Andhra Pradesh

Freedom struggle memorabilia lie forgotten here

Gone to seed: The area around Rampachodavaram police station has become a dumping yard.   | Photo Credit: T. APPALA NAIDU

On a cold winter evening, the Rampachodavaram police station looks desolate, with just a street dog lying in the lock-up. A bundle of firewood has been stored in an old building by police personnel deputed for combing operations in the Rampachodavaram Agency in Andhra Pradesh.

What looks neglected and decrepit today was the scene of a high profile attack in the past. “In 1922, the Rampachodavaram police station was attacked by Alluri Sitaramaraju when the Rampa revolt (1922-24) against the British was at its peak,” says Padala Veerabhadra Rao, president of Rajahmahendravaram-based Alluri Sitaramaraju Yuvajana Sangham (ASYS). Several other police stations — Chintapalli, Krishna Devipeta, and Rajavommangi — were also attacked by the revolutionary freedom fighter.

During the British era, the Rampachodavaram police station was apparently rebuilt by demolishing the old building which was actually attacked by Alluri, Mr. Rao adds. Today, the police station is located in a new building in the same campus.

The abandoned building houses memorabilia of the Rampa revolt — such as a copy of a hand-written letter (Pydiputta-1922) from Alluri rejecting 50 acres of land offered to him by the British, the portraits of Alluri’s follower Mallu Dora, mother Suryanarayanamma and sister Seetamma.

Failed museum plan

Hoping to open an Alluri museum at the site, the Sangham, with the support of the police department, arranged the portraits and the copy of his letter a few years ago.

The ground is now partly overrun by solid waste. “The way the police personnel have turned the old police station building into a kitchen is pathetic. It is supposed to be a monument. It also has tourism potential,” Mr. Rao told The Hindu.

Former Director-General of Police N. Sambasiva Rao had approved the proposal to turn the police station building into a library. However, the idea was reportedly ignored by the police on the ground that the public could not be allowed into the campus located in an area affected by left wing extremism.

“It will be useful for the tribal students and local people if the police station is converted into a library and the building conserved and used for a meaningful purpose,” added Mr. Rao.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 8:06:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/freedom-struggle-memorabilia-lie-forgotten-here/article30368311.ece

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