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Indian-Origin Spy Woman Gets 'Blue Plaque' Honour

Indian Origin Spy Woman Gets Blue Plaque Honour pardesi news 1557060389

Britain's World War II spy Noor Inayat Khan was recently confirmed as the first Indian-origin woman to be honoured with a Blue Plaque at her former London home.

Born in September 1914 in Moscow to an Indian father and American mother, Noor Inayat Khan was raised in both Paris and Britain. She was a descendant of Tipu Sultan and daughter of Indian Sufi saint Hazrat Inayat Khan. Also known as the Spy Princess, she was an agent for Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II and was captured and killed by the Nazis in 1944 at just 30 years of age.  

As an SOE agent she became the first female wireless operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II, and was Britain's first Muslim war heroine. She was also posthumously awarded the George Cross for her service in the SOE, the highest civilian decoration in the UK. The SOE was an underground force established in Britain in 1940 by war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill to "set Europe ablaze".

As per the historial records despite being repeatedly tortured and interrogated, Khan revealed nothing and was executed by a German SS officer and her last word was recorded as "Liberte" or freedom.
She was later awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian decoration in the UK, in recognition of her bravery. In recent months, Khan was also a frontrunner of a campaign for an ethnic minority personality to be honoured as the face of a redesigned GBP 50 note until the Bank of England announced that the note would feature a scientific figure.

Importantly, the Blue Plaque scheme run by English Heritage honours notable people who lived or worked in particular buildings across London. The major Indian figures to be honoured with Blue Plaques in London include Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and B R Ambedkar, who spent time in the city during the Indian national movement against Britain's colonial rule.   

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Patrick Callahan

Pardesi News Reporter

Pardesi News Reporter

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