Report by Basant Rath, Nabarangpur: Rich tribute was paid to the freedom fighters who laid down their lives while taking part in an anti-British procession during the Quit India movement at Papadahandi in Nabarangpur district, on Friday.
The sc and st development minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, MLAs Bhujabala Majhi, Manohar Randhari, Zilla Parisad President, Bhagabati Bhatra, Superitendent of police Vikakananda Sharma, ADM Parakhit Seth, freedom fighter Md.Bazi, former Rajya sabha member Bhagban Majhi, Former MLA Sadan Nayak, District congress committee President Muna Tripathy, Maa Ghara Foundation district president Kadambini Tripathy,social worker Jagannath Mohapatra, Swadhin Patnaik, Vice-chairperson of Block Trinath Pradhan, attended the meeting and offered their tribute to the freedom fighters.
On August 23 about 500 freedom fighters assembled at Baghasiuni village and resolved to demolish the bridge on River Turi. Apart from spreading Gandhi’s message, the freedom fighters were protesting the arrest of Laxman Nayak,Sanu Majhi. On the way to Papadahandi about 700 followers of Sanu Majhi, joined with them.
On August 24 getting information about the rally, circle inspector Ramkrushna Rao alias Kala Naag of Nabarangpur police station with the help of Jeypore reserve police force and forest officials rushed to
stop them. A scuffle ensued when the nationalists tried to force their way across and a policeman got mildly hurt.
The officer in charge at the site ordered firing on the revolutionaries. Eleven tribals died on the spot and eight others succumbed at Nabarangpur hospital. Hundreds of others jumped into the river out of fear. More than a hundred people were rendered physically disabled from the injuries suffered in the incident. The
police arrested 140 nationalists and registered cases against them. Unknown number of people washed away in the flood waters of Turi River for the sake of freedom but till today the history is silent in actual figure.
The unforgettable massacre at Papadahandi by the British Government had a wide ranging repercussion in the freedom of undivided Koraput district.