Haridwar, Aug 25 ANI | 1 year ago

The nation paid tribute to 282 martyrs of the 1857 War for Independence by immersing their mortal remains in the River Ganga here.

The 157-year-old remains were discovered in the Ajnala area of Amritsar in Punjab recently and were immersed in the Ganga in the Kankhal area of Haridwar.

On Sunday, the air was filled with the beating of drums, sounds of conch shells, subtle chanting of Vedic slogans and offering of a variety of flowers to the nation's dead heroes.

The immersion was done by the local Dharmayatra Committee. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) was part of the ritual.

Hindu religion spells out that a soul gains liberation only after the ashes of the dead body are immersed in the Ganges.

"The pleasure of independence that we are enjoying now, it is only because of those who sacrificed their lives fighting for the freedom. We have no idea who they were, what their names were, what caste or religion they belonged to. But they all together only wanted one thing- that India becomes free and they fought for the same," said a priest, Sharad Puri.

The remains, which included the skulls and bones of the 282 fallen soldiers of the mutiny, had been dumped in a well by the British exactly 157 years ago.

Reportedly, the Gurudwara Shaheed Gunj Managing Committee at Ajnala area discovered the well over a year ago, during excavation.

Other remains of the mutiny, such as medallions and coins have been preserved and kept at the memorial dedicated for the fallen soldiers in Amritsar.

On May 10, 1857, Indian troopers from Meerut and other cities of Uttar Pradesh had revolted against the British rule in India.

Immediately after, Indian soldiers from Lahore now in Pakistan and from West Bengal joined the revolt, turning it into the first Indian war of independence.

The Indian soldiers had killed two British officers and over 200 people were arrested and kept in a single room where 200 died of congestion.

Meanwhile, the rest were shot and all the bodies were dumped in the Black Well by the British.

(Posted on 26-08-2014)

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