Special Reports

Last of the Freedom Fighters

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Aligarh: Freedom fighter and Indian National Army war veteran, Captain Abbas Ali, 92, died here of cardiac arrest on 11 October at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of Aligarh Muslim University.

Capt. Abbas Ali was born on 3 January, 1922 in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh. From his early days, he was inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh. While pursuing his studies in AMU, he came in contact with the great communist leader of his time Kunwar Muhammed Ashraf. On his inspiration, he joined the British Army in 1939 and was posted in South East Asia during World War II.

In 1945, when Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose called for revolt, Abbas Ali deserted the British Army and joined Netaji's Indian National Army (INA). Later he was arrested, court marshalled and awarded death sentence. After India gained Independence in 1947, he was released by the Indian Government.

In 1948, Capt. Abbas Ali joined Socialist Party led by Acharya Narendra Deva, Jai Prakash Narayan and Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and remained associated with the Socialist Party till its merger with the Janata Party in 1977. He was General Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Unit of Socialist Party in 1967 and 1974 and member of its Parliamentary board.

In 1967, he played a key role in the formation of the first Samyukta Vidhayak Dal (SVD) government led by former Prime Minister, late Chaudhry Charan Singh in Uttar Pradesh. In 1977, when Janata Party came into power, he was appointed as the first President of Uttar Pradesh Unit of Janata Party.

In 1978, he was elected to UP Legislative Council for six years. He had been a member of UP Sunni Central Waqf Board for six years.

Abbas Ali is survived by his son, noted journalist Qurban Ali and two daughters. He was laid to rest late same evening at Qila Road graveyard in Aligarh.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2014 on page no. 13

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