Gorakhpur (UP), Feb 3 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday inaugurate a year-long commemoration of the Chauri Chaura incident, an outbreak of violence a century back which led Mahatma Gandhi to halt his non-cooperation movement against the British.
Modi will release a postage stamp through video conference to mark the beginning of the centenary of that episode.
At Thursday’s event, 99 people, descendants of those involved in the benchmark incident of India's Independence Movement will be honoured.
A total of 23 policemen were killed when a peaceful crowd of non-cooperation movement, infuriated by police firing killing three of them, turned violent and set ablaze the Chauri Chaura police post in which the outnumbered policemen had taken shelter after retracting.
The killing of the Chauri Chaura policemen had resulted in arrests of hundreds of protesters with 228 of them being put on trial, six of them dying during it and 172 ordered to be hanged to death with the remaining sentenced to long-term imprisonments after a hasty eight-month trial.
Reviewing the death sentences, the Allahabad High Court finally in April 1923 confirmed it for 19 convicts, sentenced 110 of them to life imprisonments in Kalapani (Port Blair) and long jail terms to others.
Those chosen to be honoured on the occasion include 72-year-old Kamla Prasad of Dumri Khurd, a grandson of Chinugi who had got the 'Kalapani' punishment after the incident.
“I am happy that we are getting the honour and the country will know us from tomorrow,” said an elated Kamla Prasad.
On the occasion, the chief minister may also announce the change in name of Mundera Bazar Nagar Panchayat, the area where the police post then existed, to Chauri Chaura Nagar Panchayat, said an official.
Gorakhpur District Magistrate Vijyendra Pandiyan said the district administration has already sent a proposal to the government for the name change of the area.
'The year-long commemoration of the Chauri Chaura incident’s centenary will begin in all 75 districts of the state with 'Prabhat Pheris' and other programmes from February 4 and will continue till February 4, 2022,' an official said.
Besides the beautification of Chauri Chaura Shaheed Sthal in Gorakhpur, the area is also being developed as a tourist spot on the lines of India Gate, Jallianwala Bagh and Cellular Jail in Andaman, a senior official said. PTI CORR/ABN RAX RAX