JORHAT, Sept 20 - The �first martyr� of class-struggle in the tea gardens of the State, Bankuru Saora was remembered by several citizens here at the Jatiya Bhawan of the town on Saturday on the occasion of his 69th death anniversary.
A new historical research launched by Dr Devabrata Sharma and his team has claimed that a member of the Saora tribe of Ganjam district of Odisha, Bankuru was brutally killed by a British officer named Warnal at Santak tea garden in Sivasagar district on September 18, 1946 when he was leading a protest rally against the British atrocities and deprivation of due ration in the garden.
As Dr Sharma invited several local residents of the Bankuru�s Santak tea garden to the programme, one of the survivors of that brutal incident, Bana Saora recounted the inhuman act of the British official Warnal and his assistant Devendra Baruah, who along with his master opened fire on the protesters on that day.
�He was stabbed to death by Warnal. I still remember the scene. Though he tried to stand for a counter-attack, he could not do it and breathed his last on the spot,� said octogenarian Bana Saora, the eye-witness to the incident, in his speech in the meeting.
Stressing on the importance of genuine historical research and analysis on Saora and many of his contemporary tea garden victims of British atrocities, local publication house Ekalabya Prakashan has published a compilation of ten important writings on the martyr which was released during the programme.
The compilation titled British Birodhi Muktironor Sesh Swahid Totha Chahbagichar Shrenisangramor Pratham Swahid Bankuru Saora is enriched with the historical writings by noted researcher, Dr Rana P Behal (JNU), renowned scholar and leftist politician of the State, late Gaurisankar Bhattacharya, Professor PK Nayak, Dr Devabrata Sharma, Munin Gautam Saora, Basanta Rajkhowa, Sarat Chandra Neog, Kiran Kumar Tanti, Abani Barthakur and Lakshyadhar Handique.
As the invaluable contribution of the working class of the tea gardens to the freedom movement was allegedly overlooked by many historians, Dr Sharma said that he would leave no stone unturned to find out the bravehearts of the tea garden people of different gardens whose struggle also helped in paving the way for freedom of the country.
�The true stories of the working class of the tea gardens will be brought to light. Their bravery, struggle against British atrocities, their invaluable contribution to the freedom movement was overlooked by many writers,� said Dr Sharma.