Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 1:
The erstwhile king of the princely state of Tigiria in Odisha’ Cuttack district– Brajraj Kshatriya Birbar Chamupati Singh Mahapatra– passed away after a prolonged illness yesterday afternoon. He was 94.
According to sources, Mahapatra breathed his last at 3.45 pm yesterday at his residence at Puruna Tigiria village in Khamar. The ailing erstwhile king had stopped taking food since last 10 days.
A pall of gloom descended on the area after the news of the demise of Mahapatra spread. People from various walks of life arrived at his asbestos-roofed mud hut in Puruna Tigiria village to pay their last respect to the departed soul.
The last rites will be performed today after performing the traditional rituals and the coronation of the yuvraj (prince). The eldest son of Brajraj Kshatriya Birbar Chamupati Singh Mahapatra– Bir Pratap Singh Deo—will be crowned later in the day following which the last rites will be performed.
The last surviving royal, who had signed the merger agreement with India in 1947, was living in that hut since 1987. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. His wife—Rasmanjari Devi– is a former MLA from Tigiria. The 88-year-old is living in a rented house in Puruna Tigiria village and is ailing since long.
The erstwhile king singed the merger agreement on the call of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Post the merger, Mahapatra got Rs 11,200 a year till former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi abolished the system in 1975.
He was surviving on Rs 500 monthly allowance paid by the government.