Nonagenarian freedom fighter dies

A nonagenarian freedom fighter and president of Kapurthala District Freedom Fighters Association, Kalicharan Sood, died here after illness.

Phagwara: A nonagenarian freedom fighter and president of Kapurthala District Freedom Fighters Association, Kalicharan Sood, died here after illness.

Sood (99), who passed away last night, was cremated here this afternoon with full state honours.

A contingent of Punjab police played the last bugle, gave gun-salute and reversed arms in honour of the freedom fighter.

Punjab Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Local Bodies) Som Parkash Kainth placed wreaths on the body on behalf of state government while Phagwara ADC cum Commissioner Corporation Iqbal Singh Sandhu and SP Ashwani Kumar placed the wreaths on behalf of the district administration.
Rakesh Sood, son of the freedom fighter, lit the pyre.

The funeral was attended by prominent persons from all walks of life.

Kalicharan, who would have turned 100 in January next year, had spent three years and three months in different jails in Ambala, Ferozepur and Sialkot (now in Pakistan) during the country's freedom struggle.

Rakesh said that his father was sentenced to seven years imprisonment during Quit India Movement of 1942.

"However, my father was released after three years and three months from jail," he said.

Rakesh added that Kalicharan was closely associated with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as 'Frontier Gandhi' as well as Mahatma Gandhi.

"I still possess a letter written by Mahatma Gandhi to my father," says Rakesh proudly.

Born to Lala Hira Lal Sood and Devaki Devi Sood on January 16 in 1916 in Kachra Pada in Pargana district of West Bengal, Kalicharan worked as a manager of Khadi Board in Ambala (now in Haryana) and had settled in Phagwara after his retirement. 

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