Veteran freedom fighter Mohan Ranade, who also participated in the Goa liberation movement, died at a Pune-based hospital in neighbouring Maharashtra on Tuesday morning, a family source said. He was 90.
Ranade had been ailing since some time and undergoing treatment at the hospital where he breathed his last around 5.30 am, his friend and Goa-based historian Sanjiv Sardesai told reporters here.
Ranade was arrested by Portuguese police in 1955 and incarcerated at the Fort of Caxias near Lisbon in Portugal where he was kept in solitary confinement for six years.
Goa got liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961 and Ranade was released in January 1969, after having spent 14 years in prison.
Born in 1929 at Sangli in Maharashtra, Ranade was inspired by freedom fighters like Ganesh Damodar Savarkar and Vinayak Savarkar. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2001.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant condoled Ranade's death and lauded his sacrifices for the state's liberation.
"Deeply saddened by the passing away of Shri Mohan Ranade, a fearless freedom fighter who fought for the liberation of Goa. His sacrifices and struggles for Goa will never be forgotten," Sawant said in a tweet.
Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai also expressed his grief over Ranade's demise.
"RIP Padmashri Mohan Ranade. One of the key figures in Goa's liberation. Someone who spent 14 years in Portuguese prisons including 6 years in solitary confinement.
History says his release was due to the intervention of the Pope at the prodding of former Tamil Nadu CM Annadurai," he tweeted. Ranade's wife died some years back and the couple did not have children, his friend added.