The Telegraph e-Paper
The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Neglect cry of martyr kin

Dumraon, Aug. 16: Politicians have promised time and again to set up statues to preserve the memory of the “heroic dozen” of Dumraon who laid down their lives during the Quit India Movement, but the commemorative scupltures have been elusive.

On August 16, 1942, a dozen freedom fighters taking part in a demonstration in Dumraon, as a part of the Quit India Movement, died when police opened fire on them. A park has been constructed in the memory of the martyrs but the demand of their relatives and descendents to build statues of the “heroic dozen” have fallen on deaf ears. Dumraon land dispute officer Manoj Kumar refused to comment on the proposed statues.

The residents of the town observe Shahid Divas (martyr’s day) on August 16 every year but few are aware of the incident of the fateful day.

Jahangir Khan, 91, a friend of Jawaharlal Srivastava, one of the survivors of the incident, told The Telegraph: “He was a part of the crowd demonstrating against the British rule. Following a clash, the crowd set afire a police station, which stood on the spot where the park was later built. The cops fired at them. Four men — Kapil Muni, Gopalji Kamkar, Ramdas Lohar and Ramdas Sonar — died on the spot. Srivastava died two years ago.”

“Though the crowd dispersed, the police chased them and gunned down Jawaharlal’s brother and uncle Biharilal and Pradyumanlal, Bhikhilal Srivastava, Abdul Rahim, Sadhu Sharan Ahir, Godhan Ram, Sukhan Lohar and Gopal Kohaan.”