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Fomer Mizoram CM Brig T Sailo dead

By Newmai News

AIZAWL, March 27 � Former Mizoram Chief Minister Brigadier Thenphunga Sailo (retired) passed away at a hospital here today. He was 93.

Brig Sailo was rushed to New Life Hospital here at around 10 am yesterday following a cardiac problem. He died there at around 11.50 am today owing to heart failure, his doctor said.

He is survived by his wife Thansiami, sons, daughters and grandchildren.

Born on January 1, 1922, Brig Sailo joined the British Indian army in 1942 as a junior officer and rose to the rank of Brigadier in 1966, the year the erstwhile Mizo National Front (MNF) declared independence from the Indian Union. He was awarded the prestigious military award AVSM during his service in the army.

After retiring from Army life as Brigadier, in 1974, Sailo became a member of the Human Rights Committee fighting alleged Army excesses against civilian�s caught in the separatist conflict between the Indian Army and Mizo National Front. He submitted a memorandum containing 36 cases of atrocities by the Indian Army since March 1, 1966.

On April 17, 1975 he started the People�s Conference Party. In 1977, while Mizoram was still a Union Territory, he became the second Chief Minister of the State.

He was elected to the State Assembly in 2008 for the last time and quit active politics at the age of 92 after his term ended in January 2014.

In 1999 he was awarded the Padmashree for his contributions to Mizo society. In the government formed after the 1998 elections, he was part of the ruling coalition led by Chief Minister Zoramthanga of the MNF.

During his political career, he served twice as the Chief Minister of Mizoram. At the age of 92, he was reportedly the oldest elected member of any legislative body in the country.

The Government of Mizoram today announced a half holiday as a mark of respect to the departed T Sailo and the national flag was hoisted during his funeral service. The government also announced a three day mourning for the former Chief Minister and also former Mizoram Governor PR Kyndiah who died in Shillong on Thursday evening.

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