The Indian freedom movement martyrs' memorial Ranarang Chowk (battle centre) built in memory of the seven martyrs at Tenali town of Guntur district. (Photo: DC)
GUNTUR: The people of Tenali are commemorating seven individuals killed by the British police force during the Quit India Movement in 1942. Patriotic and cultural programmes will be conducted, on August 12, at the Memorial at Ranarang Chowk in Tenali town, which was constructed to monumentalise the martyrs. Students, officials and community leaders are expected to participate in the event.
Tenali town of Guntur district, which is popularly known as the Paris of Andhra, played an instrumental role in the Quit In-dia Movement. Seven freedom fighters from the reg-ion died in police firing.
K. Purshottam, one of the elders of Tenali, said the current generation had no knowledge about Tenali’s contribution to the Freedom Movement. He said the people of Tenali had responded to Mahatma Gandhi’s call and organised a bandh on August 12, 1942. The Briti-sh police had opened fire on them, and seven people had been killed on the spot, at Morrispeta which later came to be known as Ranarang Chowk.
The elders said that Congressmen Avuthu Subba Reddy, Kalluri Chandramouli and Velavolu Seetharamaiah had drawn up an action plan to intensify protests under the Quit India Movement. The protests had turned unruly, with the protesters burning an oil tanker and the north cabin of Tenali Railway Station. They had also ransacked a hotel near the Station and tried to burn a Chennai-bound passenger train at the station. The British Police had respon-ded by opening fire on the unarmed freedom fighters, and Tammineni Sub-ba Reddy, Gali Ramakot-aiah, Prayaga Raghava-iah, Lakshminarayana, Srigiri Lingam, Jasti App-aiah and Majeti Subba Rao had been killed in the incident.
Tenali MLA Alapati Rajendraprasad said the incident had attracted attention from across the globe; it had been broadcasted by radio stations in countries including Ber-lin and Tokyo. He added that after Independence, seven pillars had been erected in the memory of the seven martyrs, and a statue of Mother India with a baby in her arms had been installed at Ranarang Chowk.
Mr Rajendraprasad added that a memorial programme would be held at Ranarang Chowk on Saturday, in memory of the martyrs of Tenali.
Then Chief Minister Neelam Sanjiva Reddy along with AICC president Kamaraj Nadar on 20 December 1959 inaugurated the memorial.