| Dignitaries at the meeting in Jorhat on Sunday. Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, Sept. 1: History enthusiast and local people got together here today to reminisce about the 1857 first War of Independence, coined by the British as Sepoy Mutiny.
Jorhat was the epicentre of the great rebellion in Assam and has two martyrs — Maniram Dewan and Piyali Barua.
But what is interesting is that other historical personalities associated with the rebellion are also coming to light lately, thanks to the efforts of History of Freedom Struggle of NE India, a project of Asom Jatiya Prakash.
Today, a public meeting to commemorate the heroes of 1857 was held at the local freedom fighters building, Muktijujaru Bhawan, here.
The meeting was organised under the aegis of Sanmilita Jitiya Aikya Mancha in collaboration with the history project.
The chief editor of the 10 volume history in compilation (which is only a small part of the 100 volume complete history of Northeast India), Devabrata Sarma, showed the gathering several rare British documents.
One of the documents shows how Bahadur Gaoburah alias Shaikh Bahdil and Krisnakanta Deva Goswami, the then xatradhikar of Kamalabari Xatra, were tried in a forgery case.
Both of them were alleged to have forged a copper plate to claim devottar land dating back to the Ahom era.
The second document shows that the case actually dated back to pre-1857 rebellion but because of the deportation of Bahadur Gaonburah to the Andaman Isalnds, the case had to be kept in abeyance. It was reopened when Gaonburah returned from the Andaman Islands.
Both Gaonburah and Goswami were found not guilty and hence acquitted.
The tale shows a lasting bond of friendship between Bahadur Gaonburah, a Muslim artisan, with Goswami, a Hindu leader, who was kept under house arrest by the Brisith after letters to him from Maniram Dewan were intercepted.
The case, which continued for seven years, proved the camaraderie between the two historical personalities.
The organisers also showed another British document signed by W.O.A. Bechett, the then deputy commissioner of Sivasagar district.
This documents branded Bahadur Gaonburah as a leader and instigator of the rebellion and Furmood Ali as an abettor.
Both of them took Md Noor Mumomud, an official of the 1st light infantry, to meet king Kamdarpeswar Singha in connection with the proposed rebellion.
Speaking on the occasion, several citizens demanded that the bridge over the Bhugdoi, which is under construction, be named after Bahadur Gaonburah and Furmood Ali while the Jorhat-Neemati road be named after Krisnakanta Deva Goswami.