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Wahid Ali, one of oldest WWII veterans, dies

GUWAHATI: One of the longest living World War II veterans in the country, Wahid Ali, who fought for the British Indian Army in Burma (Myanmar) and chose to stay in India after partition even as his eldest son and most of the family moved to Pakistan, died after prolonged illness at 105 years old in his native village in UP.

The veteran’s last rites were conducted in Katra town of Shahjahanpur district on Sunday and were attended by serving and retired Army men. The Shahjahanpur police also presented him with the guard of honour at his funeral. As a sepoy in the Army Ordnance Corps regiment in the British Indian Army, Ali was known for his skills in armament, hardware and explosives. He retired in 1947, the year India got its independence from the British. Soon after partition, Ali’s son and eldest of seven siblings, Intezaar, along with many of his relatives moved to Pakistan. “Love for the motherland kept my father here. He never wanted to leave this country,” his son, Shahid, told TOI. Shahid’s mother passed away five years ago. “We survived on my father’s pension of Rs 6,000 per month,” he said. Shahid recalled that his father considered Subash Chandra Bose as his hero and had met him in Myanmar when he was serving there.

Ex-army man and district president of ex-army men welfare association M M Verma remembered Ali as a “true patriot”.

(Times Of India) (BCCL)

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