Azad Hind Fauj soldier dies at 100 in Ambala

Kehar Singh, 100-year-old freedom fighter from Ambala, died on Sunday; he was a soldier in the Azad Hind Fauj, also known as the Indian National Army, formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
Kehar Singh was a soldier in the supply depot of the Azad Hind Fauj, also known as the Indian National Army. The freedom fighter was cremated with full state honours at his native Lakhnoura village in Ambala on Monday. (HT Photo)
Kehar Singh was a soldier in the supply depot of the Azad Hind Fauj, also known as the Indian National Army. The freedom fighter was cremated with full state honours at his native Lakhnoura village in Ambala on Monday. (HT Photo)
Published on Nov 30, 2021 03:10 AM IST
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ByBhavey Nagpal, Ambala

Kehar Singh, a 100-year-old freedom fighter from Ambala’s Naraingarh block, died on Sunday evening and was cremated with the full state honours at his native Lakhnoura village on Monday.

The cremation was attended by officials of the district administration, including Naraingarh tehsildar Dinesh Dhillon and DSP Anil Kumar. Singh’s grandson Mohit lit the pyre after formal rituals.

The centenarian was a soldier in the supply depot of the Azad Hind Fauj, also known as the Indian National Army (INA), formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in 1942.

His nephew, Jarnail Singh, said he joined the INA in Singapore at the age of 20 and their camps were captured many times by the British and allied forces and were freed after agreements between both forces.

“He left his boarding school at such a young age to fight for the freedom movement after getting inspired by Netaji. After serving in the INA till we got freedom, he then joined a cooperative society where he worked till retirement. The son of a farmer, he spent his life on the ancestral fields,” Jarnail said.

Singh is survived by five sons and two daughters. His wife died in 1997. The villagers remember him as a staunch patriot and an inspiration for youth, who remained vocal on many current issues till recently.

His elder son Deep Singh, a retired superintendent from the Haryana Secretariat, said he was too excited to listen to the speech by Bose probably in Rangoon (now Yangon), for the first time after his joining.

“Talking about how they struggled to get Independence that was possible after scores of sacrifices, he sometimes felt dejected on where the youth is heading towards,” Singh, 67, said.

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Saturday, January 22, 2022