In late 1896 the Plague struck in Pune. In February 1897, 657 people (0.6℅ of population) died due to the Plague. Half of the population left the city.
To suppress the epidemic and prevent Plague’s spread government appointed a special Plague committee under the chairmanship of W.C. Rand. 893 officers and men, both British and native the “Durham Light infantry” were placed on Plague duty. The commander was Major Paget. They forcefully entered into private houses and destroyed personal possessions and harassed people. Mr. Rand was blamed for that.
Martyrs Chapekar brothers decided to teach a lesson to the British government and Mr. Rand. They met Lokmanya Tilak to get his blessings and made a plan to finish Mr. Rand.
On 22nd June1897, the Diamond jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria was celebrated in Pune.It was celebrated in Government House. Chapekar brothers Damodar and Balkrishna selected a spot of Ganeshkhind road. They decided to attack Mr. Rand on his way back.
As the carriage reached the yellow bungalow, Damodar made up the distance and called “Gondhal aala re” a predetermined signal for Balkrishna to take action. Damodar raised the flap of the carriage and fired also Balkrishna fired Lieutenant Aurat, Rand’s military escort died on the spot. Rand was injured seriously and was taken to the hospital where he died on 3rd July 1897.
Chapekar brothers were arrested on the basis of information give by traitor David brothers. Damodar was hanged, on 18 April 1898 and Balkrishna who was absconded, and found in January 1899 hanged, on 12 May 1899, Vasudev Chapekar was hanged on 8 May 1899. Vasudev was arrested in the attempt to shoot police chief constable.
I salute these brave martyrs Chapekar brothers.
Author: Sharad Upadhye
Sharad has a spiritual soul and a fun-loving personality. At 60, he is quite the kid at heart, fit to rival any of our young students at WordsMaya with his energy and zeal to learn. Sharad is passionate about spirituality and has researched about the Supreme Soul or Paramatma at Prajapita Brahma Kumari Eshwariya Vishwa Vidyalay. A resident of Pune, he learns English with WordsMaya using his phone and laptop