GUWAHATI, April 24 - State�s Directorate of Archaeology has taken steps to preserve the century-old, heritage police stations at Chatia, Gohpur and Dhekiajuli and it has by this time completed the restoration work of the Chatia Police Station. Chatia was earlier spelled as Sootea.
Talking to this newspaper, Director Archaeology Dr Deepi Rekha Kouli said conservation of this kind of heritage sites of the British colonial era is a new step taken by the Directorate. All possible standards have been maintained to restore the structure of the Chatia Police Station as per its original layout while conserving the structure.
Restoration work of the Gohpur Police Station is also going on, while that of the Dhekiajuli Police Station is yet to be started, as, Kouli said the Police Station is yet to be handed over to the Directorate by the Department concerned.
Restoration of these structures will continue to inspire the archaeological conservationists in the days to come as far as conservation of the colonial heritage structures of the State is concerned, said Dr Kouli.
It needs mention here that the State�s Directorate of Archaeology has been entrusted with the task of conservation of the heritage police stations at Chatia, Gohpur and Dhekiajuli by the State Government with an announcement in the State Budget for the 2017-�18 fiscal. Gohpur Police Station, in the present day Biswanath District, was set up in 1901, while the Chatia Police Station in the same district and Dhekiajuli Police Station in Sonitpur District were set up in 1913.
Besides their age, these three police stations also bear the memory of the Quit India Movement against the British Colonialists in the State. When the Quit India Movement was at its peak in 1942, freedom fighters marched to the police stations of the State to hoist the Indian National Flag atop the buildings replacing the Union Jack of the British colonial power. The police stations at Chatia, Gohpur and Dhekiajuli witnessed unprecedented assemblage of the freedom fighters on September 20, 1942.
Eight persons, including three women, were shot dead by the British Police on the spot on the Dhekiajuli Police Station compound, when a 5,000-strong group of processionists, led by Kamalakanta Das, entered it to hoist the National flag atop the building of the police station. The very same day, Kanaklata Barua, a teenaged member of the Mrityu Bahini (Death Squad) was shot dead by the colonial police on the Gohpur Police Station compound when she was leading a group of freedom fighters to hoist the Indian National Flag atop the building of the police station. As soon as she felled to the bullets of the British Police, the Indian National Flag that was in her hands was immediately upheld by Mukunda Kakati and he too was shot dead by the colonial police force.
But the repressive measures unleashed by the colonial police on the freedom fighters could not deter the freedom fighter from marching towards the police stations of the State that day, as they were driven by a �do or die� determination to hoist the Indian National tricolor atop the police stations� buildings.
Thus, together with their age, the above three police stations have become inalienably linked with the socio-political life of the State�s people, said Dr Kouli.
The conservation and restoration work of Chatia Police Station building was carried out by a team headed by Conservation Officer Kangkon Jyoti Saikia, and assisted by Technical Assistant Dipankar Changmai, Research Assistant Bhaskarjit Saikia, Foreman Tulsi Nath and Monument Attendant Kadam Duwara, under the supervision of State Archaeological Engineer Sonaram Soud. Dr Kouli guided the entire operation.