The state of Uttarakhand was formed on November 9, 2000, as the 27th state of India. The state was formed as the result of a long struggle and many sacrifices. One of the most important components of that struggle was put up by the people of Mussoorie in 1994.
It was the morning of 2nd September 1994. People were conducting a silent and peaceful procession for the demand of Uttarakhand state.
Suddenly huge stones started being hurled from Gunhill towards the peaceful agitators. People were of the opinion that it was done on the directions of Mulayam Singh Yadav. This increased tension between the police forces and the people.
The then CO Mussoorie police station was stationed at the Jhula Ghar wearing a helmet. As described by one of the agitators Mr V. K Dobhal “The CO shouted, who is throwing the stones, stop the stones first, but who was there to hear, the agitators got wounded from the bombardment and suddenly the PAC rammed bullets at the state agitators, killing six people.”
The then Deputy Superintendent of Police Umakant Tripathi tried to stop the policemen and PAC shouting “please stop the firing” (फायर बन्द करो) but a murderous rage was on their heads and in the heat of the moment they continued firing. DSP Umakant also got hit by a bullet in his hand and got severly injured. He was admitted in a nearby government hospital along with a large number of injured and wounded Andolankaris.
The firing converted the tranquil of the queen of hills, Mussoorie into panic and fear.
The Andolankaris of the movement
Two women, Hansa Dhanai and Belmati Chauhan, were killed in the firing on the spot. Four others who were mercilessly shot down included Rai Singh Bangari, Dhanpat Singh, Madan Mohan Mamgain and Balveer Negi.
The police took Hukum Singh Panwar, one of the leaders of the movement in Mussoorie, to Bareilly Jail. His son Advocate Rajendra Singh Panwar was shot in the procession and was badly injured. The police took many agitators like Late Radhe Shyam Tayal to the Bareilly Jail and Late Devendra Mittal to the Gorakhpur Jail. Late Rajendra Singh Shah(then MLA) and Late Kalam Singh Rawat even faced National Security Act (NSA) trial.
The main leaders of movement like Ramkrishna Pant, D.R. Kapoor, Madan Mohan Sharma, Jabar Singh Barthwal, Pooran Juyal, Advocate RD Gupta, AC Mangla, Jai Prakash Uttarakhandi were then harassed during the curfew.
During the curfew that lasted for about a fortnight from September 2, people had to crave for essential items.
Fake cases were then registered on six martyrs and fourteen other agitators for murdering Umakant Tripathi. Many were sent to jail and tortured. CBI also believed these false claims and submitted statements against the Andolankaris in the Court. All the Andolankaris like Subhashini Bhartwal, Devendra Mittal, Kalam Singh Rawat, Rajendra Shah, Advocate Rajendra Pawar, Sumer Chand Kumai, Pratap Singh Kaintura, Ajay Rawat, Shurveer Singh, Karan Singh Bhartwal, Hukum Singh Rawat and (then Nagar karyavah of RSS) Dr Harimohan Goel faced these CBI cases for nearly a decade and eventually turned out to be victorious as no evidence against them was submitted.
The story the forgotten Martyr
Deputy Superintendent of Police Umakant Tripathi succumbed to injuries and blood loss in the hospital.
Umakant Tripathi was a soft-spoken, generous and religious person. According to his wife, Mrs Yashoda Tripathi, Mr Tripathi’s entire family is a religious family with Nobel ideals.
According to a Mussoorie weekly ‘Mussoorie Times’ published after the incident of the Golikand, Umakant Tripathi said in his last breath, ‘Jai Uttarakhand’. Residents of Mussoorie can never forget Umakant Tripathi.
Some questions about Umakant Tripathi still remained unanswered:
The first is how was he injured and died?
The second is why did the PAC fire on him?
The third is why his own department or the government of the day showed a lack of interest in the real investigation of his death?
The Uttarakhand Andolankaris of Mussoorie have time and again demanded the honour and status of martyrdom for the then DSP, Umakant Tripathi. In this regard, the Mussoorie Andolankaris including Kedar Singh Chauhan, Subhashini Barthwal,Devi Godiyal, Dr Harimohan Goel, Shurveer Gunsola, Advocate Rajendra Panwar, Pratap Singh Kaintura, Karan Singh Barthwal, Yashpal Singh Rawat have written a letter to Ravindra Jugran, the chairman of Andolankari Samman Parishad (आंदोलनकारी सम्मान परिषद ), demanding the same.
Hope is that this forgotten martyr of Uttarakhand gets his due honour and place in the history of Uttarakhand and India.
Are the dreams of the Andolankaris fulfilled?
The idols of the martyrs are being installed to pay tribute at Jhula Ghar in Mussoorie but the dreams of the Andolankaris and Martyrs are still not fulfilled. The uncontrolled migration from villages of Uttarakhand, high rate of unemployment and a high rate of corruption has left the state and its culture high and dry. At the same time, the people present in the 1994 movement have not been accurately identified like Late Hari Singh Gunsola (participated in the movement and also captured all the pictures shared on this page during the horrific incident without fearing for his own life), many participants and their struggles are forgotten over the years.
Overcoming all these challenges would be a true tribute to the martyrs and Andolankaris of the movement.