A retired teacher P. Vaikuntam and his friends V. Satyanarayana, M. Narasimha, Ramaiah and others – all in their 70s gathered at a memorial and recalled this day they witnessed 63 years ago.
“I was just nine years old, but I still remember what had happened on that day. The Nizam's police and the Razakars opened fire indiscriminately killing 22 people on September 2, 1947,” recounted Mr. Vaikuntam sitting under a tree at the Telangana Martyrs Memorial built in this town to perpetuate the memories of that horrific day.
Though India had gained independence on August 15, 1947, Hyderabad State was still under the rule of the Nizam. Soon after independence, people across the region came out agitating for merger of Hyderabad State with the Indian union. They wanted an end to the Nizam's tyrannical regime.
However, the Nizam's police and the armed Razakars tried to suppress the people's movement. In this town, the police had warned people from coming out of their homes on September 2, 1947. However, people from the surrounding villages came in large numbers to hoist the Indian flag, defying the warning.
Even before they reached the open space beside the present bus stand, the police opened fire on them. The Razakars, who were little away from the place, chased the fleeing people and killed them too.
Reminiscing those days, Mr. Vaikuntam said in Rangapuram village, the Razakars tied three people to a tree and shot them brutally and in Laxmipuram, the Razakars looted gold and money and even molested women. While leaving the village, they set ablaze the huts.
The small but bustling town Parkal was one of the places where people raised a banner of revolt against the Nizam and came out voluntarily to fight his army.
In 2003, BJP leader Ch. Vidyasagar Rao helped build a memorial to commemorate the incident.