Group demands change in description on graves of British officers in UP: ‘They weren’t pious… They killed Indians’

“They (1857 Nationalist Forum) will be denied entry” says Carlyle McFarland, Principal La Martiniere College, where William Hodson’s grave lies.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: May 7, 2017 12:55:27 am

A group of activists under the banner of “1857 Nationalist Forum” raised the demand for changing the description on the graves of British officials killed during 1857 revolt.

They have announced a march to the grave of British India Army officer William Hodson in Lucknow’s La Martiniere college ground on May 10.

“These people are described as persons who did pious work. The reality is that these people killed hundreds of Indians. We would carry a plaque to put beside the one placed at his grave so that people can now about Hodson’s role in killing so many people,” claimed writer and former Congress leader Amaresh Mishra while talking to media in Lucknow on Saturday.

When contacted, La Martiniere College Principal Carlyle McFarland said, “They will be denied entry.”

Meanwhile, Mishra, who had co-written the screenplay of Saif Ali Khan-starrer Bullett Raja movie, said that he founded the outfit to lead a campaign on the issue. He said the outfit will not contest elections but has received support from various groups, including the Samajwadi Party (SP).

He said he had written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on May 2 on the issue but has not received any reply. In the next phase, Mishra said, they would march to The Residency in Lucknow to the graves of Henry Lawrence and Brigadier JGS Neill and to Alambagh where rests Henry Havelock, all officers in the British Indian Army.

He said they will carry their campaign across the country after holding programmes on important places linked to 1857 mutiny in Awadh region, including Lucknow and Ayodhya. Mishra said they will conclude their campaign with a demand for apology and compensation from the British government.

Jai Shankar Pandey, Samajwadi Party’s district president of Faizabad and former MLA from Ayodhya, said there is a campaign going to divide the country on the communal lines but this is an issue of “real nationalism”. He said his party also supports the campaign.

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