Centenarian freedom fighter Mohammad Bazi laid to rest


Nabarangpur: Centenarian freedom fighter Mohammad Bazi was laid to rest with national honour at Icchabatiguda graveyard in Nabarangpur district on Friday.

Bazi was given Guard of Honour on the ground of Icchabatiguda here. The 103-year-old passed away at his residence in Sunari Sahi here at around 10.15 AM on Thursday.

The funeral procession of the centenarian freedom fighter was carried out this morning from the local Masjid, district Congress office and other nearby localities.

Scores of people paid their last respect to the late freedom fighter. Later, the funeral procession reached the Icchabatiguda graveyard where he was laid to rest. The last rites were performed by Bazi’s nephew N. Mohammad, and grandson Sirajuddin Mohammad.

According to reports, Handloom and Textile minister Padmini Dian, ex-minister Parama Pujari, Sarvodaya leader Nayana Majhi, Nabarangpur Collector Ajit Kumar Mishra, SP Nitin Kushalkar, sub-Collector Karunakar Raika, people from various walks of life and political leaders cutting across party lines took part in the funeral prayer of the late freedom fighter Mohammad Bazi.

Born on January 20, 1917, Mohammed Bazi, a renowned name in the freedom movement, was a close associate of martyr Laxman Nayak. At the time of Mathili police station, gherao at Malkangiri of Odisha during 1942 movement 29 tribal people were martyred and Bazi was injured in police firing.

While he spent his formative years with prominent freedom fighters like Laxmi Chandra Dash, Sadananda Mohanty and Raghunath Choudhury, he had to leave for Jeypore in 1934 for higher studies. Soon, he joined the freedom struggle after coming in contact with Radhakrushna Biswasray and Radhaman Sahu.

Bazi, a true Gandhian, joined the Indian National Congress in 1936, on the year when Orissa became a separate province on the basis of language.

He had been lodged in jail and a penalty of Rs 50 was imposed on him after he started Satyagraha in Nabarangpur after his return from Sabarmati. Later, Bazi was shifted to Koraput jail and released after six months.

However, he did not relent and joined the Quit India Movement and was held on August 19, 1942. Bazi had to spend nearly five years in jail before being released on June 25, 1947.

After the freedom struggle, he was active in the Sarvodaya movement with Koraput Gandhi Biswanath Pattnaik. With Patnaik, he led the Bhoodan and Gramdaan movement in undivided Koraput District of Odisha and as a result, Koraput became Jilladaani district. Baji was the Chairman of Utkal Gandhi Smarak Nidhi also close associate with Utkal Sarvodaya Mandal. At the time of demolition of Babri Masjid, he was there with other Sarvodaya leaders under the banner of Sarva Seva Sangh. When he tried to restore peace, RSS volunteers attacked him and he was seriously injured. At the time of Kandhamal riot, he spearheaded the move to restore peace.

The freedom fighter for Odisha, Mohammed Bazi, was felicitated by the President of India at home party in Rashtrapati Bhawan. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Pradyumna Bal Memorial Award in 2005.

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