Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, a noted woman freedom fighter and senior member of CPI(M), passed away at the age of 98 on Monday in a private hospital in Kanpur.
Sahgal, who was long ill, was rushed to the hospital after she complained of a heart-attack on July 19. Since then she was kept under life support in the hospital.
Besides being a women's rights and social activist, Sahgal was also a practicing doctor. She was also an active freedom fighter in Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army (INA).
Vice-President Hamid Ansari expressed his condolence on Sahgal's demise, and observed that she represented the pinnacle of sacrifice and struggle for the country, and for the rights of women and the downtrodden.
Ansari added that her contribution in public life, in politics, the trade union movement and the women's movement are remembered by one and all.
"I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of noted freedom fighter, tireless campaigner for women's rights and social causes, Sahgal," Ansari said in a statement.
"Sahgal represents the pinnacle of sacrifice and struggle for the country, and for the rights of the downtrodden and women. Her contribution in public life in politics, the trade union movement and the women's movement are remembered by one and all. Her compassion, concern and commitment towards humanity manifested in all her efforts and activities and have inspired many to emulate her. Her demise is a tremendous loss to the nation," he added.
The CPI(M) also expressed its deep grievance, while extending its condolence to Sehgal's daughter and party leader Subhashini Ali and family.
CPI(M) said in a release statement that "the party pays its deep homage and dipped the red flag in honour of Sehgal, who is deemed as a courageous and dedicated communist leader and freedom fighter. Her life and work will continue to inspire generations of young people."