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Vitthal Rao Kotwal

(1912 – 1943) – (Maharashtra)

Vitthal Rao Kotwal (Aged 31) was the son of Laxman Rao Kotwal born in December 1912 in Matheran, a tehsil in Karjat district of Maharashtra, India. He was a law graduate and was widely known as Bhai Kotwal. Kotwal played a significant role as an underground activist in the ‘Quit India’ movement that began on 8 August 1942. Along with his companions, he established a secret association aimed at sabotaging the British government’s communication lines by dismantling railway tracks, cutting electricity and telegraph wires, and disrupting roads and bridges around Bombay and Poona.

On 31 December 1942, the police surrounded Bhai Kotwal and his comrades on the basis of intelligence from an informer at Sudhagad, also known as Bhorapgad. This led to a clash between them and the police, resulting in Vitthal Rao Kotwal being shot and sustaining bullet wounds. He succumbed to his injuries on 2 January 1943 in Karjat, Maharashtra, India.