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Capt Lakshmi passes away at 97

Lucknow, July 23, 2012, DHNS: 1:00 IST
One of India’s towering personality and a courageous Freedom fighter, Capt Lakshmi Sehgal, breathed her last at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur town on Monday after protracted illness.

A doctor by profession, 97-year-old Capt Sehgal, suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday and was admitted to the hospital.

According to the family members, she slipped into coma, and her condition started to deteriorate on Sunday night. “She was on ventilator support and her condition worsened on Sunday night. Her life support system was taken off at around 11am on Monday; she passed away 20 minutes later,” said Subhashini Ali, her daughter and a social activist.

Capt Sehgal’s body has been donated to the government medical college at Kanpur in accordance with her wish, family members said.

A close aid of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Capt Sehgal, who played a heroic role as the commander of ‘Rani of Jhansi Regiment’ of the Indian National Army (INA), was born in Madras (present day Chennai). She met Netaji at Singapore in 1943 and was made the commander of an all women's regiment in the INA. She was also the minister of Women’s Affairs in the Azad Hind government.

After her marriage to Prem Sehgal, another luminary of the INA, she settled in Kanpur. In 1971, she joined the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and represented the party in the Rajya Sabha. She also contested for the post of a president against APJ Abdul Kalam in 2002.

A compassionate doctor in the service of the poor, Capt Sehgal had opened a clinic for the downtrodden in Kanpur where she treated her patients free of cost. UP Governor, B LJoshi, and Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav, have condoled the death of the INA legend.

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