KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced a tourism circuit around Mangal Pandey, whose death on April 8, 1857 triggered India’s first war of Independence, reports Hindustan Times.
Pandey incited fellow Indian soldiers to attack British officers and himself injured two British officers on March 29, 1857. He was arrested and hanged on April 8, 1857, 10 days before schedule.
The Bengal chief minister announced on Tuesday that the highlight of the circuit will be a perpetual flame like the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in Delhi.
“The perpetually burning flame styled as Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi will be named Uthsa Dhara. This was the starting point of India’s first war of Independence and Mangal Pandey was the country’s first martyr,” she said while chairing an administrative meeting at Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district.
Barrackpore, on the eastern banks of river Hooghly about 30 kilometres from Kolkata, was the seat of the 34th regiment of Bengal Native Infantry of the British East India Company that was disbanded in the aftermath of Pandey’s rebellion.
“Barrackpore’s role in the 1857 revolt is part of heritage and a tourism circuit will be developed around that heritage,” she said. She also announced a grant of Rs 5 crore from the state’s urban development department.
The first British barrack in India was built in Barrackpore in 1772. After the British crown assumed direct control of India, a sprawling Government House was built in Barrackpore to provide the viceroy with a suburban residence. Barrackpore is located on banks of the river.