A group of activists led by writer and former Congress leader Amaresh Misra and ex-SP MLA Jai Shankar Pandey on Wednesday marched towards the graves of two British officers who had died during the revolt of 1857, demanding that the inscription on their graves be changed to highlight their roles in the “killings of Indians”.
In a statement, Misra, who is convenor of the newly-formed ‘1857 Nationalist Forum’, said that a procession of motorbikes was taken from Sheroes Cafe in Gomti Nagar to Alambagh, where the grave of Henry Havelock is situated. He said they broke the lock of the grave site and placed a plaque there which referred to Havelock as “a cruel British officer who hanged thousands of innocent civilians”.
The group also marched to the gates of La Martiniere College, where the grave of William Hodson is situated. However, police and school authorities stopped them from entering the school’s premises. Misra said the behaviour of the school’s principal was “anti-national”. He said they had submitted a memorandum to the administration officials demanding that a description of Hodson’s atrocities be written on his grave by June 30.
Misra further said that if Hodson’s grave did not have another plaque saying that he killed “more than 500 unarmed men, women and children” and “shot sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar point blank”, the group will storm the school and destroy the grave.