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Army pays homage at Krishak Swahid Memorial in Pothorughat


MANGALDAI, Dec 8 - The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Red Horns Division Major General Sanjeev Khatri, who has taken over the command of the Division recently, made an official visit to Pothorughat on Wednesday and paid tributes to 140 martyrs of the historic peasants� uprising by offering a floral wreath at the Krishak Swahid Memorial.

Commanding Officer of 14 Garhwal Rifles Colonel Rahul Singh was also present in the homage-paying function and briefed the GOC about the history of Krishak Swahid Divas. He also apprised him about the project undertaken by the government for transforming the site into a tourist centre at a cost of around Rs 7 crore. GOC Khatri took stock of the situation regarding preparation for this year�s Farmers� Martyr Day celebration by the Army in the coming month.

Subsequently, this Correspondent in the presence of Bhargab Kumar Das, adviser of Mangaldai Media Circle, apprised Major General Khatri regarding the desire of the local people here to invite the Chief of the Army Staff General (COAS) to this place. GOC Khatri was hopeful that the Army General could be invited for some special occasion. He also assured to take up the issue with the Governor and the Chief Minister shortly.

�The Chief of the Army Staff always remains very busy and if he is to be invited, then there must be a very special occasion, may be the inauguration of the multi-crore project. I am going to meet the Governor and Chief Minister within a short time and take up this issue with them,� he said.

Earlier, mediapersons greeted the visiting GOC with a phulam gamusa and an aronai and also offered him a book titled Pothorughat written by eminent author Arup Kumar Dutta.

Mention may be made here that on September last, the then Chief of the Staff (COS) of Gajaraj Corps Major General Alok Raj, and in June last the then General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Red Horns Division Major General PS Behl had also paid a visit to Pothorughat and had offered tributes.

The socially conscious circle is well aware that at the initiative of the then Governor of Assam Lt Gen (retired) SK Sinha, the Army in 2001 had constructed the Krishak Swahid Memorial at Pothorughat.

It may be added here that this memorial is the only one of its kind in the entire country ever constructed by the Army in memory of civilian �krishak swahids�. And since then, the �Friends in Olive Green� have been celebrating Krishak Swahid Divas every year with full military honour and style.

The GOC of Red Horns Division has always been taking part in this Divas as the chief guest, while in 2005, the GOC of Gajaraj Corps took part as the chief guest. Besides taking part in the Krishak Swahid Divas organised in a befitting manner by the Army, senior officials of the armed forces have made it a tradition to visit the Krishak Swahid Memorial whenever they can spare time.

Obviously, the people of the district are hopeful that the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) will visit Pothorughat, which will pitchfork this famous peasants� uprising of Pothorughat at the national level, besides inviting necessary media glare.

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