Asifabad to become a district again after 75 years

October 08, 2016 12:00 am | Updated November 01, 2016 11:41 pm IST - ADILABAD:

The old building that served as collectorate when Asifabad was district headquarters till 1941.Photo: Special Arrangement

The old building that served as collectorate when Asifabad was district headquarters till 1941.Photo: Special Arrangement

Asifabad will become a district again after three-quarters of a century bringing to the fore its hoary past, mostly connected with the rule of the Gond kings from Chandrapur, now in Maharashtra, and the later day struggle for land waged by Raj Gonds living in these parts. Known as Jangam or Jungam in the early years of the last century, Asifabad town was the headquarters of the district by the same name before it became part of Adilabad district with Adilabad town as its headquarters in 1905.

The predominantly tribal town once again became the district headquarters in 1913 and stayed that way until Adilabad was once again made the headquarters in 1941.

Asifabad was an important part in the scheme of things of the Nizam of Hyderabad whose kingdom existed till Rajura, now part of Chandrapur district in Maharashtra.

The importance of the place can be gauged from the fact that the then government had maintained eight inspection or traveller bunglows between Asifabad and Rajura, two of them in Asifabad town itself. According to the Adilabad District Gazetteer, 1925, the Public Works Department had even maintained a 36-mile gravel road from Asifabad to the borders of Chandrapur.

According to the Gazetteer, Asifabad district or Adilabad district for that matter, comprised Adilabad, Asifabad, Chinnur divisions and Yelgadap Paigah Jagir taluk (present day Khanapur). Asifabad division had Asifabad, Sirpur, Rajura and Utnoor which was the largest in area at 2,850 sq miles of the total of 7,294 sq miles and in terms of number of villages - 825 of the total of 1,872.

The district, according to the 1921 census, had a population of 6,55,536 of which Adilabad division with Adilabad, Kinwat, Boath and Nirmal taluks housed 2,88,293 and Asifabad had a population of 2,16,168. Asifabad was better placed in terms of medicare as is evident from the fact that Adilabad division accounted for 133 deaths in 1921 of which 104 were due to fever while Asifabad recorded only 34 deaths, 28 of which were owing to fever.

Though Asifabad, which will be renamed as Kumram Bheem district after the legendary Gond martyr, has lost much in terms of development, the greatest of loss will be its forest area. Its hilly areas, especially the one which joins the Jodeghat valley, shows considerable depletion of forest area.

Kumram Bheem attained martyrdom in Jodeghat village in the present day Kerameri mandal, but he was born in Ravte Sankepalli village near Asifabad. His struggle for land had taken him over the hills to the Jodeghat valley.

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