Friday, October 9, 2009

AKCBCPC’s move for restoration of historical monument

SILCHAR, Oct 9: A move has been initiated by the Arun Kumar Chanda Birth Centenary Publication Committee (AKCBCPC) of this town to restore the historical monuments of Barak Valley which are lying abandoned. The Committee, as its secretary Partha Pratim Das said, “has been formed to protect, promote and preserve the history, art and culture of this region in order to keep alive the glory of our past.”

He said a memorandum has been submitted to the Cachar Deputy Commissioner and the Commanding Officer, 2 MGAR, Assam Rifles, with the request to re-erect the statue of Lt Col Eden Currie Shower of Surma Valley Light Horse, now known as Assam Rifles. The memorandum points out that the history of Assam Rifles needs to be studied and understood in its true perspective. Its parental body Surma Valley Light Horse had a valiant role during the British regime. Das recounts to say that the sacrifice and suffering of its officers and jawans in the African Boer War from 1899 to 1902 were quite exemplary and commendable. The Light Horse Brigade went to the African war under the command of Lt Col Eden Currie Shower who died during the war. The officers and men of the Surma Valley Light Horse erected a statue here, in his memory, located near the present Devdoot cinema and Cachar Native Joint Stock Company. But, the statue, a historical monument, was dismantled by the Silchar Municipal Board in course of road expansion work in 1976. What is more unfortunate is that the statue was removed from its original place and left abandoned in the bushes and shrubs in the compound of the District Library. Sources said Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, during his visit to Silchar in 1901, while addressing the assembly of European officers of the East India Company, referred to Lt Col Shower who along with officers and jawans had gone from Silchar detachment of the Light Horse. It was at the directive of Lord Curzon that his statue was constructed here. Therefore, in the memorandum, it has been mentioned that considering the historical importance of the statue and its archeological significance, both the Deputy Commissioner and the Commanding Officer have been requested to re- erect the statue and restore its pristine glory which would be a monument of interest as well as a fitting subject for research and record. THE SENTINEL

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