‘Rani of Jhansi Regiment’ of the INA formed by Bose.

A doctor by profession, Sahgal was working as a medical practitioner and a social worker. She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1998.

Born as Lakshmi Swaminathan to noted lawyer Dr S Swaminathan and social worker Ammu Swaminathan in Chennai on 24 October 1914, Sahgal obtained her MBBS degree from the Madras Medical College in 1938.

In 1940, she went to Singapore for further studies before coming back to India in 1943 to join the INA. She married Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal in 1947 and had been residing in Kanpur since then.

Expressing grief over the demise of Sahgal, senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat remembered her as a “highly politically motivated human being who fought injustice wherever she saw it". “She was a veteran CPI(M) leader and also a great freedom fighter. She served people with every ounce of strength," Karat said, terming Sahgal as a “symbol of courage" and a “symbol of woman’s expression".

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