New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday condoled the death of veteran freedom fighter Lakshmi Sehgal, calling her "an icon of selfless service" and terming her demise as "a tremendous loss to the nation".
"I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of noted freedom fighter, tireless campaigner for women`s rights and social causes, Captain Lakshmi Sehgal," Ansari said in his message.
"Captain Lakshmi Sahgal represents the pinnacle of sacrifice and struggle for the country, and for the rights of the downtrodden and women Her demise is a tremendous loss to the nation," he added.
The prime minister, in his message, said: "In the passing away of Shrimati Lakshmi Sehgal the nation has lost an icon of liberal values and selfless service."
Sehgal, a close associate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the first head of the women`s wing of the Azad Hind Fauj, died around 11.20 am Monday at a private hospital in Kanpur, her family said. She was 97.
She was in coma for the past three days after suffering a massive heart attack. The family announced that Sehgal had donated her body for medical research.
Sehghal, herself a doctor, was working at her clinic in Civil Lines area in Kanpur a day before she suffered a heart attack. Sehgal was the Left candidate in the 2002 Presidential election, when she lost to APJ Abdul Kalam.