‘Veteran congress leaders cremated with full state honors’

May 03, 2013 17:41 | Poltics

Yogesh Puri

Dharamshala: A stream of senior congress leaders and bureaucrats on Friday reached at the historic Chamunda cremation point to attend the last rites of the senior most congress leader of Kangra district Sarla Sharma, who passed away in the age of 92.

Himachal Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Brij Bihari Lal Butail, Transport minister GS Bali, former MP Chander Kumar, sitting MLAs of Kangra district and other congress leaders were present at the funeral venue.

On the behalf of governor, Deputy Commissioner Kangra laid wreaths while Transport Minister acted on the behalf of the Chief Minister Virbhadhra Singh.

Born on January 13, 1922, Sarla Sharma joined freedom struggle at the age of 19. She worked in various areas assigned to her by the Congress during the freedom struggle. She was jailed during the Quit India Movement in 1942.

She was honored by the President of India for her meritorious services as a freedom fighter on August 9 last year.

For about six months, she was kept in Dharamsala Jail and then shifted to a jail in Lahore. After independence she was posted in Lahore, where she recovered Hindu and Sikh girls, who had been kept back forcibly in Pakistan and helped them, return them to their respective families. Later, she did the same for the Muslim girls during her posting in Rajasthan.

In 1957, Sarla Sharma became the member of the Legislative Assembly from Hamirpur in the Punjab Assembly. She also remained as a Minister of State and HPCC president in Himachal Pradesh. She also remained as a chairperson, HP Khadi Board, and HP State Small Industries and Industries Corporation.

She was the mother of senior Congress leader Viplove Thakur, former HPCC president. She passed had away on Thursday at 1.30 pm.