Khurda: President Ram Nath Kovind today laid foundation for the Paika Rebellion Memorial at Barunei Hills here.
President was accompanied by Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan, Union Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan, State Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi and other dignitaries.
CM Naveen welcome President Kovind on behalf of all Odias and also thanked the Ministries of Culture and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for taking this project on board.
Speaking at the event, CM said, “We have been demanding to denote the Paika Rebellion as the First War of Independence. We are also demanding the Centre to launch a new express train named after Bakshi Jagabandhu. We hope the honourable President to pay heed to our requests.“
The Paika Rebellion or Paika Bidroha was an armed rebellion against the British East India Company’s rule in Odisha in 1817. The brave Paikas under the able leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu had projected Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity. The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha but were thwarted by the British forces. Odia historians peg this as the First War of Independence as this had started way before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
Honouring the brave Paikas, the memorial is going to be built from where it all started. A commemorative stamp and coin was also released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited the IIT-Bhubaneswar campus last year.
Later today, the President will proceed towards Utkal University to grace the closing ceremony of the university’s Platinum Jubilee celebration. He is set to return to Delhi today.