Mohan Ranade, veteran freedom fighter, dies at 89

Panaji: Veteran freedom fighter and Padmashri Mohan Ranade, who participated in Goa’s independence struggle against Portuguese rule, died early on Tuesday in Pune following prolonged illness. He was 89.

Ranade was a member of the Azad Gomantak Dal, a group of freedom fighters who believed in the doctrine of armed attacks against colonial rule and staged armed ambushes on several Portuguese installations in Goa, their favourite targets being police stations.

Arrested in 1955 for an armed attack on the Betim police station, the Sangli-born Ranade, who was worked undercover as a Marathi school teacher in Goa, was sentenced to serve 26 years imprisonment at the Fort of Caxias, near the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

He was arrested after he received gunshot wounds to his lungs, from which he recovered, and was sentenced first to five years in solitary confinement in Goa, after which he was tried in Portugal.

In all, he eventually served 14 years in prison on account of his struggle for Goa’s independence.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant expressed grief over Ranade’s demise.