Centenarian freedom fighter, Communist leader Sankaraiah cremated with state honours

Centenarian freedom fighter, Communist leader Sankaraiah cremated with state honours

Chennai, Nov 16 (PTI) Centenarian freedom fighter and well-known Communist leader N Sankaraiah was cremated with state honours at Besant Nagar here on Thursday.

The veteran leader has been a source of inspiration for younger generations and has been a legend in his lifetime, CPI (M) national general secretary Sitaram Yechury said after paying respects to the leader who breathed his last here on November 15.

His mortal remains were kept at the party office for the cadres and public to pay their homage and later taken in a procession to the Besant Nagar crematorium where 10 policemen under a sub-inspector of police fired 30 rounds in the air as a mark of respect to the 101-year-old leader.

Sankaraiah was conferred the Thagaisal Tamilar award by the state government in 2021 along with a purse of Rs 10 lakh. But he returned the entire sum to the state government towards its Covid-19 relief fund.

He was born on July 15, 1922, in Tamil Nadu's Kovilpatti. He took an active part in the freedom struggle and mobilised students when he was pursuing a BA degree at the American College in Madurai.

He was imprisoned multiple times. He spent five years in jail during the freedom movement. Also, he was in prison for four years after independence for taking forward the people's causes.

Sankaraiah was one of the founding members of the CPI (M) and had been the Tamil Nadu committee's state secretary from 1995 to 2002.

'I am here to pay our homage and red salute to comrade N Sankaraiah, who was one of the founders of the Communist party not only in Tamil Nadu but also one of those who laid the foundations for the formation of CPI(M),' Yechury said.

His life has been a constant struggle and he was an example for the younger generations, he said.

'For over a century he has been a source of inspiration for many including myself and he became a legend in his lifetime. That legacy will continue,' Yechury told reporters. PTI JSP ROH

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