22 revolutionaries crushed to death under ‘kolhu’ in Sonepat village: The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Mukesh Tandon

Sonepat, May 9

The village of Liwaspur in Sonepat district was also a center of the region’s first freedom struggle in 1857 in which 22 revolutionaries were crushed to death under a “kolhu”, a stone roller.

The youth leader was tied to a tree after nailing his palms and legs. He died after almost three weeks.

Udmi Ram, village nambardar, was the unsung hero of the revolution. He, along with his wife Ratni Devi, was also tied to a peepal tree and nailed in the palms and legs, and left to starve.

The “kolhu”, a testament to the cruelty of the British, was kept on a platform in Tau Devi Lal Park on NH-44 for public display. The maintenance of the park falls under the Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), but the platform on which this historic “kolhu” has been placed is in a state of complete neglect.

The tiles of the platform are broken and the sign on which the history of the “kolhu” was written is lying and very rusty. There are no arrangements to highlight the historical value of this “kolhu”.

Lachman Singh, 96, a descendant of martyr Udmi Ram, told The Tribune that their village played a big role in the freedom movement in 1857. Colonial rulers destroyed the village three times, but he again been developed by its inhabitants, he mentioned.

Our elders told us that Udmi Ram along with other revolutionaries fought the British rulers with spears, helicopters and swords etc. He and his accomplices had killed many Britons in 1857.

After a few days, the British army surrounded the village from all sides with tanks and demanded to produce three men, Udmi Ram Nambardar, Gulab and Sehaj Ram, he said.

Attar Singh, a 66-year-old resident, said Udmi Ram called out 22 village youths and killed the British army officials and others. But, Sita Ram, a resident of Rathdhana village had given information about Udmi Ram and other rebellions to the British and after that they arrested them and took them away, he added.

The British tied Udmi Ram and his wife Ratni Devi with a peepal tree and nailed their hands and legs and left them to die without food or water, he said. The cruelty of the British did not stop there, they crushed the 22 youths to death by laying them on the ground and crushed them to death with this “kolhu”, he added. Some of our villagers were hanged while others were sent to ‘Kala Pani’, Attar Singh said.

The British rewarded traitor Sita Ram when they auctioned off the entire 2,700 bighas of Liwaspur village in his favor for a paltry Rs 200 as lagan after the mutiny ended, Attar Singh added.

We have been fighting for ownership of our own land for 165 years and many cases are still pending in court, he said.

abandoned memorial

The “kolhu”, a testament to the cruelty of the British, was kept on a platform in Tau Devi Lal Park on NH-44 for public display. The upkeep of the park falls under the Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran, but the platform on which this historic ‘kolhu’ has been placed is in a state of total neglect.

Thelma J. Longworth