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Assam: Army pays homage to peasant martyrs of Patharughat

January 30, 2012 18:51 IST

The Assam government and the Indian Army have paid homage to the martyrs of 1894 farmers' rising at Patharughat in Darrang district of Assam, who had made supreme sacrifice while protesting against the brutalities and oppressive rule of the British in January 1894.

A ceremony was organised by the Army's Red Horns Division of Indian Army at Patharughat. Major General RN Nair, Sena Medal, General Officer Commanding of the Red Horns Division, Brigadier VK Tiwari, commander of the Red Horns Artillery Brigade and Kumud Kalita, DC Darrang district paid floral tributes to the martyr in the martyrs' column at Patharughat.

It was at this spot on 28 Jan 1894, that 140 innocent farmers were brutally massacred and 150 others injured, when they rose in protest against the oppressive increase in land revenue by the then colonial British rulers. The farmers, belonging to various castes, creeds and religions had risen against the British tyranny as a cohesive force and with this Assam emerged as one of the pioneers and forerunners of India's struggle for independence. 

Patharughat, which is in the Darrang district 14 km from Mangaldai district headquarter, is not only a symbol of peasants sacrifices in the freedom movement but also it is symbol of communal harmony.

Both Hindu and Muslim live together and celebrated all festival and function. Since historical days no conflict was raised in the two religious communities.

Assam came to under British rule by the Treaty of Yandaboo. The people of Darrang had enjoyed various tax exemptions under the rule of Koch and Ahom. But it was discontinued during the British regime.

The British government revised the land tax and used to increase it after every land survey exercise. The peasants were put under tremendous displeasure due to rising land tax burden. 

A memorial was constructed at Patharughat by the Army with cooperation of the Civil Administration and the same was dedicated to the memory of the martyrs by Lieutenant General (Retired) SK Sinha, the then Governor of Assam on 28 January 2001.

K Anurag in Guwahati