Freedom fighter K.E. Mammen dead

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 26 (IANS) Gandhian and freedom fighter from Kerala K.E. Mammen passed away at a private hospital near here on Tuesday, the hospital said. He was 95.

The 95-year-old freedom fighter was a bachelor and the hospital had been looking after him for the past three years. He will be cremated on Thursday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his predecessors Oommen Chandy, A.K. Antony and V.S. Achuthanandan besides several ministers and leaders from various political parties have condoled the death.

Born in then Trivandrum in 1921, Mammen belonged to the prestigious Kandathil family from central Travancore. He would have turned 96 on July 31, a day his relatives had planned to celebrate.

After his basic education, he went to then Madras for graduation but joined the Quit India movement in 1942 and since then was a part of the freedom struggle. He was also known as Gandhian Mammen.

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Mammen was actively involved in anti-liquor campaigns in Thiruvalla and also led protests against human rights violations. He moved to Thiruvananthapuram from Kottayam in 1996.

Mammen was always critical of the Congress as he felt corruption got the better of it. He eventually left the party and led protest on various issues on his own and was a favourite for the TV channels and press photographers.

He was also known for his brushes with the Syrian Orthodox church to which he belonged.

He wished to not be buried in a church cemetery but cremated in the state owned crematorium here. The Gandhian had specifically mentioned that there should not be any functions or a state funeral and his body should be brought to his nephew’s house here before being cremated.

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