Freedom fighter dies at 99

Dhenkanal: Veteran freedom fighter and member of the first Orissa Legislative Assembly (OLA) Baishnab Charan Patnaik passed away here today, family sources said.

He was 99 and survived by two sons and a daughter.

A revolutionary from his student life, Patnaik (99) was elected to the first assembly between 1952-57 and represented the 3rd Lok Sabha from 1962-67 as a Congress candidate from Dhenkanal constituency.

The nonagenarian leader was imprisoned several times during freedom movement and injured after being shot at while leading a movement for capture of Parjang police station in 1942 during Quit India Movement.

Braving the British force, Patnaik in 1938 had carried the body of slain freedom fighter Baji Rout and six others, who were shot dead for defying the British diktat, to the Khannagar crematorium.

In 1947, he took leadership of Prajamandal Workers in Nilagiri and was actively associated with Sardar Ballav Bhai Patel in the Merger of Princely States.

After being arrested at Athagarh in March 1948, Patnaik was sent to Cuttack jail for four years.

Patnaik was conferred with the highest Kapilas Samman in 2005 by the Dhenkanal district administration and honorary doctorate by the Revenshaw University, Cuttack in 2012.