Nizamuddin, a close associate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and a prominent member of his ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ during the freedom struggle, was laid to rest late on Monday.

Colonel Nizamuddin alias Saifuddin passed away on Monday morning at the age of 116. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute to the departed soul and recalled his meeting with Colonel Nizamuddin in 2014.

PM Modi had honoured Nizamuddin by touching his feet in Varanasi then. His funeral was held in Dhakwa village in Mubarakpur area in Azamgarh where he died after a prolonged illness.

He served as a driver-cum-guard of Bose after the INA was formed. He accompanied Bose when he went to meet Hitler to seek help to secure freedom for India. He also accompanied Bose during his trips to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

According to The Telegraph, Nizamuddin was the same man who once took three bullets to save ‘Netaji’ in the forests of Burma. Nizamuddin had fought alongside Netaji against the British Army in the forests of Burma, now Myanmar, between 1943 and 1944, said the report.

“We were in the forests when suddenly I saw the barrel of a gun peeping from between the bushes and jumped in front of him (Netaji). I fell unconscious after taking three bullets. I saw Netaji standing beside me after I regained consciousness. Captain Lakshmi Sahgal had removed the bullets from my body. That was in 1943,” Nizamuddin was quoted as saying in the report.

It was after that day, he had said, that Netaji started calling him “Colonel”. He is survived by his 107-year-old wife Ajbunisa, daughter Habibunnisa (85) and sons Akhtar Ali (72), Anwar Ali (65) and Sheikh Akram (55). Last year, Nizamuddin hogged the limelight when he opened a bank account at an age of 116 years.