NEW DELHI: Ten freedom fighters from the Northeast that include three women, who are largely unfamiliar to the rest of the country, will be honoured by the central government as part of the 70th Independence Day celebrations.
It is part of NDA government’s plans for visits by Union ministers to the birth places of ‘forgotten heroes’ and sites of freedom struggle to honour the bravehearts.
Kanaklata Baruah, 17, was shot dead by the Britishers at Gohpur in Assam’s present-day Biswanath district while going to hoist the national flag at a local police station. On the same day, about 150 km away at Barhampur in state’s Nagaon district, Bhogeswari Phukanani, a 57-year-old mother of eight, was killed for the same reason by the British Police.
Ms Kanaklata was leading her group of unarmed villagers following Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement when she was shot dead at Borangabari near Gohpur.
Ms Bhogeswari and her colleague Ms Ratnamala were leading a procession at Barhampur when they came face-to-face with police officer Captain Finish, who snatched the flag from Ms Ratnamala.
When Ms Bhogeswari saw it, she hit Captain Finish with the pole of the flag. A furious Captain Finish pulled out his revolver and fired at Ms Bhogeswari, who succumbed to injuries.
Naga spiritual and political leader from Manipur Rani Gaidinliu will also be honoured as part of the “forgotten heroes” programme.
Ranima, as she was popularly and affectionately called, led a movement against the British colonialism in 1930s and the struggle soon turned into a battle to uproot British from Manipur and Nagaland.
She was in jail for 14 years and was released from jail only when India got independence in 1947.
Another freedom struggle hero of Assam, who will be honoured, is Kushal Konwar. He was hanged by the Britishers for derailment of a military train at Sarupathar in Golghat district in 1942.