From Our Correspondent
MANGALDAI, January 30: “Gone, but not forgotten, never shall thy memory fade; Oh, Martyrs, we salute you” are the words inscribed in the memorial tomb constructed by the army in memory of the 140 peasant martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the hands of tyrant British rulers on January 28 of 1894 at the historic peasants uprising at a small village of Patharighat, 16 km to the west from Mangaldai in Darrang district. And keeping these lines in mind, General Officer Commanding of Red Horns Division Major General CP Mohanty today offered his salute and homage to those 140 Krishak Swahids in a well attended function organized in full military honour and style at historic Pothorughat.
“The supreme sacrifice offered by 140 common peasants belonging to both the Hindu and Muslim community at the cruel hands of the British rulers while raising a protest, that too in a non violent way, at the sleepy village of Patharighat or Pothorughat in Darrang district on January 28 of 1894 is a benchmark of the history of freedom struggle of our motherland and this glorious chapter of the history of freedom struggle of our motherland should get due recognition in the tiol level. This tragic episode is also the beginning of the freedom struggle of our motherland,” said General Officer Commanding of Red Horns Division Maj. Gen. CP Mohanty while offering floral tributes to the 140 peasant martyrs at the function.
In his speech, Maj Gen Mohanty also highlighted the importance and significance of this historic event in the lives of the people and urged one and all to work towards the greater prosperity and progress of Assam. Significantly, on being asked about the possibility of inviting the Army Chief for next year’s ceremony to give it a tiol recognition, Maj. Gen. Mohanty said that he would take up the matter with his senior officials to arrange for the Army Chief’s visit in near future.
To keep the sacrifice of those martyrs alive and to inspire the younger generation of the country about the rare sacrifice of the peasant martyrs ‘who gave their lives for the freedom we breathe today’ that took place much before the Jaliawalabag massacre heralding the initiation of the freedom struggle in the Northeast, the troops of Red Horns Division at the initiative of the then Governor of Asom Lieutent General (Retired) SK Sinha, came forward with the novel idea of construction of the memorial tomb in the year 2001. Since then the ‘Men in Olive Green’ of Red Horns Division has been celebrating the day in a befitting manner spreading the message and the meaning of our hard earned freedom.
This year also the 40 Field Regiment operating in Darrang district organized a sanguine ceremony to pay homage to the martyrs with full military honours today. The decorated memorial witnessed a massive out pour of humanity where people cutting across all divisions assembled in silent reverence.
Prominent persolities like Commander of 21 Mountain (Artillery) Brigade Brig. SK Sarma, Commanding Officer of 40 Field Regiment Col. Pijush De, Darrang Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar and Superintendent of Police Vivek Raj Singh, attended the function and offered floral wreath on the occasion.
The glittering function was witnessed by a large gathering. Amika Khuswaha – a student from Jharkhand studying in JNV Darrang at Kalaigaon offered a thought provoking speech on the supreme sacrifice of the 140 peasants at Pothorughat highlighting on the peasants uprising in Assam. The students of JNV, Darrang and Deomornoi B Ed College added a new colour to function with their melodious patriotic song while eminent singer Pranjal Sarma enthralled the guests and audience with a patriotic song of Bhupen Hazarika. The efforts of the Red Horns Division to keep this yearly tradition alive with such pomp and show have been appreciated by the general public.