PM Modi pays tribute to martyrs at Cellular Jail, renames 3 islands of Andaman Nicobar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Sunday visited the Cellular Jail in Port Blair and paid homage to those who were exiled and hanged as political prisoners in colonial India. On reaching the jail premises, Modi laid a wreath at the Martyr's Column before proceeding towards a cell, where Hindutva idealogue Veer Savarkar spent his days in captivity.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a political leader and practitioner of Hindu philosophy, was imprisoned by the Britishers and moved to the Cellular Jail in 1911. The prime minister sat down on the floor of the cell, in front of Veer Savarkar's photograph, with his eyes closed and hands folded for some time.
After stepping out of the cell, he went to the central tower of the prison, and stopped before a marble plaque, where names of jail inmates are inscribed. Modi also visited the gallows, where there were arrangements to hang three prisoners at one go. After taking a tour of the museum at the prison complex, he signed the visitor's book.
The Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, was constructed between 1896 and 1906. The prison is known to have housed many leaders, including Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, Yogendra Shukla, Batukeshwar Dutt and Sachindra Nath Sanyal, during freedom struggle. The jail had special provisions for solitary confinement of the prisoners.
Later in the day, Modi, while addressing a public meeting, also announced renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Tricolour hoisting by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island would now be known as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep, Modi said during a speech. The PM also released a commemorative stamp, its first-day cover and a Rs-75 coin on this special day. He also announced setting up of a deemed university after Bose.
Modi visited the Marina Park here and hoisted a national flag on a 150-feet high mast. He also paid floral tribute at Netaji's statue in the park.