90-year-old Goa liberation movement leader Mohan Ranade dies

90-year-old Goa liberation movement leader Mohan Ranade dies

Mohan Ranade (90), one of the most prominent leaders of the Goa liberation movement, died in Pune on Tuesday. He was admitted at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital for the last four days due to a prolonged illness.

Ranade was cremated with state honours at Vaikunth Crematorium in presence of Goa’s Social Welfare Minister Milind Naik, and other senior leaders from Pune including city Mayor Mukta Tilak.

Ranade, a leader of Azad Gomantak Dal — a group of revolutionaries who were determined to fight Portuguese with ‘direct action strategies’, was arrested by Portuguese police in 1955, after he was found attacking the Betim Police Station. He was incarcerated at the Fort of Caxias near Lisbon, Portugal and was kept in solitary confinement for six years. After Goa was liberated from Portugese rule in 1961, there was a growing demand for Ranade’s release. The then opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee had raised the issue of Ranade’s release in Parliament.

After serving 14 years in a Portuguese prison, Ranade was released in January 1969.

After returning to India, Ranade chose to live in Pune. He engaged himself in social work and ran a voluntary organization to provide educational support to the needy students from tribal, nomadic and backward communities.

“Ranade suffered from esophageal cancer for the past few years. He had to be hospitalized due to depleted hemoglobin levels and difficulty in breathing. He died at around 6.30 am this morning,” said his caretaker Shirish Date.

On Tuesday, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant issued a statement saying, “Ranade has contributed immensely during the Goa movement.”

Born in 1929 at Sangli in Maharashtra, Ranade was awarded with ‘Goa Puraskar’ in 1986 and Padma Shri in 2001. He had written about his experienced during Goa liberation struggle in Satiche Vaan in Marathi and Struggle Unfinished in English.