INA Veteran’s Family Visits Netaji Birth Place Museum In Cuttack

Cuttack: The family members of Bel Bahadur Nirola, a veteran officer of Netaji’s Indian National Army (INA), visited the Netaji Birth Place Museum in Odisha’s Cuttack city on Monday.

The veteran’s family comprising three generations was greeted at the Museum by Anil Dhir and Hitesh Seth and taken around the galleries. Nirola’s son Youdishter Kumar spoke of his father’s undying love for Netaji and the sacrifice he and the other veterans had made. The great-grandson of the veteran garlanded the statue of Netaji. His family has promised to donate all the documents and memorabilia of Nirola to the Museum.

Nirola was an officer of the Subash Brigade and a close associate of Netaji on the Burma front. He was born in Burma in 1922 and joined Netaji’s Azad Hind Force at the age of 22 years. He was in charge of the Azad Hind Bank. He was an office bearer of the INA Association and worked for the veterans till his death in 2016.

Hitesh Seth of the Cuttack Heritage Walks said Netaji Museum has become an important landmark of the Millennium City with many visitors even on days other than the anniversaries.

According to Anil Dhir, the Netaji Birthplace Museum is a Mecca for all freedom fighters and nationalists. The Odisha government should invite all the living INA veterans to Cuttack and honour them. “Only a dozen of the veterans, who are the last remnants of Netaji’s Army, are left.  They should all be invited to Cuttack,” said Dhir.

He said he was in touch with R Madhavan, the 97-year-old who had joined the Indian Independence League and had been Recruitment Officer and Fund Raiser for the Azad Hind Bank. Madhavan had been jailed for 8 months at Rangoon Jail from May 1945 to December 1945. The veteran is keen to visit Cuttack and pay his final tributes to his leader. Dhir said if the government would not respond, he will arrange to bring the veteran to the city.

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