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Memorial to freedom fighters

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R. SOUNDARARAJAN

India Posts issued a two-rupee stamp in 1997 featuring the Cellular Jail in Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. A large number of freedom fighters who were given long-term imprisonment were kept locked up there by the British rulers. The prisoners were subjected to a lot of brutalities. The place was chosen considering its geographic isolation - the islands are situated some 1000 km away both from Kolkota and Chennai - which would make it impossible for the inmates to escape.The Cellular Jail is a 100-year-old (1906-2006) structure. It originally had seven wings similar to the spokes of a bicycle. Euphemistically called Kaala Paani (meaning black water) the deportation went on till 1937. After Independence the Cellular Jail was declared a national memorial. With the eternal flame the Swatantra Jyoti perpetuating the memory of the freedom fighters, the Cellular Jail stands a mute witness to a grim past.


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