Hindu Mahasabha ex-chief dead

Mumbai, Feb 23: Hindu Mahasabha’s former chief Vikramrao Savarkar, a nephew of freedom-fighter and Hindu leader V.D. Savarkar, died of old age at his residence in Maharashtra’s Thane district Sunday, an aide said. He was 82.

Savarkar is survived by his wife Swamini, sons Prithviraj, Ranjit and daughter Snusha.

He breathed his last at a military school founded and run by him in Murbad.

Savarkar, as the president of Hindu Mahasabha in the 1970s and 1980s, had campaigned for a united India, a common civil code, protection of Hindus, protesting against the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan after the 1971 Bangladesh war, and also took up other nationalist and patriotic issues.

He was the founder of the Swatantraveer Savarkar Seva Samiti and was also instrumental in setting up the Swatantraveer Savarkar National Memorial (SSNM) in Mumbai.

SSNM president Arun S. Joshi said that Savarkar – the last surviving founder-member of the organisation – worked for it till the very end.

Thousands of followers and Hindu Mahasabha activists gathered at Savarkar’s residence to pay homage to him. His last rites were held in Murbad Sunday evening.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nitin Gadkari, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, party MP Bharatkumar Raut and others expressed grief at his death.

IANS