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Bust of `spy princess` Noor Inayat Khan to be unveiled

A bronze bust of Indian-origin "spy princess" Noor Inayat Khan will be unveiled in Gordon Square here on November 8.

London: A bronze bust of Indian-origin "spy princess" Noor Inayat Khan will be unveiled in Gordon Square here on November 8.

The bust of the World War II heroine will be unveiled by Princess Anne, the daughter of British Queen Elizabeth II.

The event marks the end of several years of campaigning by the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust to revive the memory of the forgotten war heroine.

The campaign, led by Noor`s biographer Shrabani Basu, has received the support of Prime Minister David Cameron, several MPs and peers including House of Commons Speaker John Bercow.

It has also received the backing of eminent Asian women like Shami Chakrabarti, Gurinder Chadha and Anoushka Shankar.

"We are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal is unveiling the bust. It will be the highest honour for Noor," said Basu, the author of `Spy Princess, The Life of Noor Inayat Khan` and founder of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust.

"The memorial for Noor in Gordon Square will ensure that her story of bravery and sacrifice is not forgotten by future generations."

The University of London, which owns Gordon Square, gave permission for the installation of the bust in 2010.

Noor Inayat Khan was a secret agent in the Second World War. She was the first woman radio operator to be infiltrated into occupied France and did crucial work for the Allies. She was eventually betrayed, captured and killed in Dachau Concentration Camp.

Her last word was "Liberte". She was posthumously awarded the George Cross by Britain and France awarded her the Croix de Guerre.

Born in Moscow to Indian father Hazrat Inayat Khan and American mother Ora Ray Baker, Noor was a descendant of Tipu Sultan, the eighteenth century ruler of Mysore.

The Trust has raised 60,000 pounds for the Memorial from public donations.


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