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India mourns over the death of Sushma Swaraj
Thursday, August 8, 2019, 2:11 (IST)
Sushma Swaraj, 67, a BJP member who served as the Minister of External Affairs of India in Modi's first government, passed away on August 6 in New Delhi.
She suffered cardiac arrests and was taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital and was soon declared dead at around 11 pm, sources said.
She played an important role and took a personal interest in the release of two Catholic priests and several other Indians who were held captive by terrorist groups in other countries.
Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar was the director of Jesuit Refugee Service in Afghanistan for five years. On June 2, 2014, while he was visiting a school in Herat province in Zendjan district, he was abducted the suspected Taliban militants in Afghanistan. After spending eight months in their custody, Fr Kumar returned to India on February 22, 2015.
On March 4, 2016, Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil was abducted by Islamic State militants from the Missionaries of Charity home in Aden, Yemen. Fr Uzhunnalil was released on September 12, 2017.
Swaraj was an important link between the people and the Indian government. She contributed in settling minor matters like getting relief to Indians in distress and issuing visa to the needy.
In her last tweet to Prime Minister Modi, Swaraj said, "Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime." She tweeted this few hours before her death congratulating the prime minister regarding the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill in parliament.
Expressing his condole, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, "A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end. India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor. Sushma Swaraj Ji was one of her kind, who was a source of inspiration for crores of people."
Swaraj started her political career with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s. In 1977, she became the youngest minister of a state. She was the first woman to become the chief minister of Delhi and was a nine-time parliamentarian.