04 mar 2014
Remains dug up in Punjab well are those of 1857 martyrs, say some
Skulls, bones and jaws have been found inside the complex of a gurudwara near Amritsar.
Ajnala: At a well inside the complex of a gurudwara near Amritsar, scores of volunteers are trying to exhume what they believe are the remains of nearly 300 soldiers who died in the famous 1857 revolt against the British.
Gurudwara officials said skulls, bones and jaws have been found in the exercise which began on Friday at Ajnala, some 30 kms from Amritsar. Archaeologists are examining the discoveries.
“These were our freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives during the First War of Independence in 1857. The British authorities pushed them into the well here and let them die,” said Amarjit Singh Sarkaria, an official at the gurudwara.
In 1857, nearly 500 soldiers were marching towards Ajnala from Lahore after hearing of reports of the mutiny in Meerut where Hindu and Muslim troops rebelled against the East India Company over the cartridges for their rifles being greased with animal fat.
About 280 soldiers were captured by the British and brought to Ajnala. Locals believe they were allegedly thrown into a well and buried under a 10-foot layer of soil.
“We will excavate the well and take out the remains of the martyrs. We will perform their last rites with the respect and honour that they deserve,” Mr Sarkaria said.