Centurion freedom fighter passes away

Kendrapara: Noted freedom fighter and former MLA Purussottam Nayak passed away on Sunday after a protracted illness.

Nayak (104) is survived by three sons. He breathed his last in SCB Medical College hospital at Cuttack, family sources said.

He had participated in the freedom movement and was jailed by the British thrice between 1940 and 1942. He represented Kendrapara Assembly constituency from 1953-1957.

During the visit of Mahatma Gandhi to Odisha in 1934, Nayak joined him in the Padayatra undertaken in the district and its nearby areas.

Nayak had headed the state freedom fighters’ body on several occasions.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the Freedom Fighters Bhawan in Bhubaneswar and paid rich tributes to the centurion freedom fighter. He was given a guard of honour there.

“Nayak was an embodiment of sacrifice and patriotism and his death is an irreparable loss to the state as well as the country,” Patnaik said in a condolence message.

Odisha ministers and senior Congress leaders, including former PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik condoled the demise of Nayak.