PATHARUGHAT, Feb 3 � �It is a matter of pride that the struggle for freedom of our country from the British rule probably started in Assam in general and Pathorughat in particular. Farmers from among the Hindus and Muslims staged a non-violent protest against the oppression and the tyranny of the British rule and the imperialists subsequently fired on the innocent peasants killing 140 of them.
The supreme sacrifice against the brutalities of the British rulers made by these brave peasants at the sleepy village of Patharighat or Pothorughat in Darrang district on January 28, 1894 well before the Independence Movement is a benchmark in the history of the freedom struggle of our motherland. This glorious chapter of the history of freedom struggle of our motherland should get due recognition at the national level.� This was the observation by General Officer Commanding of Red Horns Division Maj Gen Ravi Nair while offering floral tribute to the 140 peasant martyrs at the historic Pothorughat in a function organised by Red Horns to pay homage to the martyrs with full military honour on January 30. Participating in the function as the chief guest, Maj Gen Nair further said that the martyrs sacrificed themselves for our better future and we should imbibe the values of this supreme sacrifice so that the younger generation got inspired. He said that the Red Horns division will continue their effort to improve the infrastructure of the Sacred Memorial at Pathorighat which was dedicated to the people by Governor of Assam, Lieutenant General (retd) SK Sinha in the year 2001.
It may be mentioned that to keep the sacrifice of those martyrs alive and to inspire the younger generation of our 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 Jalianawalabag massacre heralding the initiation of the freedom struggle in the North East, the troops of Red Horns Division at the initiative of the then Governor of Assam Lieutenant General (retd) 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.
The grand memorial witnessed a massive outpour of humanity where people cutting across all divisions assembled in silent reverence. General Officer Commanding of Red Horns Division Major General Ravi Nair, while attending the function as the chief guest offered floral wreath on the memorial tomb. The GOC also formally dedicated the children park to the local children constructed by his troupe under operation Sadbhavana. Meanwhile, on being asked about his initiative to bring the Chief of the Staff of Indian Army to the pious land of unsung heros next year to give it a national recognition, Maj Gen Nair talking to the media persons said that everyone irrespective of any rank would not refuse to pay homage to the martyrs and he would take up the matter with his senior officials to arrange for the visit of the General in near future.
Prominent personalities like Commander of 21 Mountain (Artillery) Brigade Brig VK Tiwari, Commanding Officer of 2 Field Regiment Col Sandip Chhikara, Commanding Officer of 315 Field Regiment Col S Upadhyay, Udalguri Additional Deputy Commissioner Kulen Talukdar, Darrang Superintendent of Police Vivek Raj Singh, senior citizens and media persons attended the function. Significantly, much to the surprise of people present in function there was none from the local civil administration of Darrang to represent this very auspicious occasion.
The veteran freedom fighter late Pani Ram Das who very often attended the occasion as the guest of honour in the homage paying ceremony organised in the previous years since 2001 has been deeply recalled by the organisers including the chief guest of the function. The glittering function was witnessed by a large gathering of people from the greater Pathorighat area.